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Advice needed Answers to questions about Aust ski lifts

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Bogong, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some of you know that I contribute to a web page called Australian Ski Lift Directory where there is a list of Australia's 460 ski lifts arranged by resort as well as other stuff like details of companies that made the lifts.

    People have sent in all sorts of queries and we're getting a bit tired of answering them individually. So we've added a new section tentatively called Records and Oddities which will hopefully reduce the frivolous emails.

    These are the Q&As so far, is there anything else people might want to know without scrolling down to the specific sections on individual subjects and resorts? Also let me know if we've got anything wrong.

    First ski lift in Australia. A rope tow built from old railway lines was installed at Mt Buffalo, Victoria in 1937.
    Oldest operating lift in Australia. The oldest operational ski lift is a nutcracker tow at Mt St Bernard in Victoria. It first ran at Mt Buller in 1953 before moving to St Bernard in 1955 where it has run ever since. Note: St Bernard is a private club field and the public cannot use either of the lifts there
    First chairlift in Australia. Bob Hymans built the single seat Alpine Chair Lift at Falls Creek in 1957
    Oldest operating chairlift in Australia. The Mt Perisher Double chairlift first ran at Perisher Valley in 1961 and it’s still operating.

    Newest ski lifts. Three lifts operated for the first time in June 2019. In descending order of price and glamour they are:
    - Bourke St Express, a Doppelmayr detachable six-pack chairlift at Mt Buller.
    - Leichhardt, a Doppelmayr fixed grip quad chairlift at Perisher.
    - Canyon, a Sunkid ‘comfort star’ platter at Mt Buller.
    The only new lift confirmed for 2020 is a gondola that will replace Merritts double chairlift at Thredbo.

    Highest ski lift in Australia. Australia’s highest ski lift is Karel’s T-bar at Thredbo with a top station at 2037 metres
    Highest chairlift in Australia. The highest chairlift is the 1961 vintage Mt Perisher double chairlift at 2033 metres.
    Lowest ski lifts in Australia. The lowest ski lifts are at Mt Mawson in southern Tasmania with three having a base at a little over 1200 metres
    Lowest chairlifts in Australia. There have been plenty of tourist chairlifts operating at close to sea level, but the only ones that actually went right down to a beach are the former chairlifts at Portsea in Victoria and Victor Harbour in South Australia.

    Longest ski lift. The longest lift currently used by skiers is the Kosciusko Express chondola at Thredbo, it is 1860 metres long.
    Longest surface lift was Tyrol T-bar at Mt Buller which was 1610 metres before it was shortened
    Longest chairlift. The longest chairlifts were the two that linked Thredbo Valley and Charlotte Pass in 1964 and 65. They were 4757 and 3323 m long
    Longest gondolas are the two that operate from near Cairns to Kuranda in Queensland. They have a combined length of 7500 metres.
    Shortest ski lift there are several carpets that are only 11 m long. The shortest conventional ski lift [will be added when we work it out]
    Shortest chairlift was the 160 m Valley chairlift at Mt Buffalo which last ran in 2006. The shortest operating chairlift is probably New Chum at Selwyn

    Ski run with the most lifts built on it. Bourke Street at Mt Buller has had at least 18 ski lifts built to serve it between 1949 and 2019

    Lifts with curved routes or lifts that go around corners. Most of the longer Poma lifts had bends in their paths, but the only survivors are the International and Lakeside Poma lifts at Falls Creek. The Olympic T-bar at Perisher is the only T-bar in Australia that has ever had a bend and the only Australian chairlift with corners was at Brisbane’s Expo ‘88 where for 6 months, a chairlift ran a 10 minute circuit through the Swiss pavilion and outside into a park, before returning to the pavilion.
     
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  2. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’d love to see vertical rise, length and rise/run for the more substantial lifts. Is this info anywhere?
     
  3. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Umm, sort of, in the entries for individual lifts where we know it.

    But I'll add extra entries in this new section for the lifts with the greatest vertical rise and possibly stuff like steepness of grade in the next few days.

    Thanks for that.
     
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  4. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not sure the Kozi is a chondola ,

    But what is a chondola?
     
  5. Miffy

    Miffy Addicted

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    Home Run Poma at Selwyn has a bend in it ;)
     
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  6. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    IMO a chondola is a lift with chairs and gondola cabins running on the cable at the same time. The Kossie lift has gondola cabins that they use/used to get diners up to Eagles Nest at night as well as the chairs they use during the day.
     
