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To ensure transparency and build trust with guests, Australian Ski Areas Association members have devised key reporting definitions to enable snow reporting language to be as objective as posisble for:
This language is consistent across all resorts so conditions can be directly compared.
Conditions are rated daily and independently decided upon by the Ski Patrol who prescribe these terms to the snow reporting team, along with measured depths at three sites around the mountain.
Often there are variable conditions. For example cover may be fair in one area but very good on snowmaking areas.
In general, these terms provide a much more reliable indication of the snow conditions than measured snow depths which are taken in three undisturbed locations away from ski runs.
Excellent - Complete snow cover with no exposed hazards.
Very Good - Complete cover of snow with occasional exposed hazards that do not impede skiing. The surface is dry or softening late in the day.
Good – Almost complete cover. Some exposed hazards that rarely impede skiing. The surface may vary from dry to soft.
Fair – Cover is extensive but not complete. There may be moderately sized exposed hazards including grass/vegetation, which are easily avoidable. Cover will most likely be soft and thin in areas.
Poor – Cover is broken and skiers are very limited in choice of lines. There may be exposed grass areas if the run is open. Cover is soft and thin; snow will most likely be brown in places.
Patchy – Insufficient cover for skiing and boarding. Only suitable for snowplay if the run is accessible. May involve a short walk from car park area.
No Snow – no snow
Fresh - Fresh snow newly fallen. Ranges from very heavy and wet, to very light and dry.
Dry - Light, fluffy snow. Powder-like.
Powder - Extremely light, dry, fluffy snow, providing no support to skis and snowboards.
Soft - Yielding to pressure from skis and snowboards. Snow could be sun-affected.
Packed - Fresh, packed snow.
Firm - Hard packed snow where the skis do not dig in much but the edges hold well
Firm or hard packed - In the transition stage to icy. Sharp edges help.
Icy - Clear and very hard. (May also include granular icy cover especially when describing the manmade snow after a night with a good freeze).
Softening - Transition from firm to soft snow.
Wet - Wet snow that is often heavy and grabs at the skis making them slide more slowly.
Spring - Rough, icy, granular surface in the morning, then softens due to warm weather by mid-morning to soft and granular. (Depending on how warm, may become sticky and very soft during the afternoon, then icing up again in the late afternoon. Can be very good skiing in the late morning and early afternoon).
If on a declared ‘Wind Hold Replacement Day’ insufficient lifts are operating to allow a Known Guest to a maximum of five (5) rides they will be eligible to receive a replacement 1 Day Lift Only voucher valid for any day of the current season. The full policy can be found here.
Mt Buller weather, snow cams, lift and run reports, and more.
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