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Beth Lloyd: Australian Winter

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Beth started with European Snowsport as part of the ES academy and now works as a full time instructor in Zermatt. This year she’s decided to head South for summer to the Australian ski resort Mt Buller. Here she tells us how the season has been so far: 

It seems like a right of passage for any ski instructor to do at least one whole year of winter. Usually when April comes around it’s time to give the skis a hibernation wax and hang up my favourite jacket. Then I fill my summer with cycling, hill walking, wild lake swimming, rock climbing -basically anything I can to take my mind off snow and skiing and teaching until November comes round again.

Many of my colleagues however do back to back seasons, so I felt like it was time to try perpetual winter for myself and see what it’s like to be a full time ski instructor all year round.

There are many places a skier can head to if they fancy a Southern Hemisphere ski. Many of my family and friends were surprised to hear that Australia, New Zealand, South America and even South Africa have ski resorts! I decided to follow a few other ES Zermatt instructors to Mt Buller, located in Victoria, Australia.

See where other instructors have gone to work this Southern Hemisphere winter.

Around three hours drive from the city of Melbourne many Australians make the yearly pilgrimage through rolling country land and winding gum forest roads to reach the snow capped resort.

When I arrived back in June only three of the twenty-two chair lifts and magic carpets were operational, giving access to Buller’s most well known run, Bourke street. Anyone who has been to Melbourne will know that Bourke Street is an infamously busy part of the city; a bustling hub of traffic, trams and people! Anyone who has skied at Mt Buller will know the ski run is therefore well named. It is the central meeting point for the ski resort, surrounded by the main village, on-hill accommodation, bars, restaurants and ski school. Slowly though, as the season started up the snow arrived and one by one the other ski runs and lifts began to open.

Bourke Street early season

I’ve been working in the 3-6 year old Bunyips department, similar to ES penguins and have taught some very cute kids to ski so far! Although the weather hasn’t always been on side I am getting to teach a lot and that is what I came here for.

So far we have enjoyed a rail jam in the centre of resort and Christmas in July -we had a staff roast dinner and secret santa and it even snowed. There’s been chances to learn about the Australian ski instructor system APSI, see summit sunsets and spectacular sunbows.

Sunbow over the Mt Buller park!

The season is much shorter than the Northern Hemisphere and we expect to finish mid September. After the season I am hoping to travel for a few weeks along the east coast of Australia before heading home. In the meantime I am looking forward to exploring more of the mountain when it opens up. Mt Buller has some great mogul runs I’ve heard which I can’t wait to try. (Yes I enjoy moguls…).

Here are some photos of the beautiful Victorian Alps:

If you would like to find out more about ES and organise your next trip to the mountains contact us here. We’re happy to help! See you next winter!

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