Ben Lomond ready as snow approaches

The snow fall at Ben Lomond in the past two seasons has been the best since 2004.
The snow fall at Ben Lomond in the past two seasons has been the best since 2004.

There is a cool air of uncertainty on the summit of Ben Lomond.

Grass rejuvenates on the slopes in the summer months before it is again covered in annual snow.

Inside the Snowsports shop on top of the mountain manager, Geoff Foot, can not forecast when this season’s snow will begin to fall.

“It's difficult to ever predict what Ben Lomond's doing,” he said.

“I've been watching it for forty years and it’s always hard to put a date on it.” 

Mr Foot expects the snow guns to start dressing the dry slopes with white powder from mid-June.

“We can make snow and that's good for the beginner market,” he said.

Remedial work was done at the summit in the warmer months and Mr Foot has been buoyed by the success of the past few falls. 

”The last two years have been the best seasons we've had since 2004 for snowfall,” he said.

Because the mountain is about 50 kilometres from the coast it is regularly affected by the ocean’s warmer weather. 

This creates a “very short” snow season.

Mr Foot said the Parks and Wildlife Service had spent money upgrading the road into the park. 

New snow fences have also been built, slope work undertaken and a new deck installed on the snowsports building.

The experienced operator has seen the number of people coming to the mountain increase in recent years.

He speaks fondly of the snow’s popularity when it was heavily promoted in the 1980s and ‘90s.

“That was probably the heyday of skiing on Ben Lomond,” he said.

Back then it was popular with locals but Mr Foot said it was now tourism boosting the coffers.

“We've noticed a phenomenal increase in tourists, particularly from the Asian countries,” he said.

"It’s a fantastic boom for our business.”

As the cold approaches, Mr Foot is geared-up for the season.

“We're ready and waiting for bad weather,” he said.