Across each snowbound mountain destination on the Ikon Pass, there’s always more than meets the eye going on behind the scenes. Mountain wide – from before the sun rises until well after it sets – these activities and actions are rarely seen by guests. Yet, they are experienced day-in-and day out, constantly making the on-mountain experience something special and unique.
Beyond the snow, it takes motivated, passionate people to move mountains. These are the Ikon Pass employees who have demonstrated what it takes to keep things running, stepping up in hard times, and forever showing love for their mountain communities.
Nick R. – Mountain Operations Manager
In the vast landscape of snow sports, there are individuals whose dedication and love for the mountains transcend time. Nick R., the Mountain Operations Manager at Mt Buller Ski Lifts is one such person. As he embarks on his 40th winter season with the resort, his journey is a testament to a lifelong commitment and an enduring connection to the alpine world.
Nick’s story began years ago when Mt Buller was divided into two lift companies. He started as a lift operator with Orange Ski Lifts, slowly working his way up the ranks. In 1986, he became a Lift Supervisor, eventually transitioning into the role of Lift Operations Manager. About 14 years ago, Nick’s journey led him to assume the position of Mountain Manager, overseeing the entire mountain’s operations.
Maintaining Mt Buller
For those unfamiliar with the intricate workings behind a mountain’s operation, Nick sheds light on the immense effort required to keep Mt Buller running smoothly. The Grollo family’s unwavering support and passion for the mountain and the Australian skiing industry has been instrumental in shaping Mt Buller’s success. However, the real work lies in the year-round dedication of Nick and the staff who meticulously maintain the lifts, manage vegetation, and ensure the functionality of snowmaking systems.
As the lifts start turning on day one, Mt Buller Ski Lifts transforms into a 24/7 operation, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. The commitment and passion of the entire team ensures that the mountain remains a cherished destination for snow enthusiasts. In Australia, the alpine footprint constitutes a mere 0.015% of the mainland, housing numerous endangered species. This rarity and the inherent beauty of Mt Buller make it a truly special place to work as well as enjoy. The ability to ski on every aspect of the mountain, from North to South, East to West, is a privilege that few other locations can offer. As a seasoned skier, Nick’s heart lies in the steep zones and natural half pipes of the West face, where he finds solace and excitement amount the Ancient Woolly Butt trees.
Join Nick as he vlogs a day in his life at Mt Buller
“I have crazy passion for snow and the alpine landscape. It is a very special place to work and relax with friends from all around the world.” – Nick
The Snow Industry’s Global Network
The interconnectedness of the snow industry and the global network it creates sets Nick’s job apart from many. Over his extensive career, he has had over 7000 coworkers and has traversed the globe from Mt Buller to Alaska, Japan to Europe, continually crossing paths with colleagues and friends he has worked with along the way. The camaraderie among the mountain crew and the shared love for winter creates a unique bond within the tight-knit community.
As he embarks on yet another season, Nick stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Mt Buller Ski Lifts. His unwavering dedication and love for the Alpine landscape has shaped his remarkable journey. As one of the pioneers of Mt Buller, Aural Forras, once remarked to Nick, “skiing is not a sport; it’s a disease,” – capturing the spirit that continues to drive Nick from one season to the next.
Mt Buller is now open for the season to both 22/23 and 23/24 Ikon Pass holders. Plan your trip to Mt Buller and experience the alpine environment that Nick calls home.