Falls Creek, Vic, caters for all levels of ability on the snow.
Story By Terri Cowley
It’s the start of the 2015 ski season at Falls Creek, Vic, and the pressure is on maintenance and operations manager Ben Tori. With just two of the 14 ski lifts open on the mountain, you’d think he’d have an easy day. But if something goes wrong, the hordes of skiers already dotting the slopes will quickly run out of options. This is what Ben loves about his job. “Anything can happen. I guess I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie,” the blond-haired kite-surfer, 43, says. “If you don’t get the ski lift going, then this isn’t going to work,” he says, gesturing to the bustling resort around him. “During the season, you get up in the dark and go home in the dark. It’s similar to milking cows.”
Ben grew up on a dairy farm at Fish Creek in South Gippsland, Vic. His mother still lives on the farm and the trained mechanic visits when he can. “I ran the farm from 1995 to ’97 – I think they were two of the worst, wettest winters,” he says. “We were calving in mud up to our knees.” That experience convinced him to try another career and since then he’s travelled Australia, including stints in Darwin and Western Australia, and more locally at Mt Baw Baw and Mt Buffalo, before landing at Falls Creek in 2011.
It’s easy to see why he stayed. Falls Creek is located in Alpine National Park and surrounded by quaint high-country towns such as Mount Beauty, Bright and Omeo, where snow melt nourishes lush grasses for farming cattle.
This Story is from Issue #102
Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2015