Snowboarding in Thredbo | A 2019 snow adventure

first snowboard run of 2019 while camping in thredbo

The beginning of the season packed a punch, delivering a whopping 80cm dump for opening weekend. We knew we were in for a great season… Or not! Unfortunately the conditions didn’t continue. After 3 short weeks, the snow had reduced to a natural depth of 30cm and almost brought the mountain to a halt. Good old Australia! It appeared we may not be snowboarding in Thredbo this year.

Missing what was almost a record breaking opening due to Dylan’s broken thumb, we were left itching to get down there. However, these conditions had us umming and ahhing about whether to go. No snow on the forecast and freezing temperatures really made us ask the question, is it going to be worth it?

In the end, we decided why not! If anything, it would be a good test for little old Percy in sub 0 conditions. We packed our gear at 6:30am, threw it in the van and took off.

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After driving past Eling Forest Winery for the 15th time in 12 months and always wondering what it would be like, we finally decided to make a pit stop. We know what you’re thinking… it’s mid-morning, are you two alcoholics? We can assure you our intentions were pure and this was our first mandatory coffee break.

enjoying a coffee at Eling Forest Winery on our first trip camping in thredbo

With the coffee being delicious, our needs were fulfilled and it was time to leave… Yeah right, the clock struck 10:30am, let the tastings begin!

The wine was outstanding, especially the Pinot Gris and surprisingly for us, the Sav Blanc which we aren’t usually fans of. This one however was packed full of crisp apple and had a stronger flavour than usual. Cool climate, lighter reds are also found here, with the Pinot Noir topping our list. Earthy flavours and a hint of strawberries secured that position. And kudos to our host, she was super friendly and very knowledgeable, making our experience even better.

Eling forest Winery wine tasteing room

Now that we were actually satisfied, we hit the road again.

We arrived at Diggings Campground around 3:30pm and were met with an unexpected but very welcome surprise. That’s right, it was SNOW! After getting bummed about the forecasts and almost cancelling our journey, this was more than enough to cheer us up.

In our perky mood, we took the chance to explore the site. Soaking in the magnificent mountain views down by the Thredbo River, we almost forgot it was -3 degrees. While we have camped at Thredbo several times throughout the summer, there really is something majestic about this place in winter. Whether it be the sparkling ice crystals formed across the water or the brisk winter air in our lungs, it is something everyone should experience for themselves.

thredbo river coated in snow shot from diggings campground while camping in thredbo

With night time approaching and even colder temperatures, it was time to cut some wood and snuggle up around the fire with a glass of red.

sitting around the fire camping in thredbo at diggings campground

We survived! Our first night camping in -7 degrees went better than expected. Little Old Percy was able to keep us warm – with a little help from 3 blankets – and to our surprise, nothing froze. It was on to our usual morning ritual… except for the fact it was still -7 degrees. Not long before frostbitten fingers began to set in. So a quick breakfast and coffee, then off to the slopes for our first day snowboarding in Thredbo.

camping in thredbo at diggings campground, sitting in van ready to hit the slopes

Did we mention it was still snowing? Don’t ever listen to the weather man!

Our hopes were still low for the snow conditions, but Thredbo came through with the goods. Nowadays snowmaking capacity and the light dusting overnight provided a better than expected covering, even if only 4 chairs on the eastern side of the resort were operating.

Having spent almost a year away from the snow and Dylan currently recovering from thumb surgery, we planned to take it easy for the first day. Well at least one of us did, as for Candace it was business as usual. Shredding the groomed runs and popping off every natural kicker in her path!

snowboarder jumping from a natural kicker on highnoon while camping in thredbo

After a hard day at the office, we decided it was time to reward ourselves with a much needed refreshment at Merritt’s Mountain House. What better way to do this than with a “local” Kosciusko Pale Ale?

having beers at Merits Mountain house while camping at thredbo

With our first experience of the 2019 season under our belt – suffering no further injuries, we might add – it was time to head back to Diggings Campsite. The decision to take it easy for the day left Dylan on the losing end of a bet, “whoever is the slower of the two has to jump in a frozen lake”. And no, this wasn’t a joke.

jumping into the frozen river while camping in thredbo at diggings campground

We all know hindsight is a bitch. What a dumb bet “if I lose I jump in the lake and if I win, Candace chickens out”. Dylan was left freezing cold and cut to pieces, so please ladies and gentlemen, don’t try this at home! At least his integrity was still intact. This did give him a good excuse to give the Joolca Hottap Shower a real test though and passing with flying colours, he was revived in no time. Even Candace said the water was warm!

Now all the childish behaviour was out of the way, we settled in and prepared for another freezing night.

The snow had finally stopped at some point throughout the night and we awoke to a beautiful blue sky. It appeared our fresh natural snow had all but ended, but our luck with the weather had not run its course. Only a top of -2 on the forecast, what snow we had would last a little longer.

beautiful sunrise from the thredbo river at diggings campground while camping in thredbo

Now it was Dylan’s turn. After learning from his mistake on the previous day and against the doctor’s best advice, he decided it was time to have some fun. Sorry mum.

snowboarding down highnoon at thredbo, carving a berm while camping in thredbo

Although this didn’t mean Candace was just going to sit back and watch.

Candace grinding a box at the cruiser mountain terrain park while camping at thredbo

Surprisingly we finished another day of snowboarding in Thredbo with a very limited amount of falls and no injuries… Not like us at all.

Here’s where the entertainment starts, the 3rd and final night. It was supposed to be the warmest, Pigs Arse! While we managed to have a cosy night’s sleep, apparently nothing else did. Everything was frozen when we woke. Water bottles, water lines, water valves, windows, wet clothes, gloves, snowboard bag, even the nails holding up our roof! About the only things that didn’t freeze were in the fridge. WTF?!

frozen snowboard bag while camping in thredbo at diggings campground

We were very worried that little old Percy wouldn’t pull through, but we should have known better, we will never doubt him again. While Percy never had an issue, all we could do was sit in the front seats blasting the Air Con, waiting for the ice to melt.

Pro tip: Buy the winter diesel, it may have actually been the reason we got going!

trapped in the van in freezing temperatures while camping at thredbo

After thawing out, we finally made it to the mountain. There was limited time left on our holiday and we were getting sick of groomed runs, so we decided to spend the day a little differently. We caught the cruiser chair straight to the top and hiked as far up as we could in hopes of finding some fresh ‘powder’.

hiking behind the cruiser mountain searching for powder while camping at thredbo

Our hopes of powder was but a dream. Though luckily, the views were magnificent and our goal to find ‘fresh tracks’ was a success.

snowboarding fresh tracks through powder above the cruiser chair at thredbo

Time to head home, but first a mandatory and well deserved stop at Burger Biz, located in Jindabyne. Probably the best burgers we’ve had to date! And yes they do provide a Play Station 1! But you have to be quick!

What a great weekend with a new experience, camping at the snow! We are so glad we decided to go, let that be a lesson to you kids – Always say YES! Let us know your funny snow stories in the comments below.