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4 Great Ways To Increase The Fun Factor When Snow Conditions Get Tough

Posted on Monday, 19th of May 2014

4 Great Ways To Increase The Fun Factor When Snow Conditions Get Tough

Have you ever had a bad day skiing or snowboarding?  Be honest. We all have, right? And so it can be said for any sport where nature is in charge. You can’t tell the weather what to do on your Thredbo holiday, so when it comes to snow you get what you get and the dream you had of perfect powder snow may easily turn into an ice covered nightmare.

Thredbo locals Jill and Ian Foster have been skiing for years around the globe in places such as Japan, France, Switzerland, Italy and New Zealand. In their experience, even when the snow cover  is cruddy or icy, there are always patches of better snow to be found for those who take the time to look for it.

If you’re on holiday when the snow is not at its best and you aren’t enjoying yourself, they recommend these tips to increase the FUN factor this Thredbo ski season.

1. Always have your equipment well tuned

You’ll surprise yourself how much more you get out of your Thredbo holiday on well tuned equipment.

Whether you tune your equipment yourself, or leave it to the experts, getting skis and boards waxed and attended to ensures you ‘get an edge’ (grip the snow) rather than simply slide across ice out of control or get stuck in wet snow.

2. Thredbo ski lessons will hone your technique

You don’t have to be a beginner to benefit from a lesson whilst on a Thredbo holiday.

A lesson will improve your technique

Even great skiers and boarders can get better, and let’s face it, unless you’ve won a gold medal of late, there’s always someone better than you. Having a few tips up your sleeve from a professional can’t hurt either, particularly when it comes to handling tricky snow conditions.  Thredbo’s Snow School offers private lessons with top instructors where you’ll get individual attention to sort out your trouble spots and boost your confidence.

3. Chase better Thredbo snow conditions

Don’t just get on a lift and hope for the best. Choose your runs based on a bit of post-breakfast prognosis. After admiring the fine view from your Thredbo holiday apartment balcony, look where the snow cats are grooming the runs for the day. Even if the snow is hard, a smooth, groomed trail is easier work than a pile of frozen bumps.

Notice where the shadows are as the sun rises and sets.  This gives you an idea of which parts of the runs are in direct sun at different times of the day. The higher you go the colder it gets. Follow this rule of physics and you have a basic formula for making decisions to start your day.

If the conditions are icy you should spend the day chasing the sun to stay on softer snow or stay on lower lifts  until things warm up. If there’s some new snowfall overnight and you want to find powder, always head  for the shady spots when the snow starts to get heavy.

Be in charge of increasing your OWN fun factor.

There are many other considerations:

– previous wind directions may have created soft snow zones on side of runs,
– more sheltered areas off ridges can have great snow after wind,
– temperature inversions can turn conditions upside down or
– the whole mountain can be one big skating rink and the only place for sanity and respite is in the bar.

4. Put together a great ski itinerary

In a resort the size of Thredbo stumbling onto good conditions will create a ‘hot spot’ for others, drawing them like a magnet, creating lift queues. It takes practice, imagination and a bit  of time on the hill to become good at making a great ski itinerary to match the day to the conditions.

The plan is to find the good snow first, have some great runs and move on to next thing by the time the crowds show up. It is worth trying, be adventurous and  even if you end up in terrible snow you’ll learn something from it and probably have a good story to tell at dinner.

If you’re interested in talking about predicting snow conditions on your Thredbo holiday call Ian, Jill or Scott at the Lantern Thredbo Apartments. Or just book one of the Lantern Apartments, get yourself some great local brew, pull up a chair on the balcony with a full view of the mountain and work it out for yourself. After all, there are a million worse ways to pass the day.

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