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Advice needed How do you get to your backcountry destination?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Ricardo64, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't know if this thread belongs here, but I feel it is related in some way!

    I am considering, scaling back my VW Toureg to something smaller due to unreliablity. This needs to prodominantly fit within my lifestyle, backcountry snowboarding trips, camping, snow, snow, surfing, more snow trips, XC MTB, and sowboarding and more snow trips if I can fit them in. Thoughts are floating around the subaru outback 2007 -2008 or the forester 2008 - 2012 both need to be manual.

    Firstly, I am curious, what everyone here is using as their transport to their favorite trail heads or resorts and why did you pick that type of vehicle.

    Reason for these vehicles,
    1) I am not overly tall and need to access roof racks.
    2) they seem to be a credible AWD for there size.
    3) I don't like larger 4wd and can't justify carbon foot print for one person.
     
  2. skifree

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

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    Subi hatch thing.

    Cheap, cheap to run, still running.
     
  3. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Outback, auto. Got me to Mt St G car park in about 12 inches of snow last May. Had to fit chains about 200 m before car park. Hope to buy another when new model comes out.
     
  4. skifree

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

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    I should also note bullet proof. And I don’t cry when people in massive suvs dent it in the car park. They are still jerks for doing it and not owning up.
     
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  5. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Seems The Subaruis pretty popular,

    I like the fact I could put the back seats down in the outback (2007-2008) and I still have roiom to sleep with all my gear. With a relatively powerful 2.5 power plant
     
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  6. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Smoke belching high clearance low range toyota diesel 4WD for the win (hilux/fortuner/prado)! Bring a saw and top up your firewood supply (in accordance with forestry domestic firewood collection rules of courseLOL) with the fallen timber you have to cut to get to the trailhead.

    I got this because I really want to have the best chance to get to those more challenging trailheads after a low dump in winter (e.g. granite flat / camp creek gap for Mt Bogong). Also, I just love travelling to remote places in the victorian alps at any time of year and a proper 4WD gets me there.

    So, I suppose it depends how off the beaten track you want to go.

    If I stand on a phone book, I'd be lucky to be 5' 10", but with side rails I have no problem reaching roof racks.

    I'm using under 10L/100km which I think is not so bad by historical standards, but by modern standards is a little thirsty. My driving is a mix of efficient highway driving, not-so-efficient city driving and a little bit of mileage-killing low range driving off road.


     
  7. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tiguan?

    Little smaller than the Toureg.
     
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  8. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Uses way more fuel than a Tiguan.
     
  9. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've had subies for 30 years (5 in total IIRC). one blew an engine after 400+K. Another is almost at 600K. I wouldn't touch a subie diesel (particulate filter issues) but the petrol engines go on forever. Not an issue with the age you are looking at. not for serious 4WD but if you just want something solid for reasonable gravel roads and ski resort access then they are great. the older outbacks are a good height for bikes and skis/boards. Forrester and newer outbacks area lot higher. the diffeence in clearance between liberty and outback was only about an inch IIRC, so don't rule out a liberty.
     
  10. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    spent many nights sleeping in the back of subies to saver money on ski weekends. lilo and doona in the back. looxury
     
  11. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I hear good things about Forresters - a couple of my friends and family have them. They’re overly powerful so you’d need the 2.5L model going up hills. Not a huge boot either but for 1 or 2 would usually be fine.

    FWIW: I had the early R4 5 door wagon when they were much smaller than now. A lot more punchy then a 2/2.2L Liberty but a bit short for having 2m xc skis in the back.

    in NZ w3 usually rent a 2L RAv 4 auto and I still really like them but again I’d want to option up to 2.4/5L for hill work.

    Subie manuals still offer ther the crawler gear /extra low ratio I believe which if true could be handy crawling up snowy trails?

    But look into clearance and & overhangs if going up 4wd trails. Need to be pretty clear with yourself as to how much grunt work you’ll do.

    Don’t touch Jeeps - you’ll just tear up $thousands repairing the same.
     
