Australia may have just experienced it’s hottest winter on record but the snowfall is far from over with snow season officially extended into mid October.
The conditions were showing no signs of easing as I passed through Jindabyne and slowly began to wind up the foothills of the Snowy Mountains.
Snowflakes hit the windscreen well before the entry point to Kosciuszko National Park and I had to crunch through knee-deep snow to make it to my lodge.
The snowcapped roofs and frozen lake made it seem like a surreal winter wonderland completely at odds with the balmy day I had left behind in Sydney that morning.
And it’s been like this for weeks. Conditions have been so intense that locals have dubbed it the ‘Blizzard of Oz’ with the cumulative total for the season over 450cm so far – the best snowfall since 2000.
In fact, the snowstorms have been so heavy that the big-ticket item, Toyota’s One Hit Wonder event was put on hold as crew worked overtime to reshape the 100ft jump and dig out the RAV4 buried next to the ramp.
The event, which boasts the biggest jump in the southern hemisphere and attracts the world’s best skiers and snowboarders, was finally given the all-clear and on Sunday the 10th of September 12 athletes launched themselves off the jump in awe-inspiring displays of coordination and agility.
The jump was just one event in a jam-packed weekend full of live-music, firework displays and flare runs. Far from a resort winding down at the end of a season, Thredbo was bustling with guests and the slopes were covered with skiers and snowboarders taking advantage of the heavy falls. We may be well into spring but I’m keeping my snow boots on for now.