Mount Buller Alpine Resort
|Mount Buller Ski Area|
|Nearest city||Benalla, Victoria|
|Vertical||400 metres (1,300 ft)|
|Top elevation||1,780 metres (5,840 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,375 metres (4,511 ft)|
|Skiable area||300 hectares (740 acres)|
|Longest run||2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi)|
|Lift system||Detachable Chair x3, Fixed-Grip Chair x10, T-Bar x5, Rope Tow x2, Magic Carpet x2|
|Lift capacity||40,000 skiers/hr|
|Night skiing||Saturday and Sunday (July and August)|
Mount Buller Ski Resort
The ski area around the town has a network of 22 lifts, capable of moving more than 40,000 people per hour - the highest capacity in Victoria. The highest lifted point is 1780 m at Grimus Chairlift and the base altitude is 1375 m at the Chalet Creek loading station on the Northside Express (formerly Horse Hill) chairlift / gondola. The lifts are owned by Groset, a part of the Grollo group of companies.
A Mount Buller Post Office opened on 17 February 1958.
Before 1984 Mount Buller was serviced by two lift companies that involved the skier needing to purchase two lift tickets to ski the whole mountain. In 1985, the two lift companies merged, allowing skiers to ski the whole mountain with one ticket. Today, Mount Buller is serviced by 22 lifts covering a wide range of terrain. In 1993, with an increasing number of visitors, the ski resort built a new quad chairlift called Wombat Lift on the skiers right of Little Buller spur to relieve the traffic on Federation triple chairlift. 2005 saw the addition of the Emirates quad chairlift to the lift network. A new six-seater chairlift was installed over the 2007/08 summer and is operational for 2008. This addition saw the decommissioning of one of the oldest chairs of the mountain — the Abom (previously known as Helicopter), along with Blue Bullet 2. In 2012 a new quad chairlift was built in the area of the old Burnt Hut T-Bar. A new carpet was also built. A list of all lifts that have operated at Mount Buller is at the Australian ski lift directory.
There are around 80 kilometres (50 mi) of groomed trails spread over more than 300 hectares of terrain. 25% is beginner terrain, 45% intermediate and 30% advanced. There are also 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) of cross-country trails accessible from the village. These trails also connect Mount Buller with Mount Stirling. Australia's first resort-wide wireless internet service is available in the village, operated by Whispar.
22 Lifts at Mount Buller include Blue Bullet Express, Boggy Creek, Bonza, Bourke Street Carpet, Bull Run, Canyon Tows, Cattleman's Carpets, Federation, Gliders Carpet, Grimus, Happy Feet Carpet, Holden Express, Howqua, Koflers, Lydia Lassila Chairlift, Northside Express (formerly Horse Hill), Fox-Chairlift, Skyline, South Side, Summit, Tirol, Wombat.
Mount Buller usually hosts two International Ski Federation Aerial Skiing World Cup events every year in September. However, these events were cancelled in 2007 due to lack of sponsorship. Every year Mount Buller also hosts the Victorian Snowsports Championships, which has with over 3000 competitors.
The Mount Buller summit and faces are also popular with ice climbers especially in winter.
Snowmaking began on Mount Buller in the 1970s with a pilot system on Enzian Ski Run, which was later moved to Bourke Street. The main snowmaking infrastructure was installed in 1994 at the Snowflake Factory on the top of Baldy. This included the water storage reservoir, air compressors, pump station and distribution pipelines for water and compressed air. The snowmaking system infrastructure and distribution pipelines were designed and built to accommodate future increases in capacity as coverage areas are increased.
The Mount Buller snowmaking systems use a combination system of fan and air/water guns. The system is based around a central high level water storage reservoir, pump station and central air compressor station. Large distribution pipelines deliver the water and compressed air to the various ski runs. Water and compressed air delivery hydrants are located down the edge of the runs where the snow guns are coupled using flexible snowmaking hoses. The system currently has 223 snow gun connection hydrants around the mountain, of these, 81 are connected to snowmaking guns - 57 fan guns and 58 air/water guns.
The total area of snowmaking for skiing is in excess of 74 hectares (180 acres). The coverage of snowmaking at Mount Buller includes:
Ownership and operation
A single board administers both the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Alpine Resorts and fulfils the functions of a council in Victoria. The Mount Stirling Alpine Resort is surrounded by, but not a part of, the Shire of Mansfield for the management of the alpine resort. Separate management for alpine resorts in Victoria has been provided for since the Forests Act 1958, and regulations for the administration of Mount Buller were first made in 1960. Since 1997 alpine resorts declared under the Alpine Resort Act 1983 have been excised from the surrounding municipal district.
Members of the board
The Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board was reconstituted on 28 October 2011 and consists of the following members:
- Jennifer Hutchison (Chairperson)
- Dean Belle (Deputy Chairperson)
- Kathryn Brooks
- Bryce Moore
- W. Richard Brooks
- Lea Corbett
- Michael Harding