Hotham Snow Report

10:00am - 2019
Lifts Open of 14
Snowfall (24hrs) cm
Snow Depth (Natural) cm
Today's Weather: Max 16°c

Conditions

Weather

Precipitation
Visibility
Forecast:

Snow Depths

cm
cm

Snowfall History

cm
cm
cm
cm
cm

Facilities

Snowmaking

Trails

:
:
:
Big D Express (Quad)
Blue Ribbon (Triple)
Dinner Plain (Poma)
Gotcha (Quad)
Heavenly Valley (Quad)
Keoghs (Quad)
Playground - Lower (Double)
Playground - Upper (Double)
Road Runner (Quad)
The Drift (T-bar)
The Orchard (Quad)
The Summit (Quad)
The Village (Quad)
Trainer (Poma)
Run Status Grooming Snowmaking

Big D

Easy Street
QC

Blue Ribbon

Varsity Drag
Roaring Forties
McColls
Hogg's Back
Boondoo
Blue Ribbon
Frosty Drop
Wood Run

Gotcha

Gotcha Access
Greenline
Initiation
Skating Rink

Heavenly Valley

Snake Gully
Black Snake
Blue Snake
The Canyon
D8
Gun Barrel
Harper's Face
Imagine
Milky Way
Mother Johnsons
Swindlers Trail
Southern Cross
Slalom Gully
The Cornice
Twighlight Zone
Purgatory Spur
Brockoff
Race Gully

Keogh's

Keogh's Bash
Tele Treat
No Nonsense
Leap of Faith

Orchard

Bushwacker
Spargo's
Twirligig 1
Twirligig 2
Watershed
Zirks
Big Slope
Mitchell's

Playground

Lower Playground

Summit

Summit Trainer
Summit Run

The Drift

Drift Return
Rambo's Revenge
Australia Drift

The Road Runner

Beauchamps
Road Runner
Sun Run
Wendix

Village Chair

Davenport Access
Gully Cat Walk
Notice Board
Off the Edge
Playground Trail
Pump House Drop
Sundowner
The Funnel
The Pipeline
Basin
Wall of Death

Snow Cams

Heavenly Valley - Live 360

Weather Forecast

Fri Mar 22
Max 16°c
Humid. Possible storm.
Sat Mar 23
10°c | 14°c
Shower or two.
Sun Mar 24
10°c | 12°c
Rain at times. Becoming windy.
Mon Mar 25
9°c | 9°c
Rain at times clearing. Windy.
Tue Mar 26
-1°c | 8°c
Partly cloudy.
Wed Mar 27
1°c | 13°c
Mostly sunny.
Thu Mar 28
5°c | 13°c
Mostly sunny.

