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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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    Ta. I'll add that and correct the comment that the Mexicans were the only ones who pinched foreign resort names for their lifts.

    There is such a confusion of T-bars at Perisher (and in the past there were far more), that I sometimes glaze over when trying to think of them all.
     
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  2. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    My dad started skiing a few years before this. He said you paid per lift, rather than a ticket for the day. So when he fell off the Poma he’d hang on as hard as he could - he wasn’t wasting a token on a fall!!
     
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  3. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't know if the Falls one was named after a foreign resort either. When I was a kid, that whole side of Falls Creek was known as Sun Valley. It was serviced by the Sun Valley t-bar, which only operated on bluebird days and therefore that side had already earned its name of Sun Valley. It was only open on bluebird days because it was remote, and could only be accessed by a longish traverse following a snow pole line from the top of the summit t-bar or international poma.
     
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  4. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    Wheel rims were used a lot in the early tows.
    When I was at Mt Franklin I took some photos of the surviving ones.
     
  5. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great photos, can I use one of them on my website?
    If that's okay, I'll credit it to 'Mr. Mook' unless you want to PM me your real name
     
  6. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    As far as I know, the lowest ski lift in Australia was the chair lift at Baw Baw that ran from the carpark. The base was around 900m
     
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  7. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks Sandy. I don't know how I could have overlooked the Baw Baw chairlift. I've checked the height of the base station on an old topo map.
    So that bit now reads:

    Lowest ski lift in Australia. The former chairlift at Mt Baw Baw went down to 1190 metres. It was used to access the resort when the road was closed by snow and for skiing when the snow was deep enough at that altitude.
    Lowest operating ski lifts. The three lowest ski lifts still running are at Mt Mawson in southern Tasmania with Mawson tow having a base at c. 1218 metres
     
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  8. hipo

    hipo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ditto for Sun Valley in Perisher. The saddle / bowl between Mt Perisher and Back Perisher was known as Sun Valley when the MT P double chair opened. Hence the name,sun valley T-bar that serviced the bowl when opened in 1969. I would think back then any foreign influence in naming would be European (Austrian)
     
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  9. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've been tweaking that new section of the lifts directory over the past few months and adding bits to it.

    I said I'd answer all questions by the end of the year and the last one is the (hopefully final) answer to someones question about Australia's steepest lift and Carveman's related request for more info on the length and vertical rise of "substantial lifts". If you have any other questions please ask them here because if I put them on the web page, it will stop me having to answer emailed questions in the future.

    I've filled in more Length/Vertical boxes in the entries for individual lifts and listed the steepest past and present lifts. However this calculation isn't deadset certain because the length and vertical gain isn't recorded for all lifts. Even details of some modern lifts are a bit hazy as resorts don't bother to release them. So please let me know of any other possibilities.

    Steepest ski lifts in Australia. Figures for length and vertical gain are not recorded for all lifts, but these are the most likely:

    The ‘conventional wisdom’ is that the Rodway Tow at Mt Mawson is Australia’s steepest operating ski lift. It has an average gradient over its full length of 1 in 3.4 which is not exceeded by any other lift that stats are available for.

    The former Northcote Tow in NSW was slightly steeper. The lift was 540 metres long with a vertical of 162 metres giving an average grade of 1 in 3.3. However the upper half was considerably steeper than the lower part, with sections between some towers having a 1 in 2 gradient. In the 1950s speed skiing contests were held on the Eagle run parallel to the Northcote Tow.​
     
  10. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice historic doco on the development of ski lifts - no subtitles...

     
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  11. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've just had a look at the search queries that led to people to the website and there were no big surprises except:
    • How to make a swing or garden seat out of a ski lift chair?
    Now with the hundreds of old chairs sold in recent years in Australia, I shouldn't have been surprised that people are searching for that, although we ain't got nuthin on that sort of thing on the website. But a few people have posted here on their experiences and another person has sent me interesting progress reports on their experiences through the private message box.

    So apparently there's a demand for such information and a dedicated thread on this forum about how to do it would be the most obvious place for it. However if someone wants to write a short illustrated article and would like somewhere to host it, then the Australian Mountains website would be happy to do that.
     
  12. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not that hard to hang an old chair for a swing seat. Single attachment point, same as how it was intended to attached to haul cable. Typically use an existing overhead wood beam (or create one) and an appropriately sized bolt or threaded rod. Best to use a piece of pipe driven into the beam as a bushing, otherwise years of swinging on the chair will slowly enlarge the hole in the beam. Some chairs may need a welded modification to create the eye sleeve needed for a bolted installation.
     
