Top Ten Australia Classic Adventures

Ski the Falls Creek Backcountry
By Ron Moon & Viv Moon

Just a few minutes away from the vibrant hum of Falls Creek, one of Australia's top ski resorts, a gentle slope leads past the last ski shelters and toward the low wall of the Rocky Valley Dam. In the depths of winter, this small man-made lake, surrounded by the low rolling hills of Bogong High Plains, is the start of a number of ski trails varying from an easy day run to longer, more difficult overnight tours.

One ski trail that's a good introduction to the area starts just across the dam wall with the pole line that you follow skirting along the northern edge of the lake. As you dip into the low valley of Watchbed Creek you pass the junction of the ski trail to Ropers Hut and Mt Bogong, the highest mountain in Victoria and a trail that is only for the more experienced and well-equipped overnight skiers. A little further south near Langford Gap there is a choice of routes along the gentle gradient of the Langford Aqueduct; the southern route is a delight, passing through patches of gnarled snow gums bent and twisted by the harsh winters but still standing proud above the thick mantle of snow. This route takes you close to the historic Wallaces Hut and then Cope Hut, both of which make for a good shelter if the weather turns bad, as it often does in these exposed peaks of the Victorian Alps. But on a fine day with blue skies, a couple of friends, and thick powder snow, this Australian winter wilderness is the equal of any backcountry skiing elsewhere around the globe.


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