Falls Creek Nordic Bowl & Windy Corner set for destruction

ladycamper

One of Us
Jul 16, 2010
3,099
549
363
Australia
heres this I got from my email inbox

FYI

Not sure if YHA skiing is aware that the Falls Creek Resort Management are planning to destroy the Nordic Bowl by building a football oval there. I thought this plan had been moved to beside the Rocky Creek dam lake, but it is still destined for the Nordic Bowl.

Here are some details from the MNSC newsletter:
"Proposed Falls Creek Altitude Training Centre at Nordic Bowl
The Falls Creek Resort Management (FCRM) proposes constructing a sporting oval and mixed use facility at the Nordic Bowl. An application for a planning permit has been submitted to the Minister for Planning Department of Environment Land and Water.

The plan proposes demolition of the Windy Corner shelter and the Nordic Bowl Race Hut, to be replaced by Construction of a 110 metre long x 78 metre wide synthetic sports AFL football oval/soccer pitch and a new Multi-purpose building at the Nordic Bowl. The building will include a food and drink outlet, ski hire and shop and multipurpose room and storage.

During the winter off season months the multipurpose area will be cleared and used as a gym/weight training area for sporting groups. The proposed Building and oval will require removal of Native trees and vegetation. Access to the Nordic Bowl would be by bus from the carpark or by skiing via the aqueduct trail from the village. Skiing from the Windy Corner carpark to the Nordic Bowl via the High Plains Rd will no longer be an option as it will cleared of snow and have frequent vehicle traffic. Although the date for the submission has passed, it is not too late to send in your views, suggestions and objections to the Planning Department. Please see details below. You can send your submission until a decision has been made but don't leave it too late. If approved, the next stage will be to obtain funding. Contributed by [name withheld]"
 

ladycamper

One of Us
Jul 16, 2010
3,099
549
363
Australia
It's Planning Application No PA1600078.

' Buildings and works associated with the construction of a multi-use Altitude Training Centre, roadworks to upgrade Bogong High Plains Road, use of the land for minor sports and recreation facility, food and drink premises and shop and removal of native vegetation'

I think this is a bad idea because the Nordic Bowl has gentle slopes which are perfect to teach XC beginners (I learnt there), and is nicely sheltered in bad weather as well. This oval will force beginners further out on to less forgiving trails, where they will be in the way of high speed advanced skiers, with a potential for more injuries and accidents. Also, the idea of having to catch a bus to the Bowl, or use the skinny aqueduct trail sucks. Given diminishing snow these days every piece of nordic trail (which does not have snow guns) is precious and this will see about half a km lost. A solution is to move the oval to out beside the lake, somewhere near the boat sheds, then the footballers can have their oval and we can keep the Nordic Bowl. If that causes National Park problems, then it should be ditched - cross country skiers, who need snow a lot more than footballers need an oval, shouldn't have to suffer for the very well off football industry.

We can respond by (+ASAP+) sending a letter to
Attention: Louisa Smith,
1 Smith St, Melbourne VIC 3000
'Any objection must:
- be sent in writing
- include the reasons for the objection
- state how the objector would be affected'
 
  • Like
Reactions: BillyKidd

ladycamper

One of Us
Jul 16, 2010
3,099
549
363
Australia
A major football club that has commercial arrangements with FCRM for altitude training is the Geelong Football Club.
 

Edgecrusher

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Apr 19, 2013
71,438
56,851
1,563
36
The Southern Capital
A major football club that has commercial arrangements with FCRM for altitude training is the Geelong Football Club.
Yup. Collingwood did a stint up there last spring as well. Some of our top middle distance runners have been using Falls as a training base for years.
Doing your weights in the new building in the depths of winter might be a bit tough. Images of Rocky training montages spring to mind
 
  • Like
Reactions: ladycamper

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,381
34,482
1,563
Kiewa Valley
The plan has been developed with lots of consultation with the Nordic skiing community at Falls Creek. As I understand it they are very keen on the plan. Altitude training is an important component of increasing summer visitation and keeping the resort viable.

The Nordic bowl will not be destroyed, it would just have better facilities.

The "football field" is really just a flat area for summer training, not a proper playing field.

