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Mt Hutt ‘all systems go’ for 40th season opening (13-Jun-13)
Immaculately groomed slopes and a genuinely warm welcome await avid skiers and snowboarders.....

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area first to open in Australasia (10-Jun-13)
Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area today (June 8) celebrated in style as the first Australasian ski field to open for winter....

Coronet Peak first ski area in Australasia to open on Saturday (05-Jun-13)
Queenstown is officially open for winter as the 2013 season kicks off at Coronet Peak on Saturday (June 8).

Ski Areas Go Out With A Bang! (27-Sep-12)
Season extension and half price passes

The Official Opening Of Shifty's Run (06-Sep-09)

Perisher, Australia, September 6, 2009 - Local legend Grant 'Shifty' Turnball turned 80 this year

Local legend Grant ‘Shifty’ Turnbull turned 80 this year and to help celebrate he received the highest tribute on Friday 28 August, 2009 with the unveiling of a ski run in Perisher named in his honour. ‘Shifty’s’, as the run was coined, is a celebration of Shifty’s many years of outstanding service at Perisher and his contribution to snow sports.

A Bondi surfer turned skier, Shifty first traded the white-capped waves for white-capped mountains back in 1959. He began his career in the snow as a boiler stoker at Charlottes Pass Ski Resort in the Snowy Mountains. Since then he has completed 50 consecutive winter seasons in Perisher, plus 30 which have been spent in Europe at the Soll Ski Resort, Austria. That’s a lot of back-to-back winter seasons!

“I’m from Bondi originally. I grew up surfing there but, I thought I’d like to get into skiing so I moved down to this area,” said Shifty. “I’m heading back to Bondi to go body boarding after this season before I head over to Europe where I work as a ski instructor,” he continued.

Shifty’s first season at Perisher was in 1964; he was employed as Perisher’s first ever paid professional ski patroller, and the only one for the entire resort at that time. He began working as a ski instructor in 1970, which he continues to do today. He is currently also employed as a ‘stripper’ at The Man From Snowy River Hotel, in Perisher Valley. It’s not what you think though; he literally strips beds every Friday and Sunday during the season.

It’s his love for people and the sport that has kept Shifty coming back year after year. “I love meeting people and communicating with them. The best thing about being a ski instructor is that it doesn’t matter who you are – doctor, lawyer, garbage-man or Prime Minister, when you’re learning everyone starts as a beginner; skiing is a very good leveller,” said Shifty.

He’s met some big named stars during his time, including Roman Polanski, the famous film director. “Not that I knew who he was at the time,” said Shifty. He’s also seen some funny sights including watching a famous Sydney doctor, who will remained unnamed, launch out of his skis and boots after taking a spill on the slopes leaving him sitting in the snow in his socks with a baffled expression on his face.

Over the years Shifty has witnessed a number of changes take place in the ski industry. Since he first started at Perisher, 45 years ago, Perisher has merged into one giant resort; installing a number of ski lifts providing snow riders with access to a larger variety of terrain; the introduction of snowmaking and high tech grooming; he has witnessed first hand the development of the Perisher Centre and Skitube; as well as the introduction of the carve ski, which has revolutionized the sport of skiing.

Shifty’s run, located skiers right off the top of Eyre T-bar on Mt Perisher, is a double blue diamond run and has always been a favourite place for Shifty to ski. It’s the closest run to the resort boundary and on a powder day is the stuff of rider’s dreams.

When asked how he felt about having a run named in his honour Shifty replied, “It’s alright; I didn’t know it was going to be quite so much of a big deal, so I thank the company for that. Every time I ski down Shifty’s, I was over there yesterday, I keep thinking I’m on my own run here; this is my very own personal run!” Congratulations on your achievements Shifty!

The question remains, though, how did Grant Turnbull get the nickname Shifty? The word around town is that he was a bit of a ladies man in his time, which he adamantly denies. “I’m not really a ladies man,” said Shifty with a smile, “I’m a nice guy really. I’m not sure how I got the name, but it just sort of stuck, I didn’t correct anyone and now I’m used to it.”

Next time you’re at Perisher make sure you head over and go for a run down Shifty’s! 

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