Someone recently asked me what altitude Falls Creek sat at in comparison to other Australian ski resorts. I didn’t have the answer to hand but had a vague idea of the statistics, so did some googling.
As always, google gave me a warm welcome to the rabbit hole called research and then bid me goodbye for the next few hours of my life. We all know that information is not always accurate online, that some websites pick and choose their information to suit a need or a point of view. I have no idea what need, or viewpoint, was in contention regarding Falls Creeks elevation, but I came across 5 different statistics before getting irritated at the variations and beginning my research into the elevation of Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Thredbo and Perisher.
Apparently, Mt Buller also suffers from the same affliction as Falls Creek regarding varied data and it was making me a little cross as I was looking for a quick and easy answer rather than finding myself distracted from work for several hours on end due to a suitable answer not being readily accessible.
So, when in doubt, go to the source. That is what my thesis supervisor always used to tell me. Therefore, I picked up the phone and spoke with the always helpful and wonderfully friendly Katie at Resort Management. The conversation went something like this…
NF: Katie, what is the village elevation of Falls Creek?
Katie: Well Nyree, it depends where in the village you are…Slalom Plaza is at 1550 metres above sea level, but the village bowl is higher again. When you first enter Falls it is lower that the Plaza.
NF: Yeah, but I think the village starts at the Gully car park…because that’s where the first buildings are (plus it’s where Race Club is!). What do you think?
Katie: how about I get you the elevations for the Gully, the Bowl and the Plaza and then you can decide?
Only after ending the conversation with Katie did I think about Howman’s Gap. Is Howman’s Gap really the start of the Falls Creek Village? What about all the buildings down there? CAN. OF. WORMS!
My conversation with the very helpful lady at Mt Buller Resort Management followed similarly…
NF: Hello! Can you help me? What is the village elevation of Mt Buller?
MBRM: It depends where in the village you are…There is a sign just outside my office that says the Buller Village is at 1595 metres above sea level, but I’m not going outside to look at it as it’s bucketing down with rain right now. Generally, it is accepted that the village is at 1600m.
NF: Perfectly acceptable response. I wouldn’t be going outside in the rain if I were you either…but is that really the start of the village or is it where the first car park and buildings are at Horse Hill Car Park. What about this website that say’s the base elevation is 1,375 metres? What do you think?
MBRM: Who are you and why do you need to know this?
NF: I’m just interested, and I hate inconsistent data…but I might turn this into an article for Ken who publishes This Week in Falls Creek & Mt Beauty in winter.
MBRM: Fair enough. It is accepted that the village is at 1600m. Need help with anything else?
So, after all that, what are the village and highest point elevations of our five biggest alpine resorts? Thredbo takes out the prize for both the highest elevation of 2037, and the lowest village at 1365 metres above sea level.
Interestingly, I found out from all my googling that the Alpine village of Zermatt in Switzerland is almost at the same elevation as Falls Creek at 1600m… it’s just a hell of a lot colder there in winter.
Have a great week and see you up on the slopes!
First published in This Week in Falls Creek & Mt Beauty 10 June 2022