The plan may have been approved but as far as I know there is no funding in sight.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Apresski
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

snowduck

One of Us
Dec 30, 2004
3,637
2,706
363
Adelaide
Had a search through some old files.

The 2014 Village Masterplan makes mention of constructing a synthetic grass training ground in the Nordic Bowl area
 
  • Like
Reactions: currawong

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
33,229
34,022
1,063
Middle Oz
Had a search through some old files.

The 2014 Village Masterplan makes mention of constructing a synthetic grass training ground in the Nordic Bowl area

I think it predates this a lot. I seem to remember the Nordic Bowl was to be a car park in the grand land swap plan that Kennet's crew put through at 2AM in the morning that was reversed by the next Guvement.

For some reason the ARC has it in for the Nordic Bowl.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ladycamper

ladycamper

One of Us
Jul 16, 2010
3,099
549
363
Australia
Is it anything to do with most of the cross country mob being bush walkers, VNPA supporters, and opposed to a hut at High Knob near the Razorback, and the interest FCRM has in diverting the Falls to Hotham crossing via Diamantina Spur?
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
33,229
34,022
1,063
Middle Oz
Why not both, or all three routes?

I've done the three main routes F to H, each is excellent in it's own way and on the right day or 2.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
33,229
34,022
1,063
Middle Oz
It's in plans that FCRM and PV are trying to keep a low profile of, with plans to divert the F>H crossing to go via Diamantina Spur and the Razorback.

i forgot to say about the hut, is it new hut or an old hut?
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,381
34,482
1,563
Kiewa Valley
Windy Corner shelter is to also be demolished replaced by a new much better facility.[/s]
This development is one that is sought by the local xc community. FCRM are looking after them not fighting them. By doing stuff that supports altitude training there is a hope of getting funding that xc could not hope for on its own
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
11,231
5,144
813
with all this money around plans/consultants etc do u think that somebody could please replace the grid in P.Valley Hut Masport Stove :grid above ash pan is stuffed...could be a job for a welder/iron worker/blacksmith professional...

probably only cost 50 dollars..... this would be a" great plan"!!!!!!!!:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
11,231
5,144
813
u got to be joking about Diamintina Spur....the initial section out of West Kiewa as it meets the ridge proper is dangerous...it needs to be rerouted..never mind all the iconic walk crap ....start with basic things of fundamental importance....

no work has been done or proposed on this that Team Bears are aware of....

not sold on idea of a hut at High Knob.......to exposed and not a good idea having an eye sore right in the iconic corridor...

a hut half way along Diamintina Spur would be a better idea...less exposed from westerly winds and in an area with fuel for wood stove too...

and its like grandiose plans all round by the sound of things...
other day just before seasons gate closure I came via westons hut to west Kiewa where many trees were down on the track we unfortunately did not have time to cut these(well most) out of way....concentrate on the basics please...we think that is a better plan...

Iconic walks sound great on glossy spread sheets but we would like to see some on going commitment on the ground...
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
33,229
34,022
1,063
Middle Oz
This development is one that is sought by the local xc community. FCRM are looking after them not fighting them. By doing stuff that supports altitude training there is a hope of getting funding that xc could not hope for on its own

Would I be right in thinking the outcome of the building work would be used outside the ski season and be covered in snow & therefore the Nordic use would pretty much remain as is? Albeit a different shape (should not be an issue) and new club facilities?
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
33,229
34,022
1,063
Middle Oz
Proposed new hut. Diamantina is a rewarding walk for properly prepared, adventurous and fit walkers.

I remember a good ski tour when we climbed up from hut at the bottom of the valley with 1/5 meter snow starting at the hut. I've no idea how we followed the pad up Dimantina. Maybe we made our own way. 1/5 meter turned to waist deep as climbed. It was long tough day to get over to Federation Hut site.

As US has noted previously there will be a lot of work to make the bottom 1/3 of Dimantina a route that meets standard and does not need so much maintenance it is closed after 1 season.

It will be an interesting project.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ladycamper

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,381
34,482
1,563
Kiewa Valley
Would I be right in thinking the outcome of the building work would be used outside the ski season and be covered in snow & therefore the Nordic use would pretty much remain as is? Albeit a different shape (should not be an issue) and new club facilities?
I'm not really up on the details. I have many friends who are keen as skiers but don't do much myself.

