Five of us drove up to Mansfield on Friday night, and stayed in this bungalow on a farm, full of beds, about half an hour drive from Mt Buller.
Each morning, we piled into my Subaru at 8am, which I was rather surprised could actually manage to fit five adults plus all their skis, boots, clothes, etc into it, and I drove us to the mountain. In the evening I drove us back while everyone else napped..
Buller itself claimed to have 75cm average snow depth, but this seemed to be a blatant lie.. The bottom parts of the mountain had about 0 to 5 cm of cover, which surely means the top half would need 150cm to average out at 75cm.. However it was more like 20-30cm cover around there at best. *shrug* oh well, it was definitely skiable - you just often had to load onto the lifts halfway down, instead of all the way.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I don't seem to have forgotten how to ski, despite not having been on a mountain for about eight years. Also a pleasant surprise was discovering that the best snow seemed to be on a particular valley that only had black runs on it, thus ensuring that the lift at the bottom never had any queues on it.
I did have a bit of a stack on Sunday, and it was a good and proper one, where you spend five minutes walking up the mountain picking up your skies, poles and items of clothing. Unfortunately it seems my camera copped a battering in the process - see the photo below!
Luckily I was just carrying around a budget point-and-shoot that I have precisely for occasions where I don't want to risk the D700, so it's not a great loss. I am slightly disappointed that the screen broke though, but I guess it must have copped a ski binding or something to the back of it while I tumbled down the mountain.
I had contemplated taking the old Nikon FE up the mountain, as it's practically indestructable - however maybe it's for the best.. I suspect if I landed hard on it, I'd be more likely to break a rib than to break a camera!