  7. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It does? Well you learn something new every day.

    It would be nice if they put the cabins on when the weather is miserable.
     
  8. Paperboy

    Paperboy One of Us

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    Many years ago I remember riding a gondola on kozzie chair in summer, before mountain biking was a thing.
     
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  9. hipo

    hipo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great effort, thanks Bogong.
    Only suggestion I have is the time it takes to ride the lift in normal good weather. (The speed of the lift cable can be deceptive when variances in vertical are involved)
    Perhaps people on here can contribute this info.
    Cheers
     
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  10. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    chair lift that most people have fallen off
    :out:
     
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  11. Crystal

    Crystal (Sly made me Cry) - Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    good work to see it all in one spot
     
  12. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nowhere near Australia but here are pics of the chondola at Sunday River in Maine, USA. There are 6 or 7 chairs in-between gondola cabins. Separate loading zones for those with skis on and those who take them off for the gondola. Useful to have a gondola option during summer operations for folks nervous about riding up on an open chair. Handy during the winter for family groups with more than one little kid. At Sunday River, the chondola serves blue trails and provides access from the main base to other peaks (SR has 8 peaks).

     
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  13. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Anyone got pics of the Thredbo Kozi Express Gondolas?
     
  14. Seafm

    Seafm Too far from the snow Ski Pass: Gold

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  15. hipo

    hipo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just hang around till we have global cooling


    (Apologies to OP)
     
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  16. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have to confess I hammered that list out quickly to deflect emails (I assume from kids?) asking me the same repetitive questions about highest, fastest, oldest, etc. I barely retained sufficient interest in the subject to correspond with people with useful info and tips, so hopefully I'll now have a bit more time for that sort of thing.

    Thanks to all, I've been out all day and was only expecting one or two comments. But what people have written is exactly the sort of feedback I wanted. Specifically:

    - I'll add Home Run Poma at Selwyn to the list of surviving kinked lifts (Thanks Miffy)
    - I'll clarify what a chondola is (Thanks Skifree. Note to self, never assume that ordinary people know jargon words.)
    - Hippo, I'll add something on varying speeds and perhaps a bit on fastest and slowest lifts.

    In regard to Carveman's request, that is far harder. For the moment I've got this slight cop-out response.

    Steepest ski lifts. Figures for length and vertical gain are not recorded for all lifts in this list, so it’s had to work out which is the steepest overall or which has the steepest section. However no one has ever contradicted the ‘conventional wisdom’ that the Rodway Tow at Mt Mawson is Australia’s steepest ski lift. We will have a look and compile a proper list from the lifts where data is available, hopefully in October 2019.

    Amendment to highest lift

    Highest ski lift in Australia. The highest operating ski lift is Karel’s T-bar at Thredbo with a top station at 2037 metres. However the
    former Mt Northcote nutcracker tow on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains probably went a fair bit higher. (To be confirmed soon.)
     
  17. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you have any data or pics of the Northcote tow I can probably work out a pretty close max altitude. I have a few gps tracks thru there.
     
  18. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've visited the ruin of the top station, so I was going to find the photo, then try to identify the spot on a satellite map.

    Then it should be easy to pinpoint it on a contour map which would probably give the height to within 5-ish metres.

    Not the most sophisticated approach, so if anyone has a better idea, please do the work for me! ;)

    BTW. There was also a T-bar at Lake Albina in the late 1950's, I'm not sure of its exact route, but my guess is that it wouldn't have got as high as 2,030 metres, but I'll check the possibilities when I get my main range maps out of the attic in a few days.
     
  19. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Map contours are +/- 20 metres despite having 5 or 10 metre contour lines.

    I have a recollection the Albina tow was relocated to Kunama/Northcote. But more than likely wrong.
     
  20. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'll have a look through old maps and guidebooks and see if I can find the Mt Northcote tow line anywhere. If I provide a precise location, someone like Skifree might be able to come up with a more accurate altitude than I could by just looking where it lies between some iffy contours.

    I used to know Craig D. and he investigated the ruins of the tow engine and accommodation hut as well as the nearby Kunama Lodge in a thread on this forum a long time ago. He included some photos of the rusting ruins. But I don't think there are any reports about the top station of the Northcote Tow on this forum.