You are on the money about Nordic use of the bowl continuing much the same in winter. I don't know if it includes new club (birky) facilities, but everything currently at windy corner Nordic centre would be in the new building - including toilets.
 
Last edited:

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,381
34,482
1,563
Kiewa Valley
Dislike this plan.

- removal of native vegetation
- not being able to ski straight from windy corner car park
- the nordic bowl is a perfect to learn to ski. Gentle short sheltered slopes. I have brought a few friends of mine there plus always many school groups learning there.
The Nordic bowl will be an even better place to learn because beginners can start there rather than trudging up the road from windy corner. Toilets on site will also be a plus.

IIRC the masterplan included ski access up to the aquaduct trail, and piping of that section of aquaduct to make it safer (and more groomable)

I really don't know about the native vegetation removal, but I do know that FCRM are diligent in providing offsets whenever it is necessary to remove native vegetation in the resort.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
11,231
5,144
813
Team Bears can see that the Ski resorts need many summer activities to remain economically viable...

"windy corner shelter" has unfortunately been developed on a very bad site with prevailing weather....not sure of what is best development...some compromises will be need to be made...the area of land further around the corner near the really big shed may be an option for another development....very tricky this balance....things don't need to stay the same but great care and thought needs to go on here before implementing changes....sometimes trees need to go and landscapes need to be altered.....good development will come with a cost and budget solutions should not be taken up....
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
33,229
34,022
1,063
Middle Oz
I'm not really up on the details. I have many friends who are keen as skiers but don't do much myself.

You are on the money about Nordic use of the bowl continuing much the same in winter. I don't know if it includes new club (birky) facilities, but everything currently at windy corner Nordic centre would be in the new building - including toilets.

Without looking at the plans I am happy with this as a concept, thanks for the low down currawong. I have not skied out of Falls much in recent years but in the past have done up to every 2nd weekend for the full Winter. I am looking to do some Winter stuff out of Falls in 2018.
 
  • Like
Reactions: currawong

Rolo

One of Us
Jul 28, 1998
3,847
115
213
ACT
Having more or less grown up (in a skiing sense) at Falls Creek XC skiing and racing and doing some teaching of others to ski, I think this is more likely to be an improvement than a detriment, in terms of facilities and amenity for new and existing participants in summer and winter activities in the area. There might be some impacts on nostalgia, and a few trees, but that's generally the price of change. FCRM know their brand and value proposition isn't enhanced by a denuded landscape, so I'd expect the construction impacts will be the minimum required to facilitate the changes.
 

CaptainC

Addicted
Jun 15, 2005
170
136
113
64
Melbourne
Hey check out http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/13830/all-year-sports-plan-at-falls/
SKETCHES have been released of a proposed $30 million development that could transform Falls Creek into a state-of-the-art high-altitude training centre.


Resort management is seeking government funding for the three- stage project that would include a gym and sports field for the town as well as a boat shed and roof-top cafe on the shore of the Rocky Valley Dam.

Falls Creek Resort Management chief executive David Herman said Falls Creek was already attracting elite athletes including AFL premier Geelong and, last month, members of the Russian track endurance cycling team.

Mr Herman said the new facilities would build on the area’s natural assets to create and an all-year training centre for athletes, including rowers, skiers and footballers.

The first stage of the project would be a football field in Nordic Bowl.

Next would come a gym equipped with a four-lane 25-metre pool, water slide and sports medicine facilities.

At the nation’s highest body of water, the Rocky Valley Dam, a boat shed could house the rowing boats of elite teams.

For those more keen on sightseeing than serious sport, paddleboats would be available for public hire.

Mr Herman said all of the facilities could be used throughout summer and winter.

For example the Rocky Valley boathouse cafe would become a rest stop for cross-country skiers.

Likewise, the gym would be home to skiers and snowboarders in the snow season, and runners, cyclists and footballers in the warmer months.

Mr Herman said the plans had been inspired by the world’s leading all-season alpine resorts, like St Moritz in Switzerland and Whistler Blackcomb in Canada.

He is hopeful funding will be secured for the project from the Victorian and federal government this year.