  12. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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  13. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL Seeing as the OP thinks the Toerag is a POS, unlikely to want another VAG POS. Oh yeah and at the time I think I recommended you get a Subaru but you didn't listen. :whistle:
     
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  14. skifree

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

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    It’s possible to listen and still not take that particular advice.
     
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  15. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    My R50 Pathfinder refuses to die after 19 years of service. 270k KM on clock is not a lot on kms, but well looked after and hard to justify dropping $50k on a replacement.
     
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  16. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did miss the unreliability bit!

    I thought he just didn't like the size LOL
     
  17. Byron

    Byron Hard Yards

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    I would go for an Outback with a H6 engine. 3rd gen (2007-2009) has a 3.0L while the 4th gen (2010-2014) gets a 3.6L, but apparently there is not a lot in it power wise. The engines are fundamentally the same and are reliable from all reports.

    If you want something a bit special you could always go for a Liberty 3.0R SpecB, which is basically a 3rd gen Outback with an inch less clearance (its the same chassis otherwise) but gets the STI gearbox which by all accounts is spectacular.
     
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  18. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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  19. mholling

    mholling One of Us

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    My Jimny, like a Lada but better.

     
  20. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep
     
  21. Cam Slee

    Cam Slee One of Us

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    I prefer 4WD. Holden Colorado (basically a rebadged version of the D-Max). 3.00-litre turbo diesel, lifted 2", dual battery, mud tyres. No roof racks required.

    And I can sleep in the back.

     
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  22. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    +1 2008 Hilux bought September 2012 on 40K off the floor of an auction house- just up to 245K.
     
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  23. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Mazda BT 50 Dualcab with canopy + lifted + burly Bullbar.
     
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  24. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Noice!
     
  25. coolair

    coolair One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Navara STX covers my needs for work and play.
     
  26. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Have I sung the praises of the Toyota 2003 RAV 4?

    It is often a matter of reliability , economy in terms of fuel consumption and the skill of the driver to handle creek crossings, steep rocky descents, black ice and fresh low level snow falls.. Put a roof rack , awning and all terrain tyres on one of these things , carry a snow shovel ,chainsaw and a wheel chains and you can drive most places. I took it down Road No.3 past the hut to Carter's road :-0. I have driven up to the Bluff hut twice in it and back via the Refrigerator Gap/ Bluff Link Road route.
    I can drive up to Mt. Stirling in fresh snow and not bother putting chains on whereas all 2 WD would have to fit chains at chain bay 2 ( a long way down the hill).
    I have driven up Stoney Tops twice to the Northern Razorback trail head at Mt. Feathertop. That involves some steep clay fire tracks and a creek crossing. I take it up the Mulhauser spur track to access Long Spur on foot and Mt. Bogong. No issues there.
    I have driven up to Mt. St. G. along the dirt road in spring snow half way up the tyres in low auto AWD gear without chains and parked it no problem. Yes the 4 wheels did spin a bit but nothing too bad. Just keep it moving in reverse or forwards.
    The photos are from late June 2019 .I drove over Mt. Hotham from Myrtleford and Harrietville to JB Plain for day touring on XC skis in fresh snow i.e 10 cm snow fall. People were sliding off the road but I was fine. Snow driving is a skill. Braking on ice is never going to end well esp. for numpties with no idea.
     
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  27. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Island bend !. I camped there in Sept. 2019. It started snowing at the campsite but the snow did not settle.
     
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  28. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Most in the VMTC have the subi forrester (Manual with good low range) . They have the ground clearance to tackle many 4wd tracks (they get out to Blue Rag Range in the Vic Alps and shock many of the bigger 4wds in where they go).
    Many do 400-600,000km without needing much work.
     
  29. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    so next question with the Subis Forester XS or XT ?

    I am pretty partial to the Outback 2008 manual 2.5 as I have owned one before and it visited every Vic resort with out fail, even while people were sliding off the road it was straight and steady.

    I haven't had much experience with the forester, it seems like they have less inteernal roon than the outback. As for ground cleareance I think they are pretty much the same (please correct me here).
     
