Perisher is Australia's biggest snowboard area with 47 lifts and 1245 hectares (3076 acres) of rideable terrain spread across four distinct areas - Perisher, Smiggins Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega. It is Australia's answer to the North American and European mega resorts. However, don't be deceived by the statistics. Sure there is a vast amount of terrain available to ride at Perisher, but the vertical doesn't stack up to its northern counterparts or nearby Thredbo.
Perisher offers an extensive snowmaking system covering some 53.4 hectares (131.95 acres) of terrain and coupled with its altitude (the highest resort in Australia), Perisher is usually the first resort in Australia to open and the last to lose its base.
The lift system at Perisher is huge and includes Australia's only alpine railway, the Skitube. The main problem with the lift system is that it mainly consists of t-bars and fixed grip chairlifts. Thus, actually moving around the mountain can be a very slow affair.
Perisher is truly a vast resort and the terrain varies immensely from area to area. Whilst the Front Valley of Perisher and Smiggens offers little in the way of lengthy runs and steeps, Blue Cow and Guthega make up for it. Much of the terrain across all areas is relatively tame and doesn't really stack up to nearby Thredbo and Victoria's Mt Hotham.
The runs off to skier's left of the Ridge Quad Chair provide the longest quality freeriding runs in the resort. Off the Mt Perisher Double Chair there are some good steeps through lightly treed areas. The problem is that this area is prone to being moguled out pretty quickly. If you really want to find some quality freeriding terrain you really need to go exploring
Trees and Bad Weather: Leichhardt T-bar, Lawson T-bar at Perisher and Blue Calf T-bar at Guthega offer good tree riding. These are the best places to be when the fog rolls in.
Beginners: The runs under the Pretty Valley Double Chair offer the perfect terrain for beginners - long open groomed runs with a gentle gradient.
Avoiding crowds: If you want to try and escape the crowds, the Guthega slopes are always a good option as they are difficult to reach. Stay away from the Perisher Express Quad as this tends to get pretty packed.
Perisher now has a dedicated freestyle parks and pipes website - Fusion Parks and Pipes. The site contains the latest videos and updates from the mountain. Boardthworld.com provides a full run down on the Fusion Parks and Pipes - check it out here.
Halfpipes: Perisher offer a commitment to snowboarding that as is typically lacking at many other Aussie resorts and this is evident in their halfpipe. 1999 was the first season that any Australian resort used a proper shaping machine to maintain their halfpipe. Since then the resort has purchased a Super-pipe Grinder and these days shape their Superpipe almost daily. Consequently Perisher offers the best halfpipe (Superpipe) in the country. The only negative aspects of the pipe are (a) the right hand wall receives direct sunlight most of the day making it fall apart (or kink) very quickly on sunny days and (b) the pipe is too flat.
Half Pipe Rating: 9 out of 10
Snowboard Parks: Perisher has made huge improvements to it's park facilities. The sub-standard parks of previous years have been replaced with a park setup that is up there with the best in Australia, only closely rivalled by Falls Creek and Mt Buller.
Natural Hits: Lack of vertical does not effect freestyle riding and this is no exception at Perisher. Perisher has some great rolling terrain and cat tracks to practise all the latest freestyle moves. Guthega, one of the four resorts that make up Perisher also offers close access to some great backcountry terrain for building kickers.
The big dumps at Perisher occur when the storms come from the north. Like Thredbo, Perisher is a high elevation resort and brags the deepest average snowpack each season due to its high elevation. However, unlike Thredbo Perisher has much less vertical, hence snow conditions are less likely to vary between the top of the mountain and the base of the resort. Due to its high elevation the snow at Perisher is often quite dry and light and also because the big dumps come from inland rather than straight off the coast. The winds can often get harsh across the Australian resorts including Perisher because the Aussie Alps lack larger peaks to block the winds. Nonetheless, Perisher is rarely shut down due to excessive winds as there are several sheltered surface lifts.
Current Snow and Weather conditions at Perisher (includes SNOW CAMS)
On Mountain: Make no mistake the on-mountain accommodation at Perisher is not cheap. If you are after a cheap budget style accommodation check out the what's available in Jindabyne.
For more information about accommodation and where to stay at Perisher Blue, call:
Perisher Central Reservations - 1300 655 811; or
Check out the Perisher web site .
Here's some examples of the packages available on-mountain at Perisher Blue:
Ben Bullen Lodge
Ben Bullen Lodge is a comfortable lodge that has its own bar. All rooms have bathrooms and there is a TV room and a lounge. A weekend package that includes breakfast and dinners and 2 Perisher lift passes starts from $236 in low season.
Perisher View Lodge
Perisher View Lodge is a rustic lodge that offers budget on-snow accommodation. It has a lounge room with a TV, dining room, log fire and bar. A weekend package that includes breakfast and dinners and 2 Perisher lift passes starts from $264 in low season.
Ski Rider Lodge
Ski Rider Lodge is a hotel motel located about 11 km from Perisher Blue. It is like a Title within a Title. It has 95 rooms and its own pub/bar with free bands playing throughout the season. A free shuttle bus operates between Ski Rider and Perisher. A weekend package that includes breakfast and dinners and 2 Perisher lift passes starts from $186 in low season.
The problem with staying on-mountain at Perisher is that it lacks a real village. This means two things, first it is difficult to get around at night and second there is not a huge array of night life. However, if you are keen for some night life Whisky Jack's is always a good option. Alternatively, Ski Rider, 11 kms down the road, has a happening pub and free bands.
You are better off partying in nearby Jindabyne.
The best place to shop for gear is not in Perisher but in nearby Jindabyne which has a number of excellent snowboard stores.
There is a large array of Snowboard shops in Jindabyne
By Air: Fly into Canberra and drive or bus down to Perisher.
By Car: Perisher is located about 530 kms south of Sydney. However the drive is fairly easy since the highway is dual carriage for over 300 kms of the journey. Further the last 230 kms is flat and straight with plenty of overtaking lanes.
From Sydney - Take the Hume Highway out of Sydney. Just past Goulburn, take the turn-off to Canberra (the Federal Highway). At Canberra follow the signs to Cooma. The Monaro Highway takes you to Cooma. Drive straight through Cooma (unless you want to stop at the new McDonalds) and follow Kosciusko Road to Jindabyne. Don't take the turn-off to Selwyn Snowfields. The stretch from Canberra to Jindabyne is heavily patrolled by police so watch out. Take the Kosciusko Road through to Perisher or Guthega - about half an hour in good weather/conditions.
From Melbourne - Perisher is about 7 hours drive from Melbourne. Take the Hume Hwy to Wadonga. Take the turn off to Corryong and head through the Alpine Way to Jindabyne, then take the Kosiosko Road through to Perisher.
By Ski Tube: Another way to access Perisher is to drive to take the Ski Tube which is an underground alpine railway. Drive up the Alpine Way and park the car at the Ski Tube station. Its only a matter of minutes from there to Perisher, an a few more to Blue Cow.
Last updated on 09 April 2009.
|Base||43 in | 109 cm|
|24 Hour Snowfall||No new snow|
|Last Snowfall||Sep 16 - 6 in | 15 cm|
|Previous Snowfall||Sep 02 - 1 in | 3 cm|
|Lifts Open||4 of 50|
|Nearby Ski Areas||Ben Lomond, Charlottes Pass, Falls Creek, Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Perisher, Selwyn Snowfields, Thredbo|
|Report Time||10/3/08 6:42 AM AEST|
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