The resort town is already frequented by a range of athletes in summer and the new proposal is part of a push to further boost Falls Creek during its traditional “off-season”.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
33,229
34,022
1,063
Middle Oz
Mr Herman said all of the facilities could be used throughout summer and winter.

He is obviously rowing the single scull over Rocky Valley Dam every week during Winter? I'd pay money to watch.

He has been to Falls Creek in Winter has he not?

That aside it does sound like an interesting and positive development.
 

pjs4

One of Us
Apr 5, 2001
4,761
4
188
One of the reasons for the expansion of the Nordic Bowl is so that the Kangaroo Hoppet can be turned into a World Cup Event. This has come about after extensive discussions with FIS with their full support. The flow on effect for the local (Falls Creek, Mt Beauty, Bright etc) economy and potential increased funding for Australian cross country skiing is huge.
 

Hully

One of Us
May 6, 2004
1,741
1,813
363
57
Kiewa Valley
I don't use the nordic facilities enough to claim to be a knowledgeable stakeholder in the impact of the proposal. There is no doubt that the current facilities at Windy Corner need an urgent significant upgrade and I did make a submission to the Master Plan process in this regard. Great to see that the current Master Plan has dropped Herman's folly of a major development on the bank of the dam.
My main concern with the current proposal is that it pushes the cross country skiing fraternity even further away from the village proper. I am a strong believer that they need to be embraced into the village so that they are encouraged to use facilities and businesses within the village and seen to be part of, and contributing to, the mainstream ski industry. Falls Creek is currently a 'compact' destination and this should be retained as much as possible. Stringing facilities out along the BHP Road and increasing the need for, and amount of, bus transport should be minimised.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BillyKidd

Seth

I am figure skating
Ski Pass
Jun 6, 2000
44,135
25,173
1,525
The Higher Ground
I don't use the nordic facilities enough to claim to be a knowledgeable stakeholder in the impact of the proposal. There is no doubt that the current facilities at Windy Corner need an urgent significant upgrade and I did make a submission to the Master Plan process in this regard. Great to see that the current Master Plan has dropped Herman's folly of a major development on the bank of the dam.
My main concern with the current proposal is that it pushes the cross country skiing fraternity even further away from the village proper. I am a strong believer that they need to be embraced into the village so that they are encouraged to use facilities and businesses within the village and seen to be part of, and contributing to, the mainstream ski industry. Falls Creek is currently a 'compact' destination and this should be retained as much as possible. Stringing facilities out along the BHP Road and increasing the need for, and amount of, bus transport should be minimised.

Compact within the village would be nice, but where exactly?

There isn't a huge amount of room and I can't see downhill and XC living together in a safe or enjoyable way for anyone.

Yeah, it's on the fringe of the village but is that ultimately a bad thing. Don't most people going out for a shuffle or skate to get away from the village not through it?

I'm no longer a regular XC skier but whenever I've done the hoppet being out on the highplain away from the village and lifts was most definitely the highlight.
 

Hully

One of Us
May 6, 2004
1,741
1,813
363
57
Kiewa Valley
Compact within the village would be nice, but where exactly?

There isn't a huge amount of room and I can't see downhill and XC living together in a safe or enjoyable way for anyone.

Yeah, it's on the fringe of the village but is that ultimately a bad thing. Don't most people going out for a shuffle or skate to get away from the village not through it?

I'm no longer a regular XC skier but whenever I've done the hoppet being out on the highplain away from the village and lifts was most definitely the highlight.
To me the XC trails and tracks would not change....it is more about where you locate the trailhead and facilities. My submission kept the trailhead where it is and developed a year round facility at Windy Corner....with ideas of how to safely incorporate traffic, both foot and nordic skiers, safely to and from the village. Putting the trail head and facilities at Windy Corner pushes it a further 900mts along the BHP Road from the Village. I also think that consideration of location should also include it being the MTB trailhead facility over summer. The middle of a barren carpark can't be considered ideal moving forward and putting users of the summer facilities of all disciplines in the one close area, adjacent to the Village, is important in ensuring a feel of atmosphere and vibrancy during the green season when at most time users are in the hundreds not thousands.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Seth

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,381
34,482
1,563
Kiewa Valley
It would be nice if the aquaduct trail could be kept in better condition for xc, including classic tracks. To some extent this is the glue, or maybe the string, that connects the Nordic trails to the village. But it is not much fun to xc along there when it is churned up. It also would benefit from better access to the aquaduct from the village bowl. It's quite a slog to get up there. Same problem in summer for bikes and walkers.