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  13. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just when I thought I had answered every sensible question on the subject, another one appears:

    What are the "double ended" ski lifts in Australia? ... (as distinct from chairlifts with a mid load station)

    The only ones I can think of are Keoghs / Orchard at Hotham where what is effectively a single chairlift spans a valley with two loading points in the middle, where Keogh's heads up one hill, while Orchard climbs another.
    Then there was the old Summit Access / Howqua poma-lift at Buller which climbed up a ridge and descended the other side. Skiers riding the lift from the Buller village side rode Summit Access, while skiers from the Howqua River side rode Howqua.

    I'm quite confident that there haven't been any others in Victoria or Tasmania, but I have a slight feeling that Perisher may have once had a double ended lift? I haven't been there for a while, so I may have forgotten something. If people can think of any other double ended lifts, I'd be grateful. Thanks.

    The latest revision of section 1.3 of the Australian Ski Lift Directory answering questions on local lifts is at https://www.australianmountains.com/australianskilifts#records etc
     
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  14. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    No, at least in my memory. It's hard to imagine where they could put one. From the bottom of Telemark over into Smiggins? There are not a lot of places with runs on both sides of a ridge.
     
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  15. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Would the old charlotte pass chair qualify? Maybe if it had really been a single lift rather than 2.
     
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  16. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nope. Garden variety poma lift there originally.
     
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  17. Alleve

    Alleve One of Us

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    Taken from Google Images. The Gondolas fit 4 people, same as Buller's Northside:
    The Kosciuszko Express has the highest vertical of any operating Australian chairlift at 560m. As far as I'm aware, second place is the Snowgums Double at 472m. The Snowgums would also be the second longest lift at 1735m. The Kosciuszko Express also has the highest hours of operation. If you look at the Kosciuszko Express terminal, you can see the mechanism used to open and close the Gondola doors:

    I'd be interested to see a picture of how the Orchard/Keogh's load works. I've never seen it
     
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  18. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A shot I took last season.
    One I stole off Google.
    Quite a bit of effort put into the raised deck under the load station.

    Edit: Personally I think they stuffed it up, the $ million or so they saved then was a false economy.
    Loading a quad chair when 4 people have to come in from the side is awkward and results in very few chairs being fully loaded.
    Moving between Orchards and Keoghs and vice versa is also awkward, it's flat with some people pushing while others fly past from effectively any direction, simply dangerous.
    And finally having 2 lifts in 1 means twice as many stoppages.
     
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  19. Timmossy

    Timmossy One of Us

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    In hindsight it seems the whole things was done on the cheap but then again the original plan was to have the Gotcha lift not a quad, but instead the old Sun Run t-bar running up the ridge from the top of Milky Way to the top of Mary's. This got canned when it was decided that building t-bars in 1997 wasn't the done thing. The current Gotcha load is ridiculous, the only benefit over t-bar is it gives you half a lifted black run. A double chair could easily service the required capacity OR they could blow off half the chairs and space them out more like Southside lift @ Buller.
    The thing which makes the Keoghs/Orchard loading the hardest is the lack of spacing between the chairs. Personally I think they should blow 20 chairs off the lift and increase the spacing to give more time for people to get out. Longer chair intervals, but less stoppages and more chairs with 4 people on them as oppose d to 2/3/3 people per chair so will probably be no overall impact to capacity.
    The Orchard lift suffers too much like Southside at Buller, once you get over the flat at the top, you get 30 turns in and then you're at the bottom.
     
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  20. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Doppelmayr website proclaims that Buller's 1986 Horse Hill / Northside was the first Chondola (combined Chairlift and gondola) that they ever built. I think that it was only preceded by a chondola built by Leitner or Poma. While the Thredbo one was built four years later, the operational bits like the door opening bracket that Alleve highlights look almost the same. So the whole concept was new on these lifts and despite version 1.0 of most new things being a bit dodgy, they've lasted remarkably well for a third of a century.
     
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  21. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Not quite the right spot, but I couldn't find anywhere else to show this video of a historical single lift in the U.S.A. very interesting and makes me think that something like the existing Mt P Double Chair should be somehow preserved??
     
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  22. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great video, but even if you discount the fact that the 60 year old Mt P double had a mid life renovation using some Doppelmayr parts, there aren't many places in NSW that could benefit from it since Cabramurra club field was forced to close down a few years ago.

    Further afield in Tassie, Mt Mawson is also a club operated ski area and they could really benefit from a vintage Mueller access chairlift to save the 20 minute walk from the car park up to their ski tows. But heritage preservation is mostly a state thing, so I can't see an elderly NSW chairlift getting funding to be rebuilt in Tas-Mania.
     
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