  30. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @mx_boarder
     
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  31. Arne

    Arne One of Us

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    My take on this is you'll miss the elevation and power of the Toureg. Maybe even the size.
    I've had my share of 4wds. Isuzu and Toyota. Then moved onto Subaru.
    As much as I'd like it to I could never go a Euro. I'm just not that rich. I tend to buy at the end of someone elses warranty and put on another 200k kms before moving on.
    My trucks were diesel, fine vehicles but flawed as big, heavy and in the end expensive. Great elevation to view over traffic in the city and good for touring and camping.
    I loved my Subaru Liberty GT. Plenty of power/room for 20 odd year round trips a year to Thredbo from Sydney, but flawed for city driving as everyone has an SUV and I couldn't see through the traffic and I also scraped the bottom of the bumpers. Cheap to run/maintain though.
    I now have a 2018 Subaru Forester XT.
    Best compromise so far, power/elevation/ space/tech. The car is light on the road and can't be shaken loose on dirt/wet and snow. I'm the only one in the car, but for 3/4 people plus gear there wouldn't be enough luggage room. Best of luck to find what works for you.
     
  32. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rich? by no stretch of the imagination. I purchase my 2003 a couple years ago, not long after the puchase (6-8mnths) it started developing problems, I have already sunk something to the tune of 3-4K, into it and no closer to solving the problems might I also mention it has 240K. In my case I like it but I can't rely on it for long trips which has put me on the sidelines watching two BC seasons go by. I pend most of my time riding my bike from Dromana to Altona North to work because I can't rely on the Toureg POS.
     
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  33. mx_boarder

    mx_boarder Habitual line stepper Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've had my 2011 Forester XT for around 1.5yrs now and it's been a great rig. I find the proportions nicer than the contemporary Outback, but personal preference.

    Plenty of poke from the 2.5 turbo mill, and handling is adequate, especially if you upgrade the rear sway bar (inexpensive) to reduce roll. This, together with good rubber, makes a world of difference.

    If you do go down that path, hold out for a good 2011/2012 model, as these got some handy interior upgrades over the earlier cars. Much nicer climate control screen/interface, and updated gauge cluster. Regardless of year, the Premium model gives you leather and a brilliant sunroof - well worth it.

    Full service history is gold, or pay accordingly and roll the dice. They are quite sturdy things, mind you.

     
    #33 mx_boarder, Apr 12, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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  34. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    In non lock down times I drive a lot for surfing , bushwalking and XC ski trips both with in VIC and to NSW.I have had to replace the alternator and the bushes on the wheel/ axle assembly . It is just wear and tear. I service my RAV4 every 6 months. Driving on rough unsealed roads leads to having many light globes pop and burst e.g. parker lights, tail lights etc . That is a nuisance but that is what happens when driving off the black top.
    I rarely am required to fit chains with the AWD with all terrain tyres. Only ascending the Mt. Hotham road and the Lake Mountain road did I encounter during 2019 {and some 25 + snow trips } situations where I decided fitting chains was smart or it was just compulsory.
     
  35. mx_boarder

    mx_boarder Habitual line stepper Ski Pass: Gold

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    Easy fix - replace them with direct fit LED equivalents.
     
  36. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mr you'll have to come up to the Morington Peninsula..
     
  37. legend

    legend One of Us

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    One difference between the Outback and Forrester is the wheel base length. The Forrester has the shorter and can ride over erosion control humps without being hung up. The one and only early Outback I owned got hung up regularly, I quickly went back to the Forrester for this reason.
     
  38. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Loved my 2010 foz.
    Was an X
    Needed turbo for long trips when loaded, even just 2 and ski gear.

    Get the XT if you'll be doing similar
     
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  39. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    So Outback has more comfortable ride and superior storage in rear for skis etc. Personal preferences, horses/courses. Can't wait to drive forthcoming turbo model. (But super has taken a big hit).
     
