Powderhounds

Powderhounds

Myoko Kogen Powder Packages
Greg and Lyndell from Powderhounds.com are fortunate enough to travel to many exciting ski destinations around the world, and they call Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain home for at least a few months of the year.

Powderhounds.com was conceived through a hefty appetite for powder skiing, finding new powder stashes, and sharing our passion with others (well really it was just an excuse to make people look at photos of our ski trips!). The inception of the website occurred in 2008 on a pizza box single chair lift in Tomamu Japan. The powder was waist deep and we had to share the powder with only a handful of others. Yelling to each other between the single chairs, we decided that we needed to start a website to share our powder destination insights and we came up with the name for the website; all in one chair lift ride (it was a pretty slow chair).

The Powderhounds website has lots of information and reviews for over 200 ski resorts, as well as heli skiing, snowcat skiing, and ski and snowboard tours. In order to obtain content for the website, lots of travel has been essential so that we could experience it all first-hand. Sure, we have to spend a lot of time sitting in front of computers, but we travel overseas for about 3 months of the year and we’ve been to lots of interesting and adventurous places, and skied some ridiculously deep powder. We’d previously done our penance in corporate office jobs, and now we know that we have one of the best jobs in the world.

Many of our bucket list ski destinations have been ticked off in the past decade, but instead of shrinking, the bucket list just continues to grow. There are way too many places still to explore and plenty of spots that are worth a revisit, and not enough time or knee cartilage left.

In terms of our favourite ski locations around the world, Japan is definitely up there as a top pick. Central Hokkaido and Tohoku have been highlights but skiing anywhere in Japan has been amazing considering the combination of the deep light powder, the onsen (hot springs), and other cultural experiences such as the interesting (and sometimes wacky) food items, and the lovely people. Some of our deepest powder days have been in Japan; the type where having your pit zips done up is essential. I fondly remember a couple of days in Hakkoda where 2 metres of snow had fallen, and the face shots were coming thick and fast. I had powder fever for about a week afterwards!

South America has also provided us with some really memorable experiences. Skiing on an incredibly active volcano at Caviahue in Argentina was smokin’. We just had to get used to the volcano regularly announcing its presence - it sounded like a jet plane taking off! Or backcountry sled skiing at Mallin Alto in Patagonia was unique, where we stayed in a refugio glamping tent on top of the mountain that came complete with a wood fired hot tub.

Skiing on the Tasman Glacier near Mt Cook New Zealand has also been a major highlight. A tiny Pilatus plane transported us to and from the glacier and the scenic flights were phenomenal. Once down on the glacier we got a fantastic appreciation of the enormity of the mountains around Mt Cook and got to see the seracs and ice caves up close. The skiing wasn’t anything particularly exciting, yet the gob smacking scenery was the main event and we got very snap happy with our cameras that day.

Snowcat skiing in British Columbia Canada has also afforded us with many purrrfect powder skiing days. And it goes without saying that heli skiing is the pinnacle for a powder hound, and we’ve been fortunate enough to go heli skiing in various destinations in New Zealand, Canada, Japan & the United States. Recently we were supposed to go heli skiing in Alaska (which was definitely a bucket list item) but we didn’t get off the ground for a week due to high winds that buffeted the mountains. We recovered from our disappointment, and instead of hunting powder we went out moose hunting (with a camera), explored a stunning glacial lake, and pretended that we knew how to ice climb. Lots of great experiences!

And then there was skiing in Antarctica! Saying that it was a “trip of a lifetime” is so cliché, but getting the opportunity to explore just a small part of the massive white continent was phenomenal. Gawking at the pristine landscapes whilst out skiing, admiring the many penguins that adorned the shores, and wildlife spotting in the zodiacs were experiences that we won’t forget any time soon. It was definitely the best trip we’ve ever been on.

With all the ski travel we’ve done, people often wonder why we would bother to go skiing in Australia, or why we live at Dinner Plain for most of the winter season. You’d think we’d get enough of hanging out in the snow, but there’s something special about Hotham and Dinner Plain that holds us.

Greg started skiing at Hotham many many years ago (before the days of the Heavenly Valley chair lift) and founded a member lodge in Dinner Plain back in 1989. He’s by no means got the Hotham history that old timers like Zirky have, but he’s still seen a lot of evolution. I waited until the post spiral perm era in the mid 90s before I started skiing at Hotham, and we’ve both hung out at Hotham and DP a lot since. It’s special enough that we chose to get married in Dinner Plain and more recently acquired a little house (it’s called Powderhounds Lodge!).

We keep coming back to Hotham year after year due to the great variety of terrain inside and outside of the resort, and to hang out with life-long ski friends (and sometimes a few snowboarder friends too!). Typically we head out skiing on the best mornings and other days we just work from home or the coffice at Mountain Kitchen, take the dogs out for a walk or a cross-country ski, and partake in our fair share of après-ski socialising.

One year we were scheduled to head to Argentina for a few weeks in August but we’d become very settled and didn’t want to leave Hotham and DP. We mentioned this to a few friends who thought we were absolutely crazy (understandably!). Of course we had a great time once we got to Argentina, but it was nice to return home to Dinner Plain and Hotham.

So where’s our favourite skiing at Hotham? This question is a hard one to nail because there are many facets to skiing at Mt Hotham. In more recent years we’ve been exploring the sidecountry around Mt Hotham and we’re happy to earn some turns in exchange for fresh powder or spring corn. It’s amazing that just outside the resort boundaries there are so many great lines, and if it wasn’t for the tell-tale snow gums, you wouldn’t realise the slopes were in Australia.

In-bounds, Gotcha Face and The Chute are favoured runs, and One Tree Hill is also a major favourite, particularly if we can score first tracks for the season, or if not, first tracks on a powder day. We also spend a lot of time lapping Heavenly Valley because the steep groomers are great and the socialising on the chair lift with old or new friends is a major drawcard of Hotham. Undoubtedly we’ll see you on the HV chair at some stage!