    The Northcote Tow might also have been the steepest lift in Australia because they used to run the Golden Eagle speed skiing trials next to the lift line.
     
  21. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve found the hut ruin but never the top or bottom station of the tow.
     
  22. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    PS the Kunama hut ruin is located incorrectly on most osm maps I’ve found. It might be they are actually locating the tow bottom station, but it’s not where I would have put it. But then I would not have put the hut where it is/was.
     
  23. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    About 12 years ago I recall trying to write an article on the mini ski resort that was slowly developing on the Main Range in the mid 1950s. But I abandoned it because I couldn't expand much on already published articles, the information was just too sparse. But all these years later, I've lost the feeling of angst that that abandoned project gave me, so I'll go through my old notes and drafts to see if I can find anything on the precise location and altitudes of the Northcote Tow.

    If it does turn out that Northcote went higher, I know of a couple of die-hard Thredbo advocates who might be slightly miffed that Thredbo could no longer lay claim to having the highest Australian ski lift ever... although the original Crackenback nutcracker tow, whose route Kosci Express was built on, was partly made from material salvaged from the Northcote Tow after it blew up or burnt down (stories differ).
     
  24. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Northcote Pass, the lowest point on the ridge between Northcote & Lee is 2040.

    So subject to the lift actually topping out on the ridge that’s the lowest it’s going to be.
     
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  25. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Here's the classic photo of the Northcote Tow and a map I found by googling. IF it's accurate, then it looks like the top of the tow was at about 2060 metre contour and we have a new highest ski lift in Australia.

    BTW, I found an excellent article on the 1950s semi-resort around that area. So if someone has written a good history of it, then it's a bit of a relief that I won't have to. https://docplayer.net/46377318-Ski-lodges-on-the-summit.html

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    In this photo it sort of looks like the tow stopped 3/4 of the way up the slope, but I'm fairly sure it went right to the top.
     
  26. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    For a rope tow of that era I’m pretty sure they would have packed it all up over summer, and set it up next winter when there was enough snow. So the position may have varied slightly year to year
     
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  27. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The picture supports the map.

    The picture clearly shows the top of the tow being above the Northcote saddle which is at 2040. So the top of the tow was above 2040. How much without an on the ground confirmation of the maps locations is hard to say.

    The picture is also helpful on another query. The current OSM maps I have looked have the Kunama ruin of the hut in a different location to my on the ground gps location for the hut. I am pretty certain the ruin marked on OSM maps is the ruin of the bottom of the tow bottom station and not the hut. I'll look into this more on a wander out from CP when the road is open.
     
  28. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some of those tows had really flimsy poles, a couple even had wooden poles. Others had really big thick pylons which were firmly concreted in place. From memory the bigger one of the tows that still run on Mt St Bernard has poles over 30 cm thick.

    I doubt the Northcote Tow was ever moved during its life. The fact that after its demise, those poles / pylons / towers were moved to Thredbo and used to build the first Crackenback tow indicates they weren't that flimsy, but nor were they especially big and heavy. I suspect they were mid size, concreted into place and looked a bit like these ones still in use on the Rodway Tow at Mt Mawson near Hobart. (Before and after pics of repairs after avalanche damage.)

    [​IMG]

    But I'll do some reading in the next week or two and take note of anything about the Northcote Tow's length, height and if was ever moved around.
     
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  29. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The black square & label is the common osm location for the Kunama Hut site,

    The yellow flag (actually the bottom of the flag pole) is my on the ground gps location from a few years ago now of the hut ruin, it is also adjacent spring feed stream which makes sense for a hut site at that time.
     
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  30. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback and insights and I quite enjoyed the slightly off-topic diversion onto the Northcote Tow.
    Anyway, here is the heavily revised and expanded section. It's online here. Any further help and feedback would be appreciated.

    1.1 Records, oddities and FAQs . . . . . New section added 28/09/2019.

    In response to a number of requests and having a look at search engine queries that led to this page, here is a quick run down of FAQs about ski lifts in Australia. Details of the first and longest of a particular type of lift are already in section 2.

