The 2023 Australian ski season is heading towards an unsatisfactory conclusion.
After warm temperatures and frequent rainfall throughout the winter and early spring, multiple ski resorts have closed for the season. This has included Ben Lomond, Mt. Baw Baw, and Selwyn. The latest to join this group were Hotham, Mount Buller, and Thredbo Resort.
According to Snowy Hydro, higher elevations had their lowest snow totals in seventeen years, while lower elevations had their smallest snow accumulation in fifty years.
Ken Green, who is an alpine ecologist professor at Australian National University, detailed his concerns to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
“It’s not something that’s just happened. There has been real data collected over the past 70 years that shows that there has been a major decline…Looking at data from all over the world, including down in Antarctica, climate change is having an impact everywhere there is snow trying to survive.”
Hotham announced their closure for the season on Sunday. In the video announcement, VP & GM Tina Burford detailed the challenges faced this season with a lack of natural snowfall and said the decision to close early was due to protecting guests and their staff.
Mt. Buller closed for the season on the 17th. To wrap up the season, they hosted the Bangers N Mash Park Jam. They also shared this pretty sweet season recap video, with Praise You by Fatboy Slim being a great song choice.
Thredbo closed for the season on September 17th, which is two weeks earlier than expected. However, the Kosciuszko Chairlift remains open for backcountry skiing access, snowshoeing, and scenic rides.
Thredbo, which is home to the five longest trails in Australia, has had a rough winter. Two months ago, a skier died after sustaining injuries from a collision at the ski resort. In addition, one of the chairs detached from the Kosciuszko Chairlift, leading to minor injuries.
The only ski resorts in Australia that are still open are Charlotte Pass, Falls Creek (which is closing on Wednesday), and Perisher. Let’s hope the next ski season is a better one for the land down under.