Back Country Awareness Please read the following articles bfore considering going back country and research widely. Do not use information provided here as textbook accuracy as anyone can edit it. Double check anything found here and consult with experts before heading beyond the resort boundaries. People die in the back country every year, don't add your name to the list.
- Backcountry Run Rating - generally variable, dependning on the weather
- RATING: Approach Steepness
Access and Trip
Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair national park sits in the centre west of the state and is world famous for its walking. Given the vagaries of snow in Tasmania and hard access in getting to most good skiable areas, it is not about to become a major skiing destination any time soon. But it does have some incredible mountain country and you can access the park from north, south and east.
The various (and most obvious) ski areas are listed from north to south.
Cradle Mountain offers some of the most accessible and impressive skiing in Tassie. The hike in from Dove Lake is only about 4 hours (best option is over the Marion plateau, which can have great snow cover in many years, and then on straight up the rocky face of the mountain).
When you are there its all fairly obvious – especially the many steep gullies and chutes on the northward facing side of the mountain - these are visible from the Lake Dove car park and offer some exciting skiing. The south side (which collects more snow) is steeper and a bit more serious, especially near the summit. It’s really worth scoping these out before dropping off into some gullies as they can end in cliffs. There is a less intense bowl out towards Mount Campbell that has some excellent runs.
For extended skiing trips, Waterfall Valley hut makes a great base, even though it is at least an hours walk back up to the mountain each day.
If the conditions are good, a trip up Barn Bluff is highly recommended. It can be quite icy, so take care on ascent. The south facing slopes above Lake Wills have less cliffs but there is still a lot of rock so skiing on the upper parts of the mountain requires good control and lots of sharp turns.
The overland track
On rare occasions you can ski all the way through the park. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare week when its been dumping, then go for it. Highlights are Mount Ossa’s gullies, the passes, and the moors between Lake Windemere and Barn Bluff. Pelion West is a big bulky mountain that obviously has some good lines on it when its in good nick, but honestly, the whole place is incredible at all times and when there’s lots of snow, you’re just in heaven: you really can’t go wrong. Many people tend to take snow shoes rather than skis as they are easier to carry on the hard slog walking sections.