    Newest and oldest
    Newest ski lifts. New ski lifts usually open in early June although in exceptional years they may open in May. Arranged by year and then in descending order of price and glamour they are:
    2020
    - The only new lift announced is a gondola that will replace Thredbo’s Merritts double chairlift
    2019
    - Bourke St Express, a Doppelmayr detachable six-pack chairlift at Mt Buller.
    - Leichhardt, a Doppelmayr fixed grip quad chairlift at Perisher.
    - Canyon, a Sunkid ‘comfort star’ platter at Mt Buller.
    2018
    - Eagle, a Leitner-Poma detachable quad chairlift at Falls Creek.
    - Ski School, a Team Service carpet at Corin Forest in the A.C.T.
    - Village and Burton Riglet. Two Team Service carpets at Lake Mountain, a cross country ski resort in Victoria.

    First ski lift in Victoria. A rope tow built from old railway lines was installed at Mt Buffalo, Victoria in 1937.
    First ski lift in NSW. A J-bar made from wooden beams was erected at Charlotte Pass in 1938.
    First ski lift in Tasmania. A nutcracker on the Golden Stairs at Mt Mawson in 1958, although there is an unreliable report of an earlier lift at Ben Lomond
    First ski lift in the ACT. The Brumby nutcracker tow first ran on Mt Franklin in 1957.

    Oldest operating lift in Australia. The oldest operational ski lift is a nutcracker tow at Mt St Bernard in Victoria. It first ran at Mt Buller in 1953 before moving to St Bernard in 1955 where it has run ever since.
    Note: St Bernard is a private club field and the public cannot use either of their lifts
    First chairlift in Australia. Bob Hymans built the single seat Alpine Chair Lift at Falls Creek in 1957
    Oldest operating chairlift in Australia. The Mt Perisher Double chairlift first ran at Perisher Valley in 1961 and it’s still going.

    Highest and lowest
    Highest ski lift in Australia. The highest ski lift was the Northcote Tow on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains which had a top station
    at around 2056 metres. The precise altitude is uncertain, but it was definitely above 2040 m.
    Highest operating ski lift is Karel’s T-bar at Thredbo with a top station at 2037 metres.
    Highest chairlift in Australia. The highest chairlift is the 1961 vintage Mt Perisher double chairlift which ascends to 2033 metres.
    Lowest ski lifts in Australia. The lowest ski lifts are at Mt Mawson in southern Tasmania with three having a base at a little over 1200 metres
    Lowest chairlifts in Australia. There have been plenty of tourist chairlifts operating at close to sea level, but the only ones that actually went right down to a beach are the former chairlifts at Portsea in Victoria and Granite Island near Victor Harbour in South Australia.

    Longest and shortest
    Longest ski lift. The longest lift currently used by skiers is the Kosciusko Express chondola (combined chairlift / gondola) at Thredbo, it is 1860 m long
    Longest surface lift was the Tyrol T-bar at Mt Buller which was 1610 metres before it was shortened
    Longest chairlift. The longest were the two chairlifts that linked Thredbo Valley and Charlotte Pass in 1964 and 65. They were 4757 and 3323 m long
    Longest gondolas are the two that operate from near Cairns to Kuranda in Queensland. They have a combined length of 7500 metres.
    Shortest ski lift. There are several carpets that are only 25 metres long. The shortest conventional ski lift [will be added when we work it out].
    Shortest chairlift was the 160 m Valley chairlift at Mt Buffalo which last ran in 2006. The shortest operating chairlift is probably New Chum at Selwyn

    Fastest and slowest
    This is a rather subjective question because it depends on how fast ski resorts choose to run a lift on a particular day. But there is a definite record for the fastest lift in Australia and it may also have been the fastest ski lift in the world.

    Ski lifts where the carrier is permanently attached to the haul rope such as T-bars, platters and fixed grip chairlifts usually run at between 2 and 2½ metres a second, although many beginners lifts run as slow as 1.4 m/s. Easy Does It at Thredbo is exclusively used by beginners and probably qualifies as the chairlift that is consistently run at the slowest speed. Many carpets are run at even slower speeds.

    Ski lifts where the grip on the carrier detaches from the haul rope, such as Poma lifts, nutcrackers and detachable chairlifts, can usually run at up to 5 metres a second. However the double ended Summit Access / Howqua Poma lift at Mt Buller was often run at its top speed of 6.5 metres a second during its early years. Not surprisingly, this breakneck speed led to accidents and within a few years the lift was restricted to 4 m/s when open to the public, although it still operated at full speed for staff use. 6.5 metres a second is much faster than any other ski lift in Australia has ever run at and I have not found any reports of ski lifts elsewhere in the world running at over 6 m/s except for giant aerial tram ‘cable cars’.

