Ski once winter is over in Australia!
Where to ski once winter is over in Australia…? The list is endless! North America and Europe are the two biggest general destinations, though Japan is also becoming popular particularly amongst the telemark skiers. If you enjoyed participating in the Kangaroo Hoppet then check out the other events on the Worldloppet circuit. If mass participation events are not your thing, there are plenty of other locations to try out. Check out the snapshots below of some of the popular destinations amongst Australians.
Silver Star, Canada
One of the most reliable snow locations in North America, Silver Star is also one of the best examples of a ski resort that successfully caters for both cross country and alpine enthusiasts. You even get to use the main chairlift as part of your cross country ski pass! Great opportunities for ski in / ski out accommodation, and combined with Sovereign Lake has 105 km of interconnected trails catering for all abilities. The Australian Team prepared in Silver Star before the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
The Tyrolean village of Dobbiaco(Italian name) or Toblach(German name) in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, is where Italy meets Austria in a curious and delightful cultural overlap – think onion-domed churches and Baroque castles, apfel strudel and 101 varieties of gelato. It’s the ultimate destination for XC skiers – over 120km of diverse ski trails, from the cruisy to the challenging and everything in between and the centre of an integrated transport (rail/bus) and trail network which opens up endless touring opportunities on the 200km of tracks in the Alta Pusteria network. It has knockout scenery with the BIG WOW factor, 2 beautiful languages with German being the main language spoken and great value for money. The ‘piste’ de resistance has to be the 30km trail from Dobbiaco to Cortina. This route offers a magnificent panorama and beautiful views of the Tre Cime/Drei Zinnen, Monte Cristallo and Croda Rossa/Hohe Gaisl mountains.
Holmenkollen in Oslo is one of the most famous xc skiing locations in the world, and certainly one of the few capital cities from which you can catch a short train ride to the tracks from the centre of the city. The crowd atmosphere during the Holmenkollen ski festival (usually in March) is amazing, though if you prefer to ski without singing and dancing Norwegians all around or the smell of sausages cooking on campfires then perhaps go earlier in the year.
Royal Gorge, USA
At the top of the Sierra Nevada mountain range near Lake Tahoe sits Royal Gorge, with 200km of rolling trails sprawled across 2500 hectares of open and wooded terrain. All trails are groomed daily with classic and skating tracks, and the resort links with the Sugar Bowl Alpine Resort, both of which are run by the same company. Scenic highlights include Devil's Peak, the view into the 900m deep Royal Gorge, and ridgetop trails. The resort and ski school have had strong Australian connections going way back. A short distance away are the XC resorts of Tahoe Donner, Tahoe XC and Auburn Ski Club, plus the 35km long Lake Tahoe.
The Austrians are generally much more into skating than classic though the classic skiing in Seefeld is still nice. The trails head out from the centre of town and there’s plenty of pensions, apartments and hotels within walking distance. It’s a little trek up to the Wildmoos trails but well worth the effort for the undulating trails up the top (you can also take the bus if so inclined). Host of the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, Seefeld is also set to hold the 2019 Nordic World Championship.
World Economic Forum? Overrated. Head to Davos for the skiing instead. Pull on your classic skis to head up the Dischma and Sertig valleys. Call in for a hot chocolate (or lunch) at the end of the valley, before cruising (or hurtling if so inclined) back down to the main Davos valley. In December you might see the Australian Ski Team training or competing in the annual World Cup. Avoid or target “Blick Week” at the start of December depending on whether or not you are into crowds, and say g'day the friendly crew at the local Hofmanner XC shop.
Snowfarm, New Zealand
Finally to extend your skiing during the Australian winter why not try the Snow Farm. An amazing XC destination right on our doorstep. Located on the South Island they have 55km of scenic trails perfect for xc skiing. The wide groomed trails provide great beginner terrain alongside more advanced terrain and the perfect opportunity to enjoy the awe inspiring views. You can stay at the resort or drive each day from Queenstown/Wanaka. The Merino Muster Worldloppet race is held annually on the weekend before the Kangaroo Hoppet.