Mount Hotham is known for its “upside down” skiing. By “upside down” it’s understood that the village is located on top of the mountain and skiers start skiing from the top to get to the lifts for more skiing.
Although a few lifts are present above the road, most slopes are downwards while the village is on top of the mountain.
Near the top of the hill, adjacent to the town, the skiing area is flat and hence suitable for beginners. The slopes become challenging and steeper as one descends from the village.
Skiing for Beginners in Mount Hotham
Hotham is a popular ski resort in Victoria, which offers the best skiing for intermediate and advanced skiers but it does have something to offer to beginners. The beginners’ terrain is located in the northern part of the village.
The Summit chairlift provides access to the Summit Run where skiers can try the mellow slopes that are about 500 meters long. In the Southern end of the village, there is another perfect spot for beginners. The southern area includes the Easy Street and the QC slope located next to the Big D Express.
The presence of a magic carpet makes the hills more accessible. Beginners and first-timers won`t be able to tap the full potential of the ski terrain, as most areas are reserved for intermediate and advanced skiers.
Skiing for Intermediate Skiers
Being a haven for intermediate and advanced skiers, the resort makes skiers take a big leap from beginners to intermediate skiing.
The marked blue pistes are not so easy to early intermediate skiers, as some of the blue marked pistes would be categorised as black marked pistes.
Intermediate skiers can take the Orchard chairlift to get to the blue slopes with runs such as the Big Slope, the Bushwacker, Watershed, and Twirlgig 1 and 2. Rambo revenge is one of the most preferred runs, and this run is accessible by the T-Bar located near the Summit.
The Rambo’s revenge is a vast, long and consistent patch that isn’t crowded; the less crowd will give skiers plenty of space to ski to their heart's content.
For an advanced skiing experience, skiers can enjoy the challenging runs at the extreme zones of Gotcha Ridge, the Coles Bowl, Mary’s slide, and the Chute. Each of these runs offers the most challenging and steep runs.
Most of the runs in the black marked trails are off-pistes with the luxury of lift access. Many of these runs include the Swindlers creek, allowing the skiers to traverse back to the Heavenly Valley chairlift.
The traverse could be incredibly fast, and skiers can expect to take an unanticipated plunge when the weather conditions are extreme. At the end of the black marked trials, the trail suddenly flattens out. The flattened-out surface is not suitable for skiing, and unfortunately, skiers and snowboarders have to get off their skies and boards and cross this area near the Heavenly Chairlift on foot.
Luckily, getting onto the other side offers a completely new adventure. The area on the opposite side of the flattened-out surface includes challenging runs like the One Tree Hill, the Spargo’s, the Golden Point and the Two Micks.
However, sadly, if the weather conditions are not suitable, then these runs are closed.
For experienced skiers who are looking for extremely challenging runs and if they are willing to take the risk, then they must head to the Lindsay run.
The terrain, initially, is wide open and deceptive! It starts with wide-open pistes with easy skiing and seems like it has nothing challenging at all. Then things change, and the skiers are up for a roller coaster ride, once they hit the tree lines.
Just near the tree lines, the area suddenly becomes steep with several cliffs. Skiers must tread with caution in these double black diamond pistes, as the area is notoriously windy and a wrong lapse could be dangerous.
Cross Country Skiing
With many circuits in different lengths and over 35 kilometres of trails, the Hotham and Dinner Plains offer some of the best experience for cross-country skiing. The cross-country trails at Hotham have no trial fees.
Skiers can start skiing from the Wire Plain and explore the peaceful snow packed region, away from the hustle and crowds of the resort. The Hotham Dinner Plain Trial is a one-way 10 kilometres long trail and one of the most iconic trails in the region.
The second most popular trails are the Christmas Hill, Big Spur, and Wonderland areas. As skiers depart from the Skiers Crossing, some trials in this area are suited to various difficulty levels.
Experienced skiers can head to the Charles Trails and its steep slopes leading towards the Sunrise Lookout located on the peak.