    Other questions
    Lifts with curved routes or lifts that go around corners.
    Most of the longer Poma lifts had bends in their paths, Brockhoff at Hotham and Cresta Poma at Mt Buffalo had two corners. But the only surviving cornered Pomas are International and Lakeside at Falls Creek and Home Run Poma at Selwyn.
    The Olympic T-bar at Perisher is the only T-bar in Australia that has ever had a bend and the only Australian chairlift with corners was at Brisbane’s Expo ‘88 where for 6 months, a chairlift ran a 10 minute circuit through the Swiss pavilion and outside into a park, before returning to the pavilion.

    Ski resort with the most lifts. Perisher by a wide margin, although some of them are relatively short.

    Ski resort with the greatest variety of lift manufacturers. Falls Creek by a country mile. At least 11 lift makers have had their lifts installed there.

    Ski run with the most lifts built on it. Bourke Street at Mt Buller has had at least 18 ski lifts built to serve it between 1949 and 2019.

    Earliest and latest operating ski lifts
    The length of ski seasons obviously varies dramatically depending on snow conditions. In NSW and Victoria the formal ski season has always lasted from Queens / Kings Birthday long weekend (the second weekend in June) to the second weekend in October. Of course if there was little snow in poor ski seasons, ski lifts operated for much shorter times, especially before the advent of snow making machinery. Due to its proximity to Melbourne, in good seasons Mt Buller has extended the dates its lifts have operated far more than other resorts. The best dates discovered so far are some lifts at Buller operating on the first weekend of May in 2009 and the lifts finally closing on Cup Day (3 November) after the bumper 1992 ski season.

    Steepest ski lifts. Figures for length and vertical gain are not recorded for all lifts in this list, so it’s had to work out which is the steepest overall or which has the steepest section. However no one has ever contradicted the ‘conventional wisdom’ that the Rodway Tow at Mt Mawson is Australia’s steepest ski lift. Another possibility is the former Northcote Tow in NSW. We will have a look and compile a list of possibilities, hopefully in October 2019
     
  31. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Am sure I've read somewhere that Northcote top was relocated due to snowfall, but that might have been a seasonal/on-off (or I could be dreaming - not sure where else I might have read it but here!)


    BTW @Bogong , did you write the Thredbo-CP lift section in wikiski? There's a quite enjoyable FB group with snowy mts history - the page manager slabbed the wikiski entry for the Thredbo-Charlottes lift without acknowledgement... I pointed this out but no longer have posting rights for some reason LOL
     
  32. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't do facebook these days, it's too much of a time sink. But I think I wrote most of it about 12 years ago, although I haven't looked at it for about a decade, so I'm not sure. While it would have been nice to be acknowledged, I'm not that fussed as I find some of the stuff I wrote when I was younger isn't up to my standards these days.

    But I am rather pleased that people are discussing and recording the history of places like that, because so much that is interesting and important goes unrecorded and is eventually lost forever. Most of the stuff I've written over the past 20 years was done on the basis that someone had to write about and record the history, although I've never really cared if that someone was me or not.

    I spent 5 years researching and writing Donna Buang: the forgotten ski resort and by the time I'd finished it, I was so sick of the place I wouldn't have cared if the mountain had been nuked off the face of the earth! . . . But I've calmed down a little now. ;)
     
  33. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    oh agreed - the guys does it left right and centre though. Funnily enough because the *original* in wikiski has references, some seem to think he's referenced where he got it from! Kills me - it's even got notes from VSG in it and stuff!

    There's some great hydro construction pics and river pics.
     
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  34. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    What more can I say except a small amount of copying of stuff without crediting the author is fine in my book, although personally I credit an author or photographer whenever I can.

