Mount Buffalo Lifts to be tested!

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Mt Buffalo

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2 weeks ago we had a face to face meeting with Parks Victoria about our position on the re-activation of skiing at Cresta Mount Buffalo. Many items were discussed that we put forward in our original expression of interest.

One important item soon to be released to the public, once discussions are underway, will be announced the next month or two.

As for now, we have been given verbal permission to start testing of the lifts to see if they spin, (start them up) and then prepare for an engineers report to determine costings to bring them up to code and running order. We are waiting on a formal written letter before we begin next month.

We will also be installing weather stations from early 2016 to collect data for snowmaking temperatures, natural snowfalls, rain, humidity and the installation of snow camera monitoring (snow cams) for snow depth and snow retention along with water flow measurement for snowmaking.

For all of this to happen, we will be announcing a date from November this year that we intend to start round 1 of crowdfunding to purchase equipment for these tests, mainly weather stations, webcams and minor repairs and maintenance and administration.

As we are doing this project off our own backs, with little funds, we are asking for community support for now. What we are doing is for the community, the general public and need your assistance.

There will be exclusive rewards attached to the crowdfunding, depending on payment amounts, such as lift tickets, names on chairs, season passes, first lift rides on reopening and much more.

Stage one of crowdfunding will commence in November 2015 and your support will be greatly appreciated.

Remember, this will be Australia's cheapest snow resort to ski/board with NO park entry fees! To give you an idea, we are considering a lift ticket of around $65 for an adult day and $49 for a Child day.

We have now moved from talking to Parks Victoria to DELP (up the ladder) and plan to have a meeting with the Minister for Environment Lisa Neville in the coming months. We also have Federal Minister Cathy McGowan (IND) for Indigo wishing to have a face to face meeting with us to discuss our plans and ask for assistance.

Our goal is to create jobs, tourism, business growth for the valley, an all year Mount Buffalo attraction and growing the snow industry by giving people the affordable chance to try skiing for the first time and moving on from there once they are addicted. All resorts will benefit as well as the local economy by bringing new people into the market.

At present a video presentation is being developed for our stage 1 crowdfunding campaign and will be released next week.

If you are interested in being a part of our project, whether it is on a volunteer based interest or financial, please email info@mtbuffalo.com
 
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M

Mt Buffalo

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Dealing with the politics at the moment. We will be announcing an update within the next few weeks on what is going on...
 

Ben

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Parks Victoria have been trying to get rid of lift operations since the 80's and the evidence proves it. No one in their right mind would remove them at their own cost then to install them elsewhere as it would be more economical to purchase new ones.

With the insurance payout from Tatra burning down still in their possession ($6m estimate) they should remove them at their own cost.

Parks vic stated that skiing is more damaging to the area but would rather have tobogganers there... Very strange that a fire not near The Tatra at the time, burn it to the ground during a shift change in the CFA and a fire suppression system 'not' working.

Lies about no more natural snow at Buffalo by 2020 and no snowmaking conditions will be available, the list goes on. Especially when you can see they are dragging their heels regarding the restoration of the Chalet closed for 12 years and trying to go for demolition by neglect. The list goes on and on...
 

teckel

"I'm not a cat"
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Very strange that a fire not near The Tatra at the time, burn it to the ground during a shift change in the DELWP predecessor, the DSE and a fire suppression system 'not' working.
FIFY
It was not the CFA. It was the govt fire fighting outfit - the guys in green, not the guys in yellow. The CFA does 'hot' shift changes (ie: on scene). DSE did their shift changes away from the fireground.

knLODGE_wideweb__470x300,0.jpg
 
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snowgum

A Local
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This whole sad and sorry saga makes my blood boil.

A 'supposedly viable' ski & hotel operation (a major asset on public land) allowed to burn down with not even one vehicle left on hand for insurance.

And then the lies, incompetence, belligerence and by the sounds
, interference by a bevi of Govt crew is an indictment on democracy and transparency.

I believe the Govt and PV* easily had the ability and with some creativity (Grand Prix anyone?) to contract the rebuilding of Tatra (modernised), the QA and refit of most lifts and in time the upgrade of snowmaking (hey even Lake Mtn and Baw Baw can do it!).

* I'm not a PV hater per Se, they do some good work on a razor thin budget. But I think those involved in the policy making on this and their Govt masters have badly dudded us.

This decision (removal of lifts / no Tatra rebuild) should have incorporated some public / stakeholder feedback. It's clear to me none of this has occurred and another 'asset' is lost. And a smaller, cheaper, simpler alternative to the big 'boys' is no more.

I'd almost bet my car (no house to bet as I use that $ to ski!) that if 'The Buff' was less than 100 kms from the Big Smoke, more would have been done reinstate Tatra/lifts.

But (best synical hat on here) regional Victoria is rusted on LNP. There's no seat(s) to lose - nada! Nothing to gain for a party to get involved in a 'small side issue'. Stick to knitting / core values eh?

And for similar reasons Lake Mtn received its funding to rebuild - yes, no lifts to cloud the issue)

Anyway, I'll always retain some fond memories of skiing rare powder and more often Aussie glug at Cresta.

And a Huge Thanks to all those in and out of Govt. sphere who tried in vain to get something happening.

...one day many years from now:
I can just see some budding genius of a sport and tourism minister is going to wonder why ski participation rates are so low in this this state - even for those living near the hills. Perhaps that's the time to send a link to this thread and all similar articles...

...now time for my Valium and my rocking chair!
 

Ben

One of Us
Jan 1, 1970
3,700
79
198
This whole sad and sorry saga makes my blood boil.

A 'supposedly viable' ski & hotel operation (a major asset on public land) allowed to burn down with not even one vehicle left on hand for insurance.

