The Best of Winter 2010 – Top 5 Australian Snowfalls

September 29th, 2010

John Lipzsker at Perisher ResortJohnny Lipzker creating his own snowstorm in Perisher on 22 August. Image:: Harro

Words | Tess Cook

In a season of contradictions we muddled through an almost dry July with record setting snowmaking and plunged nose first into the face shots of August.

Every Australian skier and snowboarder will remember where they were for the drought-breaking snowfalls that heralded the beginning of August – especially if they weren’t able to partake of the first powder of the year – and for those who rode any of the many days claimed as ‘day of the season’ the grins are still lingering.

2010 showed Australia still has it. August claimed the highest monthly snowfall total for 18 years, over 2m in 31 days, and July provided the conditions for a snowmaking effort so epic the average blue-run enthusiast would hardly have known that beyond the snow guns thing were bare. Our state of the art snowmaking systems are proving to be well worth the investment as they carry the industry successfully into the new decade.


Snow guns firing at Hotham. Image:: Jyothi Jaffray

Quantifying the best five snowfalls of the season isn’t easy, while measurements are the fundamental guide, establishing where one fall begins and ends and looking across all the resorts with their sometimes very different snow levels complicates things. However, here are the standouts as we recorded them, reminisce, and keep that grin lingering a little longer.

June 18

Just days after the season opened – with the best snow cover seen in many years – the June 18 snowfalls made us all certain 2010 would be a cracking season. Around 20cm, give or take, was recorded across the resorts on this and the surrounding days.

steve lee 23 jun

Steve Lee enjoying the early season groomers in Falls, courtesy of June snow. Image:: Chris Hocking
See the full snow journal here

July 14 – 15

It was the 24cm in 24 hours snowfall. 24cm in Hotham, 35cm in Perisher, 30cm in Thredbo and plenty in the other resorts as well. A month befit of snow had jaded the enthusiasts and claims this would be the season had quietened but this looked to be the start of something good and, coming on the end of the school holidays, the snow gave everyone the inclination to get amongst it. The snow was good, but the lift queues were abysmal.


Falls Creek recorded 33cm in 24 hours. Image:: Chris Hocking
See the full snow journal here

15 july thredb kneller

Scott Kneller was quick to score some tree pow when the snow fell in Thredbo on 15 July. Image:: Ben Hansen
See the full snow journal here

15 July Hotham - Mexi

Snowboarder ‘Mexi’ powder hunting in Hotham on 15 July. Image:: Jyothi Jaffray
See the full snow journal here

August 1 – 2

Goodbye Dry July, hello Awesome August. As the month rolled over the snow rolled in, and in. The first 24 hours of the month saw over 50cm deposited across NSW and Victoria. By 4 August Thredbo was calling it a 1.2m storm and the other resorts had impressive totals as well. And this wasn’t just snow, it was the kind of yielding powder one flies 10 000km for. Everyone who rode it will remember it and those stuck elsewhere watching history unfold on snow cams will feel the sting of disappointment for a long time.

You need to have the Adobe Flash Player to view this content.
Please click here to continue.

GoPro HD Hero cameras were used to make this video.

Sam PerryFallsCreek2ndAugustbyMattHull(2)
Sam Perry enjoys powder turns August 2nd at Falls Creek after the resort has received a mega snowfall of over 50cm in the last two days (37cm in the last 24hrs). In what has been a ski season dependant on great snowmaking mother nature is now having her say delivering the biggest snowfall of the season to date. Further snowfalls are expected Wednesday and Thursday.

Within 24 hours Falls Creek had become ski-in ski-out again. Image:: Matt Hull
See the full snow journal here

Andrew hotham 2 Aug

Hotham rider Andrew staking his claim. Image:: Jyothi Jaffray
See the full snow journal here

hotham 2 aug

Digging the cars out at Hotham. Image:: Jyothi Jaffray
See the full snow journal here

August 11 – 12

As the snow from the month’s first snowfalls packed down to a solid base the second dumping came through, dropping an average of 20cm across the resorts, the following days were also spattered with snow, interspersed with bluebird mornings that made for perfect conditions to enjoy the perpetually topped up pow.


With the extra snow came unfettered backcountry access for Steve Lee’s Backcountry tours at Falls. Image:: Chris Hocking
See the full snow journal here


Jordan Houghton got amongst it in Thredbo on 12 August. Image:: Ben Hansen
See the full snow journal here

hiking mt stirling 12 aug

Joey Corcoran, Watkin McLennan and Nat Segal hiked up Mt Stirling to make the most of the freshies. Image:: Joey Corcoran
See the full snow journal here

August 20 – 21

Even those who’d skied every day of the season called 21 August the standout. Double digit snowfalls everywhere and a deep cover down low meant all the best terrain was in peak condition from top to bottom and everyone could revel in freshies all the way to the valley floor. August had proven itself.

Harro Johnny 22 augAfter the 48 hour snow onslaught Sunday 22 August dawned sunny and Johnny Lipsker was quick to get out there. Image:: Harro
See the full snow journal here

Boothy 23 augChris Booth was in Thredbo for the Rip Curl Pro and managed to score the sunshine after the storm on the 22nd. Image:; Dominic Kieler
See the full snow journal here

August 25 – 26

With barely time to draw breath Mother Nature was at it again, sending the month off as she’d brought it in, with a half metre snowfall that pushed the monthly total over 2m, the highest for 18 years. “Powder day of the year, if not the decade” wrote Bill Barker in the Hotham snow report. Once again the quality of the snow made us all wonder if Mother Nature had perhaps lost her way en route to Japan or Utah as we dived in for that all too elusive Australian face shot.

russ-henshaw under the cat track 26 AugRuss Henshaw under the Cat Track in Thredbo – first port of call for serious freshies. Image:; Ben Hansen
see the full snow journal

The sun shone in Buller on 28 August and the freshies were there for the taking. Image:: Joey Corcoran
See the full snow journal here

Hotham 26 AugHotham virtually disappeared overnight, on 26 August the village was buried under snow. Image:: Hotham
Read about the Amazing August 2m here

So there is is, season 2010 in snow storms. There were other snowfalls of course, the pre-season snowflakes that had Opening Weekend look so good, the little top-ups that carried September and every second day in August, but these were the standouts.

How do you remember the storms of 2010? Tell us about it in our comments section below!


Perisher forecasts,
snow reports and
live snow cams.

Falls Creek forecasts,
snow reports and
live snow cams.

Mount Buller forecasts,
snow reports and
live snow cams.

Hotham forecasts,
snow reports and
live snow cams.

Thredbo forecasts,
snow reports and
live snow cams.