    But if people steal big chunks of another persons research and writing and infer that it is their own work, well I can't think of a torture that is too nasty for those lowlife thieves. :blb:
     
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  35. Oldie

    Oldie Hard Yards

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    Great thread and site, Bogong. Brought back a few memories. My first visit to the snow to ski was in 1981 at Buller. I was taken by a mate who was right into skiing so he took me into the hire shop and as I watched my precious hard earned disappearing from my wallet, I came out with skis, boots and poles. I was quite delighted to discover that a short platter lift at helicopter flat was free for beginers to use. I spent much of my time sprawled on the snow, but with a bit of helpful advice from the liftie, I was riding sucessfully to the top by the end of the day.I was hooked.
    A couple of weeks later we went to Baw Baw and they also had a free lift for beginners.This one was a short rope tow adjacent to the Hut platter. The "rope" was actually a steel cable. Just as well I was using cheap gloves as by the end of the day, there was quite a bit of damage from the cable to my right glove. I also remember in those early days seeing the Painted rope tow. It seemed that the "pulleys" for the rope were made from car wheel rims.
    It would be great if you could update your list to include a chair lift at Baw Baw, but I fear that is a long way into the future :(
     
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  36. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice observations and good memory!

    I'm not 100% sure that I and my collaborators have picked up every one of those little freebie beginner ski tows. Often we compare verbal reports and happy snaps with more formal records which sometimes don't bother to list them. It gets very confusing! I guess the situation was a bit like today where resorts install small moving carpets in beginner areas but don't bother to show them on the published resort maps.

    Yeah, as a step up from hand held rope tows, paying for a commercially made Hamilton branded nutcracker tow was a bit too pricey for some of the clubs and tiny companies that built ski tows in the 50s and 60s. So instead of paying for a Hamilton nutcracker, many were improvised using tractor wheel rims as bullwheels, the pylons supporting the rope were basically scrap metal and the pulleys (sheaves is the jargon word), were made from all sorts of things.
     
  37. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just on the curved lifts, the old Baldy duplex pomas at Buller had a curve, there was an old A-Frame building where they diverged from the Summit Access poma which went straight ahead.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  38. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Of interest my grandfather overhauled and rebuilt the rope tow the YMCA (now Brindabella) Ski Club operated at Guthga. (Named Beginners Tow in the directory) Will try to get some photos and slides scanned next time I'm at my dad's.
     
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  39. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ishiuchi resort in Yuzawa has a shiny new one.

     
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  40. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've always loved that photo, it shows Bourke Street at its most bonkers, made even worse when you know that the three Orange lifts Pomas were flanked by a Blue lifts chairlift on one side and a T-bar on the other. Fortunately most of that is long gone and for the past 11 years, all we've had is a 6-pack and the ancient 1963 Skyline T-bar.

    That picture is too good not to use, I'll have to find a place for it on the lifts list. What should I caption it as, perhaps Poma frenzy or maybe Too many Pomas are still not enough!?
     
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  41. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I particularly like it as Pomas are by far my favourite lifts. Fortunately there are still plenty left in France and I always text @Vermillion a photo while I am riding one. Duplexes are good as you can pick a side and have a race! (hint - pick the side that has the fewest people on the line!)
     
  42. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks folks, that new section appears to be quite popular, but I've had a query about how ski lifts are named.
    So here's a new sub-section on lift names. I'd appreciate any additions, corrections, letting me know if something isn't clear or things like awkward phrasing.
    So please tear it to bits, so I can improve it. :eek:

    Ski lift names
    Most common lift names. Summit and Village have been the most popular names for ski lifts. (Counting a duplex T-bar or Poma as a single lift.)
    - 11 Lifts named Summit have been built at: Ben Lomond (2), Falls Creek (2), Mt Baw Baw (1), Mt Buller (2), Mt Hotham (3), Perisher, Blue Cow (1)
    - 10 Lifts named Village have been built at: Ben Lomond (1), Cabramurra, NSW (2), Falls Ck (2), Lake Mtn (1), Mt Buller (1), Mt Hotham (1), Perisher (2)

    There are no rules for naming ski lifts, they are named whatever the owner wants to call them. Often the first lift at a resort didn’t have a name, an example is that the original Blue Ribbon at Hotham was mostly known as ‘the ski tow’ until more lifts were built and there was a need to give the lift a name to distinguish it from the others. However there have been a few themes in naming lifts.