Some Nordic skiers enjoy stopping at dicky knees for lunch or a cuppa. If the aquaduct track was better then I think more xc people would venture into the village and spend a bit there too.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
11,231
5,144
813
not sure what development will take place but Falls Ck needs to move with the times..

suppose change is a bit scary....but as stated above some of our respected forum members seem happy with proposals..so Team Bears see they are in a better position to judge this development and to put in a balanced case for XC skiers...so we are happy for alterations of the familiar landscape at this end of the village..
 

skimax

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Jul 25, 2000
32,721
7,628
1,025
Melbourne Australia
Falls creek needs a xc trail connecting the xc bowl to the falls express area but that opportunity may have passed.
Agreed like thredbo Falls could be set up as high altitude centre , it needs an indoor pool and gym of course and it aint going to happen without significant Government funding like the AIS but those days are probably over ..
The only logical place to build it would be one of the day car parks I suspect
 

Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
9,730
4,820
563
I understand that the application is for a planning permit, so there's a long way to go.

Some items mentioned by a well-connected local who's ploughed through the documentation:

1. The aqueduct will be piped and that will increase usable terrain for skiers all out that side.
2. That will form the on-ski access from the Windy Cnr carpark.
3. The Windy shelter will be demolished.
4. A new shelter, restaurant etc will be built beside the proposed oval at the Nordic bowl.
5. A shuttle bus will run btwn the car park and that site.
6. The oval will provide a better starting point for the Hoppet and other races and the slopes running to it will be used for XC instruction.
 

Tonka

Hard Yards
Jun 23, 2014
110
47
98
I find it interesting that the proposed fitness centre is described as high altitude.
The underlying problem with high altitude (>2000 m) is that there is less oxygen and while this may not be that threatening to individuals at rest it does pose a challenge to athletes. Of course for the pure anaerobic events no adaptation is required so this discussion is necessarily focused on endurance training and competition. In general the higher the altitude the longer it takes to adapt. Understanding the adaptation process and the things that you can do to aid it will make for a less taxing transition. A number of physiologic changes occur to allow for acclimatization at high altitude. These can be divided into immediate, which take place over several days, and long term which requires weeks to a few months.
Are we talking about the same Nordic Bowl?
 

Tonka

Hard Yards
Jun 23, 2014
110
47
98
The body's adaptation to high altitude helps significantly but doesn't fully compensate for the lack of oxygen. There is a drop in VO2 max of 2% for every 300 m elevation above 1500 m even after allowing for full acclimatization. I know that this is a difficult concept to believe because so many programs have touted the benefits of high altitude training.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ladycamper

Scott No Mates

One of Us
Sep 14, 2003
3,559
492
263
Sydney - LNS
Falls creek needs a xc trail connecting the xc bowl to the falls express area but that opportunity may have passed.
Agreed like thredbo Falls could be set up as high altitude centre , it needs an indoor pool and gym of course and it aint going to happen without significant Government funding like the AIS but those days are probably over ...

Can't a trail be cut from Wombat Ramble near Big Red down to Windy Corner thus making the area more accessible to xc skiers?

I'd agree with the concept that we need better facilities to make FC more attractive for the green season.

Are there any links to the proposal?
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,381
34,482
1,563
Kiewa Valley
Can't a trail be cut from Wombat Ramble near Big Red down to Windy Corner thus making the area more accessible to xc skiers?

I'd agree with the concept that we need better facilities to make FC more attractive for the green season.

Are there any links to the proposal?
I'm not sure what the issue is that you are addressing.

It's easy to access the nordic bowl. The McKay Rd links the nordic bowl & inner trails to wombats ramble not far below Big Reds. the aquaduct trail goes from nordic bowl, crosses wombats ramble not far above windy corner, then passes the parallel st extension track which leads into the village
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

Log in

or Log in using
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass