For Australian gay and lesbian snow lovers, one annual event eclipses all others: the WhiteOUT! ski and board weekend, held over a few days each winter on Mt Buller.
As the country’s biggest gay and lesbian snow event, WhiteOUT! -” this year held from July 23-26 -” attracts queer snow bunnies from far and wide.
This year’s event is something of a milestone, as it’s the 10th anniversary of WhiteOUT! To celebrate, organisers have arranged for an extra special guest to join the festivities, Dolly Diamond. The finest UK export to Australia since convict days, Diamond will entertain skiers with her trademark one-liners and clever tunes during a show-stopping performance at Mt Buller’s Enzian Hotel on July 25 as part of WhiteOUT!’s 10-year dinner.
Settling down to a hot dinner and the warm wit of drag queen Diamond are all very well, but what about the skiing? Thankfully, there’s a heap of sporting activities on offer over the weekend.
The fun starts on the morning of July 23, as WhiteOUT! attendees meet at the Holden Chairlift on Mount Buller to set off for a full day of skiing and boarding. Those coming to Mount Buller alone will be paired with another skier so they can safely enjoy everything the mountain has to offer.
During the day, skiers can stop off for lunch and afternoon tea at the Tyrol Ski Run and Mount Buller Chalet, before hanging up the skis for the night and enjoying a traditional Austrian -˜Schnitz and Schnapps’ dinner at the Pension Grimus.
The next day, after shaking off the inevitable schnapps hangover (the cold mountain air should snap you out of it), it’s time for another full day of skiing and boarding, starting at the Holden Chairlift in the morning. Of course, along the way, there is ample time to shelter from the cold with warm refreshments, including a glitzy lunch at Snow Pony and afternoon tea at Cattleman’s.
After dinner, the WhiteOUT! crew will head to late Friday night drinks at the Kooroora Chalet from 11.30pm, which will no doubt make it a struggle to face the snow the next morning. With that in mind, organisers have set up a few fun activities for the next day, including Fashion On The Field at 11.30am. Attendees are invited to don their most fashionable skiwear and sashay down Buller’s famed Bourke St toward a BBQ lunch at the Ski Club Of Victoria.
After that night’s special 10-year dinner, it’s time to pack up the skis and wave goodbye to Mount Buller for another year -” but not before one final brunch at Kooroora Kitchen on the morning of July 26, a last chance to catch up with snow-loving friends old and new.