POLICE are urging drivers to say safe on Alpine roads as the snow season kicks off, with recent rescues highlighting the dangers posed in the high country.
Rescuers also had to assist a group of school children at Mt Bogong after they were caught out by the conditions.
Police took five licences from drivers heading to Mount Buller last weekend.
Senior Sergeant Doug Incoll is urging people to prepare their trips.
"Those recent issues show how quickly things can go pear-shaped," he said.
"When the weather conditions set in quickly, without warning, and people aren't prepared, it can have dire ramifications.
"With the opening of the snow season this weekend, road safety is one of the major issues.
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"Travelling on Alpine roads can be dangerous."
Those caught without snow chains can face fines of $161 for disobeying a traffic sign, and $645 if caught in resort boundaries.
Recent snowfall has led to good coverage at Hotham, Buller and Falls Creek.
Regional Roads Victoria acting regional director Nathan Matthews said crews would be busy clearing roads during the season, which opens on Saturday.
"Regional Roads Victoria crews will be in operation 24/7 across an 82-kilometre stretch of the Great Alpine Road, from Harrietville to Omeo, as well as on roads around Mount Hotham, Mount Buffalo and the Omeo Highway," he said.
Senior Sergeant Incoll also urged back country skiers to make sure they had the right equipment, including a physical map, charged phones, food and water and suitable clothing.
Emergency service workers regularly rescue skiers.
"Depending on the weather, people should be make an assessment around whether they go out or not," he said.
"If something goes wrong it can be really difficult for rescuers.
"It can literally put their lives on the line with people lost at high altitude in the snow.
"The majority of searches are spent on people who aren't prepared and that compromises everyone's safety."