Rachael Oakes-Ash sees what’s new on Mt Hotham this season.  Best for: Extreme skiers and boarders

who like their snow steep.
Where is it: Hotham has its own airport; QantasLink has direct flights from Sydney. It’s a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne.
Total skiable area: 245 hectares.
Number of lifts: 13.
Number of runs: Mt Hotham has a vertical drop of 395m. The terrain is divided into 20 per cent beginner, 40 per cent intermediate and 40 per cent advanced.
Lift pass prices: Adult $106; child $53.
Why this resort has always rocked:
Hotham’s airport seriously reduces travel time, making it a resort of choice for those in a hurry. The Hotham village sits on top of the mountain, meaning the first run of the day is down to the chairlift. There’s enough steep terrain here to keep the most advanced skier grinning, the Big D beginner area is completely separate from the main resort and the nearby residential enclave of Dinner Plain serves up world-class restaurants and a Japanese-inspired spa.
What’s new?
* The famous General Store pub is going upmarket with its swanky two-bedroom Mountain Dreaming Apartments this winter. They feature flat-screen plasma televisions, fully equipped kitchens, open-plan dining and private balconies.
* Hotham resort launches its first iPhone application with interactive elements, snow reports, lift status, weather and webcams, event diary, village directory, emergency contacts, news, trail maps, packages and lift pass deals. Go to the website for details.
Event of the season: Hotham’s FIS ski cross, snowboard cross and Alpine Cup events are international competitions held in August, and are great to watch.
The details: www.mthotham.com.au;
(03) 5759 4444.
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