    • Resort identities and Winter Olympic gold medalists. Thredbo has Sponar’s, Anton’s and Karel’s. Mt Buller has Kofler’s, Grimus and Lydia’s. Perisher has Kaaten. Falls Creek has Scott, and Hotham has (or had) Keogh’s, Davenport and Brockhoff.
    • Ski runs. Many ski resorts existed before lifts were installed and when a ski lift was built, it was often named after one of the established runs it served.
    • New lifts reusing the name of an older lift they replaced. This is probably the most common naming theme of replacement lifts in the past 50 years. In 2019 two new lifts, Leichhardt at Perisher and Canyon at Buller were given the same name as the old lifts they replaced.
    • Chairlift sponsorships. Seven or eight chairlifts have been named or renamed after car companies. These names are always temporary and when the sponsorship ends after a few years, the chairlift reverts to a more typical name for a ski lift. Lifts affected by this cash grab by lift companies are: At Hotham: the Audi Quattro. At Buller: Holden, Mercedes Benz, (Land Rover) Discovery. At Falls Creek: Billia Volvo. At Perisher: (Land Rover) Freelander, (Subaru) Forester and (Jensen) Interceptor… or perhaps not, as Jensen stopped making the Interceptor car long before the Interceptor chairlift was built.

      Mt Buller also had an airline sponsorship with the Emirates chairlift. However New Chum chairlift at Selwyn was not named after a reformulated brand of dog food, but rather after New Chum Hill, a nearby location in the Kiandra goldrush.
    • Nationalism. Just before Perisher was sold to Vail Resorts, they named a new chairlift with the rather jingoistic American sounding name ‘Freedom’, to welcome their impending American overlords. A few years earlier Mt Buller went in the other direction and called a new chairlift the rather Okker sounding ‘Bonza’.
    • Foreign ski locations. Before Australia had developed a strong skiing tradition of its own, some lift operators sought to utilise the glamour of overseas ski resorts. So there were ski lifts called Cresta at Mt Buffalo, Sun Valley at Falls Creek with Mt Buller also using Sun Valley as well as Chamois and Tyrol. This was a uniquely Victorian trend and no lifts in NSW or Tasmania were named after exotic ski locales.
    However Perisher did things differently to other ski resorts for its first few decades and had its own naming traditions.
    • Numbers. After the lifts in Perisher’s Front Valley came under one company, they were simply numbered from 1 to 7. When a new lift was built between the already existing lifts 5 and 6, it was called 5A. Obviously this only worked at a small resort, so as Perisher expanded many of its lifts were named or renamed after…
    • Explorers. The late 1960s saw a growing awareness and pride in this country’s history, so when the unified Perisher and Smiggin Holes resorts decided on a new theme for their lift names, they were renamed after explorers. Strangely, rather than explorers of the high country like McMillian, Strzelecki, Von Mueller, etc., many of the lifts were named after explorers who died in the desert such as Leichhardt, Bourke, Wills, etc. This theme was abandoned for new lifts after 1976, but the existing lifts were not renamed and when Leichhardt T-bar was replaced in 2019, the new chairlift kept its predecessors explorer name.
     
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  43. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think of Interceptor as a Ford rather than Jensen LOL
     
  44. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I didn't know that Ford did an Interceptor as well. But I like to imagine the perpetually broke Jensen motor company lashing out and buying a chairlift sponsorship at Perisher for their Interceptor model.

    [​IMG]
     
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  45. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Freedom chair was named for the new Freedom pass, being the beginning of cheap season passes in Aus. A few years before Vail were involved.

    Pass holders went in a ballot to have a chair named after them, hence the “Gay” chair named after the then Bowlo managers.
     
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  46. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    Bogong,

    I can confirm that Round Mountain rope tow which was run by the Corryong Ski Club definitely operated up to 1980, possibly 81. My first day ever on skis was a trip to Round Mountain from Corryong with my aunt and uncle and cousins and the local Lion's bloke who ran it - was maybe two other families on the day. The following year I went up with the Ski Club on the minibus with just my brother which left from the Corryong top pub. It was 1979 & 1980.

    It was a slowish rope tow with no knots that ran with a diesel engine and I reckon it was no more than 150~180 m long - but could have been up around 300m.
     
  47. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks very much, that is probably the most valuable information I've got from this thread. Records of those backcountry lifts are almost non existent and most of the clubs that ran them have disappeared without a trace.

    Entry now reads:

    Round Mountain. . Corryong Ski Club. . 1960's? - >1980 . . A slow hand held rope tow, between 150 and 300 metres long with a diesel engine. Some poles remain
     
  48. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    http://www.madmaxmovies.com/mad-max-interceptor/
     
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  49. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its the ducks guts.
     
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  50. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perisher has a S
    There is a Sun Valley T-bar in Perisher. It may be a reference to Idaho or to the fact that it is a valley that is sunny. Who knows?
     
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