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Experienced Towies/Lifties

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by Gangles, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Gangles

    Gangles First Runs

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    After getting home from what was the best snow I've seen at Falls Creek, I was talking to some friends about maybe working up the mountain next year possibly as a Towie. I was just wondering if anyone could share their experiences, what the work is like, any special training that has to be done beforehand or any special equipment I might need? Plus things like accommodation/wages. I would have asked someone up the mountain if I'd considered it when I was up there.
     
  2. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Hmm Hard work; cold feet and wet clothes all the time, being nice to customers when you have the worlds worst headache, working on all the bluebird days and only getting a day off when it rains, not to mention having to share accommodation with 5 other sweaty, snoring and farting blokes ( girls are just as bad) and spending all your wages on a seasons pass, beer and new gear? Hmm Sounds like heaven
     
  3. WaitAwhile

    WaitAwhile One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Standing next to a lift all day and making sure everyone gets on ok, while they quickly tell you how good the skiing/boarding is, absolutely priceless.!!
    Plenty of better jobs on the mountain that give you more skiing time.
    Try and find a job that involves working at night.
     
  4. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    Haven't done it myself but have interacted and worked directly with many young people that have/do. Except for those few it doesn't suit, the majority of them absolutely love it! Many return for multiple seasons and have trouble eventually breaking away and 'getting a real job'. My personal experience of a good number of years working at Falls is that the Towie group (and Lift Co employees in general - Retail, Hire) probably have the consistently best experience. This is a lot to do with having a great peer group. The Lift Co has a great recruitment process and if the job isn't right for you you probably won't get a job anyway. If you think you might like it apply and see how you go.
     
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  5. Sh4d0w9

    Sh4d0w9 Hard Yards

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    To add to Hullys extremely accurate representation of towie life.. Here's some details on the arrangements for living up there.

    Accommodation: Nissen, four share bunk rooms (though you might get lucky and wind up in a room of 3). Rooms all have couches, fridges, some basic cooking appliances and their own separate bathrooms. From what I've been told its around $120/week including laundry. This is half the price of 90% of other pre-organized staff accommodation on the mountain.

    Work Schedule: most towies get one day off a week with two half days, so basically at least three riding days a week. You also get to ride too and from work. Hours vary but again, as I've been told by others in the job they like to give people a good mix of shifts and hours to keep them happy.

    Pay: every entry level job on the mountain pays around $22/hour because of the alpine award.

    Lift Company always have a great retention rate because the staff love what they do. Theres also some great opportunities for career progression with Lift Co. Most applications on the hill open up in March and April.
     
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  6. Stratus

    Stratus A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I suppose employment is on a casual basis. How does the rostering work at the beginning and end of typical season when most lifts aren't open? Smaller shifts with more rotations, or do some staff just not get any work?
     
  7. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    At the start of the season they tend to hold off calling staff up until they are needed. Obviously there are fewer shifts available. At the end as lifts close some shifts may need to be dropped but this tends to often not impact too many as there are often some that are happy to head off early home or onto their next adventure.
     
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  8. weerab

    weerab One of Us

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    I was a bit surprised to see as many as there towies at the bottom of Towers! Most were great except for one sour puss who didn't warn us that the chair was coming so I took a hit from behind. I was too far to one side on another occasion and almost got pushed aside, guess I am not used to tows!
     
  9. Stratus

    Stratus A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think the idea is two towies on load, one organizing the queue. Never happens though.
     
  10. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    Off topic but: You'll find that having 3 towies at the bottom of FEX, Drovers and Towers is about maintaining safety standards given the makeup of the guest load on these lifts....high numbers of beginners and particularly small children that need assistance. Expectation is 1 at the gates, 1 at the load pendant and 1 rotating through helping 'high needs', maintaining ramp etc. With the masses of Guest Services 'Angels' now there should never be a queue that isn't being well organised......
     
  11. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you want to work a season to ride/ski as much as possible get job working at night.

    I've worked three different jobs outside at resorts in Australia and would say that being a liftie was probably the least riding time of them all.

    Just evaluate what you want to work the season for and go from there.
     
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  12. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    An important and often forgotten thing to ask yourself is if you want to experience a 'snow job' or a just regular job that happens to be in a ski resort? The classic night time jobs of bar work, kitchen work, housekeeping etc are really just normal jobs where you won't experience anything much different other than being able to ski/board on your time off. Being a Towie means experiencing skiing to and from work, working outdoors in the mountains, interacting with people having a great time, seeing the best sunrises and sunsets and doing work that you can't do in a non-ski town. I have been fortunate as a 'mature age' ski worker to have a couple of the best on-snow jobs that there are....but if I was a young person planning to work a ski season I would have Towie at the top of my list.
     