Comments

D-eye
1/1/19 - 10:23am
On to
stansi
1/12/18 - 2:44pm
mr: Does anyone know if the gully skiiers left of twirligig and just outside patrolled area has a name? Cheers
Have heard it referred to as "Twirligig Bowl."
mr
13/10/18 - 5:14pm
But yeah maybe we are just being weaned off it
mr
13/10/18 - 5:10pm
I think its hardly run in the last 2 seasons because they have been great seasons..... IMO. Its useful in crap depth seasons with crap weather in particular the mid load for blue skiiers on sun run on crappy days, and the lower load for better skiiers when blue ribs or orchard isnt open and slalom is chockers
13/10/18 - 10:27am
skiflat: So the lift is defiantly getting removed? Disgusting if true
And how many hours did it operate this season? Honestly if they removed it and made a track down lower playground for learners to avoid death gully is has to be an improvement. I’m sure if you read the plan for hotham you can see what their long term plan is....
snowgum
12/10/18 - 6:02pm
So does the Audi 4 need to be an Audi 6 in the future?
skiflat
10/10/18 - 11:24am
Timmossy: Perhaps change the wording a little bit as I probably didn't explain it too well. When the flood occurred, water and debris washed down what is currently the valley trail taking the old load of the chair with it. The debris didn't come down the creek itself as it exited slightly downstream of the load. To rebuild they had two options - 1. rebuild the load above the creek like previously or 2. extend the flume pipes a further 20m downstream and fill the whole area in so it exits close to where it does now. They chose the latter. This still is from a video after the washout. It occurred in 1989. You can see the old tower assembly at the bottom which would have been replaced in the following months prior to the next winter. I'm assuming they'll announce the removal of the lift once Hero Passes end of sale occurs. Doesn't sound too good if they're trying to flog off tickets and announce the removal of lifts at the same time.
So the lift is defiantly getting removed? Disgusting if true
Timmossy
10/10/18 - 8:04am
On another note, the mobile snowguns in Slalom Gully are back in ready for the 2019 season.
Timmossy
10/10/18 - 7:51am
Bogong: Thanks again Timmossy. I knew a lot of that, but nearly half of what you wrote is new to me.
Perhaps change the wording a little bit as I probably didn't explain it too well. When the flood occurred, water and debris washed down what is currently the valley trail taking the old load of the chair with it. The debris didn't come down the creek itself as it exited slightly downstream of the load. To rebuild they had two options - 1. rebuild the load above the creek like previously or 2. extend the flume pipes a further 20m downstream and fill the whole area in so it exits close to where it does now. They chose the latter. This still is from a video after the washout. It occurred in 1989. You can see the old tower assembly at the bottom which would have been replaced in the following months prior to the next winter. I'm assuming they'll announce the removal of the lift once Hero Passes end of sale occurs. Doesn't sound too good if they're trying to flog off tickets and announce the removal of lifts at the same time.
cookieman
9/10/18 - 5:24pm
A friends edited farewell message to his buddy, the old double chair... I have just had my last ride on the Playground double chair. This lift has been a huge part of my life on snow. I remember when she was built in 1969 how she played up in her first year. I remember my first day tickets as a teenager. I remember the top to bottom skiing back then. I remember the Ski the Giant Hotham. I remember Steve Hall allowing me to work as a lunch time Liftie on the mid load and occasionally the bottom station. I remember when she derailed, when the grip slipped, when she was washed away in a flood at the load station, when Sun Run was built for the less capable to use the Sun Run T bar, when she was shortened. I remember when I knocked the doors out one morning when I started her. She has been a faithful servant for Mount Hotham for many years but now the end is near. I will miss you and so will many others. I am not sure I will enjoy watching you being removed and I am a sure you will resist all the way.
9/10/18 - 3:15pm
Fundraiser for DWA?
Hermannator
9/10/18 - 2:47pm
Any chairs for sale (a la BB1 @ buller)? Dibs on #69
Bogong
9/10/18 - 1:25pm
Thanks again Timmossy. I knew a lot of that, but nearly half of what you wrote is new to me. Here's a draft history of Playground. It's a bit rough at the moment and the phrasing is awkward in a few places, but any comments, feedback, corrections, etc would be appreciated. Ski Tows Limited was a non profit company that ran most of Hotham’s lifts from 1952. However operating on a cost recovery basis meant that after building the Blue Ribbon nutcracker tow, it barely had the money to build a few short surface lifts in the years that followed. The under capitalisation of the lift company became a serious impediment to the development of Hotham at a time when Buller and Falls Creek were booming. This changed after the 1968 ski season when a controlling interest was sold to Des Schumann who immediately began planning new lifts. At the time Hotham had a few shortish beginner lifts but the Blue Ribbon nutcracker tow was the only lift that served longer slopes with more challenging terrain. However the mountain had huge potential with a wealth of challenging but unlifted slopes. It seems Schumann wanted to make a splash in his first season of owning the lift company, so he ordered a Doppelmayr chairlift, something that Hotham skiers had hardly dared to dream about. It was originally planned to install the new lift on Australia Drift, but late in the planning process, it was moved to the slope north of Zirkys leading down to Swindlers Creek. In 1969 the brand new chairlift only operated from the mid station. This may have been because it wasn’t quite finished, but 1969 was a very poor ski season without much snow and the brand new International Poma at nearby Falls Creek ski resort never operated at all. So for whatever reason, the new chairlift only operated from top to bottom from the winter of 1970. Initially it was simply known as ‘the chairlift’ but after the Blue Ribbon chairlift was opened in 1981, it was given the name Playground. The original base station was built almost on top of Swindlers Creek and in the late 1980s a flood destroyed the base station. As there had recently been a lot of earth works upstream to improve runs served by the new Heavenly Valley quad, and the disturbed area had not had time to revegetate, the flood also washed a lot of dirt down the creek, slightly raising the ground level of the Playground chairlift. So after a bigger channel was built for the creek, a new base for the chairlift was installed that required a shorter first tower. While original lift towers had a rectangular profile, this newer tower was round. The chairlift was successful in its first years of operation as it served a variety of runs. It also permitted development further up Swindlers Creek Valley and when Brockhoff Poma opened in 1972, it accessed a huge area that had previously required long climbs on foot. Both lifts were heavily used and in a way became victims of their own success. Long queues meant that more lifts were required to relieve