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Perisher: Living It Up Down Under

Tignes Spirit riders Rich Jonas and Katie Blundell have just landed back in blighty after a shredtastic winter down under in Perisher, Australia. Get the insiders' lowdown right here and get your stoke on for an awesome winter in Tignes!!

Words: Rich Jonas
Video Editing: Rich Jonas
Riders: Rich Jonas and Katie Blundell

'Perisher' or 'Perisher Blue' is Australia's biggest resort and is situated in New South Wales. Considering most resorts in Oz are pretty small, Perisher dwarfs most of them comparing to a small European mountain. The altitude is higher too, with the bottom being 1700m and the top just over 2000m, meaning better snowfalls, compared to the other resorts in Victoria.

Due to the bigger area, free-riding is better here with a small bit of alpine and plenty of gum tree runs to thrash through!  There's also a heap of exposed rocks up here for you to fly off, with loads of transitions and landings for those powder days. 


The main reason we were there however, was for the park! Perisher boasts four parks of varying levels, starting with the 'piper park' for beginners at Smiggins Holes. Here you'll find small boxes and rollers to start to get your jib on. Next up is the 'blue cow park' which is an intermediate park with 30ft jumps and a few boxes and rails. The only downside of this park, apart from being pretty small, is that the lift is long and sloooow!! Then we have Perisher's two main parks; 'leichart', which is more of a rail park, and 'front valley', which is the main big park. Leichart is serviced by its own t-bar over in the gum trees just over from front valley. This smaller park has three street style rails, a variety of boxes and a rhythm section of bmx style jumps at about 20ft. Awesome for those 'not too serious' days where you can go hide in the trees and perfect ur tricks!


Front Valley is where the main park is located and s called the 'Perisher Playstation Park'. This is where the main jump line sits, right on the front valley for all to see, and next to the first lift that you get on. It's fed by an eight-man chairlift and two t-bars, one for the park and one for the pipe. The jump line takes the entire run on front valley, starting out with a 40ft kicker into a 35ft step up, then into a 50ft kicker into Australia's biggest public kicker - a 70ft beast sat at the bottom of the park. This line flows well, with the big booter sporting a massive landing for those wanting to go even bigger! Next to the jump line is the jib line, which changes throughout the season but normally features a donkey dick single barrel down bar, flat - down / down bar combo, down box or flat bar straight down bar, 2 flat boxes and then a choice of 45ft rollercoaster 's' box or  50ft double dipper double rainbow! Not bad at all! I got burns in my base from the double dipper because of the friction generated by the time you reach the end!


Also on front valley you have Australia's only pipe where Torah Bright honed her skills. They call it a superpipe which I think is 21ft but when you ride it you kind of realise it's probably more like 16ft and pretty mellow.  You've gotta get there early though because Oz;'s strong sunshine turns it to mush pretty quick!! Good fun though and its got a t-bar just next to it so you don't have to hike. Perisher has a park from day one of the season too!!
We had a pretty rad season down here. Oz always pulls out some sunny weeks so you can really knuckle down and learn some stuff.  That, with friendly locals and warm weather, you cant go wrong! The snow here isn't as good as NZ (my Oz friends will kill me for saying that) but you don't have the crap of driving one hour to the hill everyday. In Oz you can live/work on the hill or, if you wanna live off the hill, the nearest town Jindabyne is only 30 minutes away.
Now we have Tahoe to look forward to again! Woop!!!


... and here's what we've learned so far...

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