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  40. BrianWilson

    BrianWilson One of Us

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    Went from a 2007 outback to a new skoda superb sedan. Got the 206 4*4 model. Had two trips to DHG last year with 4 adults, skis and backpacks. Upgrade in power over the outback it awesome. Much better space as well. Will miss out on sleeping in the back but I have no issue popping up the tent for a quick overnighter. No where near the clearance but enough to get you into island bend. Fuel efficiency is great to. 6.5lt per 100. Best I could get with the out back was high 7s
     
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  41. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Dead against any mechanised access (helicopters, snowmobiles etc) to aussie snowfields, but I want to move to canada just so I can get a snowmobile. #BRRRRRrrrraaaaaaaAAAApppPPP

     
  42. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I went snowmobiling once in Colorado. All I could think of was how wonderful and peaceful it would be to be out here on XC-skis. A bit like jet skis, amusing for about 5 minutes and then they give you a headache.
     
  43. DJM

    DJM One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve had 3 Outback’s now and have always had similar needs in a car. Two were early models 99’ and a 2001 I think and then bought a new one in 2017.
    The first one was petrol/manual and had around 200klms with a slightly slippy clutch but that was expected given the workload. Second was petrol/auto and no problems with over 200klms.
    Both were awesome and went everywhere we needed to go. Plenty of road trips and camping etc. Sleeping in the back was no problem...but I will sleep anywhere.

    My current one is awesome. I went 2.0 turbo diesel for the long trips and regularly get over 1000ks a tank. Best so far has been 1150k's. around town 750-800 no problem. CVT is great in the later models and DPF is fine provided you understand what you own and how to take care of it. Power isn't everything either if you know what you are driving and how to drive it. Clearance is acceptable and generally take my cars places I shouldn't. I've scared myself in all my Outbacks but they are definitely the most capable cars I've owned.

    Having said all that....damn I miss sliding sideways for hundreds of metres on off camber roads in my VK Commodore with ladder chains. So many near death experiences at 1am in blizzards.

    There's also something to be said for the ThReDbo PoSSe Van crew. All over it IMO.
     
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  44. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think a Steve Lee style setup of 1 snowmobile + trailer for 4 could be good. Drive the sled up and down the hill every 5th lap with a good crew and you're set.
     
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  45. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Any is apparently dreaming of one of these...
     
  46. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'm on my second Outback. My first was a '97 manual model with an upgraded stainless exhaust system (done by a friend that I bought from who is very techie engineer and he thought it was worth the expense for the upgrade in performance. I wouldn't have a clue about that). I had the engine rebuilt after an idiot mechanic changed the coolant and left an air block. I had the bottom and gearbox bearings changed at the same time. As it was then a pretty much new engine I drove it happily until 2014, when it got written off by a guy in a new 350 SLK slammed into the back of me (it didn't do the front of his car much good either). I then bought a new model auto Outback. My first automatic car. I took the old one to the snow a few times. It handled everything just fine. I have taken the newer one down three times now. All good but I haven't experienced anything other that light snow in it. It does have a semi-auto option which would give greater control over gear selection but I haven't had to use it on the snow. We sold our caravan in January and I bought a VW 2013 Multivan. The idea being weekend getaways (good timing there!). Unfortunately it is not the 4motion version but it is front wheel drive. The guy I bought it from had had it since new. He had taken it to the snow a couple of times. He said it went fine. Good rubber and chains (if needed) and hopefully it will be good as I want to make this my 'going to the snow' vehicle (if anyone has any experience with this type of van in the snow I'd love to hear about it).
    It also has the semi-auto option, so I'd like to think that this would give an extra degree of control. When I lived in Austria I lived up a steep hill and I never had any problems with a front wheel drive manual station wagons. With winter tyres on (not studs, wide tread and low pressure) I never once had to but chains on and never got bogged. They are pretty good at getting gravel on the road over there but not always.
     
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  47. skifree

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

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    Slacker.
     
  48. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sydney/Jindy
    I'll give him a pass out... he does earn his turns most of the season!
     
    skifree likes this.
  49. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
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    Snow rated All terrain Tyres on a Mitsi Triton with diff lockers. Is good. One of my fave car parks in the whole world:
     
  50. skifree

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

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
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    Location:
    Middle Oz
    Guthega?