  13. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The riding to work thing is over rated. Take a designated run (eg the easiest way) directly to your lift or home at the end of your shift. Should not be a consideration.
     
  14. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    Not saying that it is quality ski time at all....just that it is a part of the experience of the job, as opposed to walking into a kitchen, catching a train to the office, logging on at the call centre terminal.
    There is no doubt that a season or two as a Towie is not a job for everyone, and knowing the FCSL recruitment procedures you will most likely not be successful, but it is a great fun experience for those that are suited to it.
     
  15. WaitAwhile

    WaitAwhile One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    For myself the whole point of doing multiple seasons was maximum skiing time and my trade was in the hospitality industry so being able to pick the right job was quite easy.
     
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  16. Gangles

    Gangles First Runs

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    Thanks everyone for all the responses, they've all been really helpful. I think I might give it a go next year, compared to a boning room with no windows, being outside sounds like a dream job, but does anyone know more about the actual recruitment process? I'd imagine there would be a decent amount of safety training involved?
    Otherwise thanks to everyone for their help.
     
  17. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    I never had that experience, no designated run as long as you got down the bottom and clocked off. My best run at Hotham EVER was riding to the bottom of the chair in the morning.

    That however didn't beat my experience OS where I could often get in 12 runs a day whilst working a chair. I got to know those areas so well I could get some good stuff in even later into the day.
     
  18. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    Apply on-line usually I think Feb or Mar, then group interviews are held in various capital cities. Training is done prior to the season as an intense week and then followed-up with on the job once you are called up. Yeah, plenty of safety training as really apart from some machine operation (go/slow/stop) and customer service, the main focus of the job is to get guests on and off lifts safely without hurting yourself or screwing the equipment.
     
  19. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Snorkler that must have been back in the day. Designated routes these days. 'OHS' killed it.
     
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    This season I experienced Falls Ck lifties' service and Charlotte Pass's back to back. Couldn't have been more different. The Falls kids did more than just a mechanical patter; their cheerful interaction had to be authentic and the energy for that comes from somewhere - enjoying the work and the peer group as Hully said.

    CP could do with a bit of OHS lashing: lifties were sitting in their boxes at the top playing with their smart phone. Falls Ck top lifties were keeping an eye out.
     
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  21. Sh4d0w9

    Sh4d0w9 Hard Yards

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    Not so much. Different ability levels are able to take different routes. They've done assessments to rate skiing and boarding capacity and unless you're pretty average, you can take any route.

    In Canada, we were only allowed to take green runs and strictly no "off ground" action.. So no jumping rollers.

    Jobs open up from around Feb, group interviews in Adelaide, Melbourne and Albury in mid-April. You have to be able to attend the group interview to be offered a position, no Skype interviews!
     
  22. planetfonz

    planetfonz Hard Yards

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    Great idea being a lifty do it! Hully has it all spot on.
    I holidayed from qld there in 2009, first time at the snow, rode the lift with a staffmember on my last day, he said it was an enjoyable spot to live and work, what the hell do i have to lose. Applied following Feb, accepted, group interview, I wasn't selected...
    But, so many other applicants dropped out early on that I was called up 2 weeks later and shortly after that was standing, freezing, with visibility of about 5m (getting there involved first ever snowmobile ride, a day of winning) ,and with many bags of lollies at the top of ruined castle, and pretty happy with life. putting the lack of snowboard skill aside, thus began 2 of the most enjoyable and satisfying seasons or work that I've ever been involved with.
    if you aren't a slack fool who can't be at the rollcall on time, you won't have many problems work wise, and you can easily fund your overseas adventure from moneys earned, and then FCSL will ask you back the next year.
    we had a tough boss at the time and if he caught you with your phone then you'd get a mouthful, which could lead to stupid jobs, or less hours, or all of the above and so on. that would still exist. anyways, knowing you could crush any of the guests or miss them danging from a chair always made you keep looking.
    on that level as well, you'll see more hilarious incidents than you can ever imagine ha.
    If you don't go for this you miss the chance to become intimate with a beautiful place, in all its differing times of day and during different parts of the season that no other jobs really give you
     
    #22 planetfonz, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
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  23. planetfonz

    planetfonz Hard Yards

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    there's a booklet and oh&s stuff that you do and get marked off, equipment training would be during the week when the new people go there for training, May i'm pretty sure. if you are involved with de-icing then you do oh&s stuff for working at heights.
    incidents when they happen, be them mechanical or human are responded to very quickly by team leaders, ski patrol and maintenance staff. there's always a team leader very close by no matter where you are working