crowding and in 1987 Heavenly Valley quad chair replaced the Brockhoff Poma. This placed even more pressure on the double chair as it was used as an access lift for Brockhoff and later Heavenly Valley, with queues up to 30 minutes long after the quad closed at 4.30. So in the summer of 1992 - 1993 the Village quad chair (later renamed Audi Quatro) was built close to the double chair. While the top stations of the two chairlifts were over 200 metres apart, it was decided to build the Swindlers Creek base station of the new Village quad right next to the base of Playground, meaning that the loading point of Playground had to be moved. As the slope immediately above the creek was particularly steep, the old double chair had a new base station built further up the hill above the steep section, the new bottom load platform was supported by reused towers from the former Brockhoff and Summit pomas. At the same time the revamped lift got new chairs. As there was space for the bases of both chairlifts near the creek, it is unclear why a route was chosen for the new quad that did not allow Playground to continue operating without being shortened. After the Sun Run T-bar was built in 1979, the mid station was removed as the new T-bar duplicated the upper section of Playground. An improvised mid station made from snow was utilised for a year or two after Sun Run T-bar was replaced by the much longer Road Runner quad chair before a proper mid station was rebuilt around 1996 or 1997. However the new base of the double chair was never terribly popular and in its last two decades Playground probably loaded most of its passengers from the mid station adjacent to the base of the new Road Runner quad. In a way it operated as a replacement for the Sun Run T-bar. From the turn of the century the old chair was used less and less and in its last few years it was only used occasionally, mostly when Road Runner was on wind hold or to move skiers when things became crowded. Playground ran for the last time on 7 October 2018 at the end of its 50th ski season. A video of a ride from the mid station can be found at this link.
Timmossy
9/10/18 - 9:43am
Bogong: BTW. Was it always called Playground or was it given that name later on? The recollections of a few old timers just call it "the chairlift".
I'm looking at a BP Ski Guide from 1974 "with the compliments of Mt Hotham Heating Services Pty. Ptd" which has it named as "CHAIRLIFT" on two separate maps. It shows a middle station. A map from 1984 from the Department of Crown Land and Survey has it labelled as "Playground Double Chairlift". It doesn't show a middle station.
Bogong
9/10/18 - 12:23am
Well stansi, someone has to record and document stuff like this or knowledge of it will be lost. Thanks for all that Timmosy. 1969 was (apparently) a very poor year for snow. Over at Falls Creek there wasn't enough snow to operate the brand new International Poma for even one day. So Playground may have only operated from the mid station because it wasn't entirely finished, or it may have been due to lack of snow lower down. I have no idea which. BTW. Was it always called Playground or was it given that name later on? The recollections of a few old timers just call it "the chairlift".
Timmossy
8/10/18 - 9:52pm
Bottom load in 1990. 30 minute waits were the norm at 16:30 once Heavenly shut. Note the new 'Tower 1' which replaced the old ones when the old load was washed away in the late 80s. Note the old chairs. I believe they used to have foot rests on them and were removed at some point. The thing on the ground to the left of the hut was mounted on the back of the chair to put the rescue sleds on - it used to hit the towers as it went up.
The bottom of the Village chair being constructed in April 1993. Photo taken from Tower 1 on the Playground. I never understood why they just couldn't have separated them a bit more and have had both chairs loading from the bottom. There was sufficient snow for the Village to run on opening weekend that year - only about 8 weeks after this photo was taken.
The construction of the new bottom load of the double chair in April 1993. Those pylons are the towers from the Brockoff and Summit pomas.
stansi: Jesus, just give "Bongon" the video of those Orchard towers being lifted in, He'll have an erection for a week.
Just found the cd which has that video on it. I'll hold off for a few more years.
stansi
8/10/18 - 9:35pm
Jesus, just give "Bongon" the video of those Orchard towers being lifted in, He'll have an erection for a week.
Timmossy
8/10/18 - 9:28pm
Bogong: Does anyone have a good photo of Playground? A "friend" runs the Australian ski lift directory website and would like to attach a photo of the lift to the report of its demise. I'm assured that the photographer will be credited.
I'll trawl through the photos I have of it and send him some. I've got a great one of the summer of 93 when the Village went in and it has both the bottom station of the village and the playground next to each other. My old man will have some from the first few years it went in. Some fun facts which I know about - - For the first season in 69 it only loaded from the mid station. - The mid station was removed at a guess the summer when the Sun Run t-bar went in. - The original load was a platform above Swindlers Creek. In the late after Heavenly went in there was a huge storm that sent so much water down Swindlers Creek that it destroyed the bottom platform. So Swindlers Creek was further flumed where the platform was so you now loaded on terra firma. The change in levels required a new shorter tower at the bottom. Hence why the first tower on the current shorter lift is round as opposed to rectangular like the rest. The same storm washed so much debris down imagine and slalom gully (they had recently been bulldozed to make the runs they now resemble today), that the cable at the bottom load of HV was only about 1m above the ground. - In the summer of 92/93 it was shortened with the installation of the Village chair. It got new chairs that same year. One of the old chairs is currently welded to the DWA container at the bottom of the summit. The pylons upon which the current bottom load sits on are the old towers from the Brockoff and Summit pomas. - At some point in the mid they reintroduced the mid load again by pushing out snow only (no structure). They only did this for 1 season, 2 max. - For the winter of they rebuilt the mid load structure due to the Sun Run t-bar being replaced by the longer Road Runner chair. - For the last years it's only ran on an 'as need' basis when Road Runner isn't open or to deal with excessive crowds. I guess what sealed it's fate was snowmaking on the Summit meaning that the Road Runner chair was now completely covered by snow making. Th bolds are just my best guess, if anyone knows the real years then pipe up.
Bogong
8/10/18 - 6:22pm
Does anyone have a good photo of Playground? A "friend" runs the Australian ski lift directory website and would like to attach a photo of the lift to the report of its demise. I'm assured that the photographer will be credited.
8/10/18 - 5:31pm
Better to keep doing what they’ve been doing; making the most of what they’ve got. Snowmaking, summer grooming and glading (if that’s a possibility). And do what they can to lengthen the season on the Orchard and Blue Ribbon.

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