Oh snow! It’s predicted NSW’s snow season will become two months shorter by 2050

Activity on Australia's million-hectare alps are under threat due to climate change

Caitlyn Todoroski
Alice Ellis
Written by
Caitlyn Todoroski
Alice Ellis
ski resort
Photograph: Supplied | Destination NSW

Snow season in NSW is meant to have begun, but skiers and snowboarders don't look like hitting the slopes with major gusto this year – yet. Major tourism company Vail Resorts has reported a 22 per cent dip in ticket sales for their resorts, which include NSW's Perisher and two other ski fields in Victoria.

Of course, the cost-of-living crisis has had an impact, but volatile conditions are also to blame. When NSW's season opened last week, instead of powdery snow, the season's first skiers encountered something more like slushy grass. For this reason, Perisher and Thredbo (who has introduced fun activities not dependent on snow) only had a beginner’s conveyor belt running. Yet, despite the forecast of a warm winter, ski resorts are still hopeful of a strong season, saying low snowfall is typical of early June – after all, some of the best snow seasons in recent times have begun with slow snow starts.

The BOM doesn't release a long-range snow forecast, but they've told The Guardian that snow levels are highly variable – and that “just one weather event” can significantly shift snowfall.

RECOMMENDED: Here's our guide to doing the snow on the cheap

In terms of forecasting even further ahead, environmental activist group Protect Our Winters teamed up with the Australian National University to conduct research into Australia’s changing snowscapes. Australia’s ski industry is worth $3.3 billion and employs more than 26,000 people, but the Our Changing Snowscapes report shows that it could be majorly under threat. At the rate things are going, the annual snow season looks like being reduced by an average of 55 days by 2050. In the shorter term? We’re looking at a loss of around 17 days by mid 2030.

If governments take key steps to reduce fossil fuel emissions, these statistics could be majorly reduced, and the snow season could potentially even expand by 2080.

To support a shrinking industry while coping with your shrinking budget, we’ve compiled the best hacks for saving money at the snow. And to help you plan your trip, here's your ultimate guide to the snow.

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