For some during winter, staying indoors rugged up and watching the television can be the way to while away the cooler months.

For others, there is nothing more exciting than hitting the alpine regions, either for play or merely to experience the wonder of Mother Nature.
But snow-goers planning to visit popular destinations such as Mount Donna Buang, or even further afield such as Mount Buller, Mount Hotham or Falls Creek, preparation is key to ensuring a safe return.
That’s not only on the slopes, but on the roads, too.
Drivers are reminded that alpine driving is safe, provided time is taking to prepare for the trip.
TAC road safety manager Liz Waller said there were many initiatives promoting safe alpine driving this winter, particularly among younger drivers.
For example, she said Vanessa Bute from the TAC would be at Mount Buller to promote safe driving practices.
“Buller is a perfect fit for Vanessa where young people love to go for a good time on the mountain,” Ms Waller said.
“We know young people are more likely to be involved in road trauma and, given the additional hazards involved with driving in the snow and wet and slippery conditions, it’s important that young people hitting the slopes keep safety in mind.”
Vanessa will be parked at the Horse Hill chairlift from 7.30am to 11am and 3.30pm to 6pm each Saturday and Sunday until 9 August.
Ms Waller encouraged anyone visiting Buller this winter to adapt their driving to suit the conditions and gave the following safety tips:

* Drive slowly on ice and snow to retain traction.
* Braking should be gentle and not left to the last second.
* Use an even pressure on the accelerator to lessen the chances of wheel spin and loss of control.
* Use lower gears than normal to reduce speed and assist in keeping good traction.
* If necessary, give way to vehicles going up the mountain as they have more difficulty in starting again if stopped.
* Always carry chains and ensure they are fitted correctly when required.
* Ensure your vehicle has roadworthy tyres.

More locally, Mount Donna Buang continues to remain a good drive up the mountain, where the summit turns into snow play.
But please note, the mountain can be extremely busy during the snow season, so delays may be encountered.
Also, Donna Buang Road may close at any stage if conditions become hazardous, or if the summit car parks are full.

 By PETER DOUGLAS

Source: Upper Yarra Mail 28 July 2015