19 May 2023

There'll be snow shortage of fresh hits on packed Perisher and Thredbo ski calendars

| Gail Eastaway
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Skitube carriages repainted

Skitube carriages have been given a colourful facelift for the 2023 ski season. Photo: Perisher.

Perisher’s historic Skitube alpine railway train has been given a new lease of life thanks to multi-disciplined artist Mike Shankster’s large-scale mural covering of four train carriages, created with help from Ukrainian artist Arina Apostolova.

“Perisher holds a special place in my heart,” said Mike, whose parents once owned Perisher Valley’s Willow Lodge.

“Spending time here brings back a lot of memories from my childhood skiing between Perisher and Smiggins with my brother and sister. The smell of the bush and a calm environment is something I’m always eager to get back to.”

The pair spent two weeks covering the carriages with nature-inspired abstract art depicting blurred landscapes, such as gum leaves, to mimic the view from a train’s carriage as you’re travelling through the Kosciuszko National Park on the way to Perisher Ski Resort.

“My latest artwork revolves around the mountains’ contrasting nature, with its harsh and unforgiving winters and fresh summers,” Mike said.

He has produced many large-scale public art pieces, such as at Queanbeyan’s Moore Park Skate Bowl, which he also worked on with Arina.

His artwork is inspired by an early love of comic books and cartoons, as well as later influences such as action sports, urban and rural landscapes, people and wildlife, concrete and culture. He aims to use bold imagery to capture the magic of the world around him.

The Skitube alpine railway is a Swiss-designed rack-rail system that opened in August 1988 and was introduced to improve entry to the Perisher Range ski fields, which can be affected by snow and ice during winter.

It remains an easy and safe way to access the resort.

It travels through a tunnel in the Ramshead Range to Perisher Resort, stopping in the underground station at Perisher Valley. It then heads to Blue Cow via another tunnel through the Perisher Range. The tunnel is Australia’s longest transport tunnel at 6.3 kilometres, and its deepest point is 550 metres below the surface.

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Since its start of operations, Skitube has carried more than four million passengers. The freshly painted carriages will be officially unveiled to the public on the opening weekend of the 2023 snow season, on 10 June.

An enhanced bus service from Jindabyne to the Bullock’s Flat Skitube terminal or Perisher Ski Resort has also been announced, with more parking options at The Station.

Perisher Ski Resort is Australia’s largest, with four resort areas, 47 lifts and reliable natural snow coverage due to site elevation, coupled with extensive snowmaking capabilities.

woman and kids on snow

Kids and grown-ups alike will have plenty to keep them entertained at Thredbo in the new ski season. Photo: Thredbo Media.

The 2023 ski season sees the return of full children’s lessons, a substantial upgrade of the snowmaking system at Smiggin Holes with new pipe, automation and five new guns ready to service this signature beginner and family ski area, a reboot of events, and an extensive live entertainment program, all boosted by a new sound system, will add to the apres-ski fun.

The Peak Music Festival makes a return for opening weekend, with the Neon Night Ski and Board Events on Tuesdays and Saturdays, as well as Ski and Snowboard Demo Days.

Thredbo Resort will take the on-snow action to the next level this winter, launching a packed calendar of skiing and snowboarding events featuring new competitions.

Several exciting new events are on the calendar this season, including the Thredbo Triple Crown series presented by Boost Mobile, The Battle on The Bluff presented by Flip Insurance, and Project Shred powered by The Chumpy Pullin Foundation.

Project Shred is a progressive day of skiing, snowboarding and workshopping, helping to develop the next generation of superstar shredders and raise awareness around the foundation.

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In a fun day out in Thredbo’s child-friendly terrain park, kids can learn tricks and tips from some of Australia’s best skiers and snowboarders, followed by a workshop with top-tier athletes about becoming a pro and succeeding at the highest level, all while enjoying the ride.

In addition to the new events, this winter will also see the return of crowd favourites including the snowboarder’s day of days, the 9th Annual Transfer Banked Slalom and the Monster Energy Bush Doof hosted by Tess Coady, as well as a wide range of community and school race events.

Thredbo Events & Partnerships manager Damian Goninan said he was excited for skiers and snowboarders to experience these new events.

“We work really hard to keep our events calendar fresh and exciting each season,” he said.

“This year, we’ve really reimagined what our skiing and snowboarding competitions will look like and we can’t wait to see them come to life this winter.”

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