|Backcountry Skiing Tasmania
|Tasmania has the reputation of being flat, small and having no snow. This reputation may be well deserved when it comes to Ben Lomond, but when it comes to getting out into the backcountry it is far from the truth.
Cradle Mountain and other mountains the the Cradle Mountain National park have some of the steepest and most exposed skiing in australia. This is largely due to the geology of the area where the mountians are made up of vertical dolerite columns, these then fall of creating steep chutes and steep scree faces on the higher peaks. Although the snow can be inconsistant, the southern facing slopes in the in the park has very consistant snow cover and therefore skiing can be had right up until late in the year.
Cradle mountain offers some of the easiest accessable steep skiing in Tassie, the walk up the mountain is relatively easy and it is only a 4 hour walk to the summit, with good snow caving areas around the mountain aswell.
There are several good areas to ski when the snow is good, The chutes that are visable from the lake dove carpark offer some exciting skiing without the exposure, there are plenty of chutes to choose from in the area and there is chutes for varied abilities, ranging from 3m wide to 20m wide.
The main area of the mountain is to be found over the back, the area looks small from the summit but once down over the first ridge it becomes apparent that the area is very large. The backbowl is made up of three open faces, and two chutes that head down towards lake Rodway at the back of the mountain. (see Pic 1)
The two chutes are about 700m long with an angle of between 35 and 45 degrees, The walk out of each takes around 45 minutes. A snow cave is easily built at the top of the runs just near the main summit track.