Comparisons to the North American season are common in Australia at the moment with a slow start to the 2008 season. North American resorts experienced an unseasonably warm December followed by record snow falls in January. Australia's resort operators and their skiers and snowboarders are hoping for a similar experience south of the equator. Amateur forecasters are predicting a four year bumper season to match the record seasons of 2000 and 2004, but long range forecasters are saying the big dumps won't arrive until July. It hasn't stopped the resorts from opening their lifts and pumping the snow guns with beginner trails all in good condition. Falls Creek in Victoria launched its Nordic Walking season, Mt. Buller opened its new six-seater, high-speed, Holden Chairlift, and Perisher Blue's AU$9.75 million invested in snow making was put into full swing in the past few days. Charlotte Pass, Australia's highest ski resort, is offering guided back country experiences for strong skiers this season with the option to drop into the back bowls and chutes of the national park.