And then the lies, incompetence, belligerence and by the sounds
, interference by a bevi of Govt crew is an indictment on democracy and transparency.

I believe the Govt and PV* easily had the ability and with some creativity (Grand Prix anyone?) to contract the rebuilding of Tatra (modernised), the QA and refit of most lifts and in time the upgrade of snowmaking (hey even Lake Mtn and Baw Baw can do it!).

* I'm not a PV hater per Se, they do some good work on a razor thin budget. But I think those involved in the policy making on this and their Govt masters have badly dudded us.

This decision (removal of lifts / no Tatra rebuild) should have incorporated some public / stakeholder feedback. It's clear to me none of this has occurred and another 'asset' is lost. And a smaller, cheaper, simpler alternative to the big 'boys' is no more.

I'd almost bet my car (no house to bet as I use that $ to ski!) that if 'The Buff' was less than 100 kms from the Big Smoke, more would have been done reinstate Tatra/lifts.

But (best synical hat on here) regional Victoria is rusted on LNP. There's no seat(s) to lose - nada! Nothing to gain for a party to get involved in a 'small side issue'. Stick to knitting / core values eh?

And for similar reasons Lake Mtn received its funding to rebuild - yes, no lifts to cloud the issue)

Anyway, I'll always retain some fond memories of skiing rare powder and more often Aussie glug at Cresta.

And a Huge Thanks to all those in and out of Govt. sphere who tried in vain to get something happening.

...one day many years from now:
I can just see some budding genius of a sport and tourism minister is going to wonder why ski participation rates are so low in this this state - even for those living near the hills. Perhaps that's the time to send a link to this thread and all similar articles...

...now time for my Valium and my rocking chair!
Well said
 

Ben

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Reality is that Buffalo would struggle to be viable for much more than snow play any more.

It's too far from Melbourne to compete with Buller, Lake Mountain and Baw Baw for that crowd.
Have to disagree there. Have had several meetings with resorts and was and could be a viable alternative for the beginner and low intermediate market, including snow play. If people are willing to travel to Hotham and falls to learn etc, Buffalo is closer and would be cheaper.

It does not just rely on Melbourne but also surrounding districts and north of the boarder.
 

snowgum

A Local
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Reality is that Buffalo would struggle to be viable for much more than snow play any more.

It's too far from Melbourne to compete with Buller, Lake Mountain and Baw Baw for that crowd.

I can understand your viewpoint Seth but as Ben said, it's not all about Melbourne.

I note that Baw Baw visitation is especially strong from the Latrobe Valley, outer South east suburbs and Mornington Peninsula. While Buffalo is almost double that distance from Melbourne, it has its own albeit smaller catchment, which could be tapped into, especially if lifts were roughly half the price of the major resorts (~$65 as the potential operator quoted ~ 2015).

Now, Price and market share don't assist much if the snow isn't there and as a budding weather watcher, and skier, I'd be the first to admit Buffalo really struggled in its last decade. However snow making technology has advanced significantly in the 20-25 years (look at Lake Mtn & Buller) since the field installed its limited infrastructure. If a potential operator was prepared to upgrade lifts and install new snowmaking, then perhaps Cresta 'could' have been viable again.

As a keen telemarker (BC & lifts) & xc skier, I don't Cresta's lift area incompatible with either xc ski trails, summer walking, camping or similar pursuits.

Unfortunately, it's clear that PV, DSE/DELP and all colours of Govt were only interested in quashing the lift proposal. I have absolutely no connection with any of the mountain stakeholders (being acity based skier). But I strongly believe the above group have ignored the wishes of a major stakeholder group.

What a waste of opportunity!
 
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currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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Very sad to see the end of lifts at buffalo, but realistically i doubt that it would ever have been financially viable again. Maybe one lift and snowmaking, but just locals would probably not to be enough.

DP does offer a cheaper beginner experience in the region, albeit a longer and harder drive and still not great cover (but basic snow making?). Better to spend money on beginner/family skiing there than at mt buffalo.
 

Seth

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Have to disagree there. Have had several meetings with resorts and was and could be a viable alternative for the beginner and low intermediate market, including snow play. If people are willing to travel to Hotham and falls to learn etc, Buffalo is closer and would be cheaper.

It does not just rely on Melbourne but also surrounding districts and north of the boarder.

Buffalo wouldn't ever be open!

It's now a marginal (at best) prospect for natural snow. Snowmaking tech may have improved but it still costs a truckload. the infrastructure that is there simply wouldn't support the number of people needed to pay for it all. New carpark anyone?

it isn't all about Melbourne but there are a lot more people in melbourne than out of it.
 
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Ben

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Buffalo is at the same height as Bourke St, slightly higher than LM and Selwyn. Gets very cold conditions being in a bowl and south facing.

In the feasibility study I performed to install around 15 snowguns to cover 40% of the mountain would cost around $45k in snowmaking costs for the season in diesel to which could be recouped in 1 or 2 days trade or a good Saturday.

The market is the beginner intermediate crowd and snow sight seers. Closer than dinner plain, falls creek and hotham for novice skiiers and a more affordable opertunity.

As for marginal, it is less marginal than Baw baw, LM etc... and still produces around 80,000 winter visitors each year and growing.

Hotham would love to see it operational again as it was a feeder resort for them but good ol Parks want to shut the place down and have been trying to do it for many years.
 
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Seth

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Buffalo is at the same height as Bourke St, slightly higher than LM and Selwyn. Gets very cold conditions being in a bowl and south facing.

In the feasibility study I performed to install around 15 snowguns to cover 40% of the mountain would cost around $45k in snowmaking costs for the season in diesel to which could be recouped in 1 or 2 days trade or a good Saturday.

The market is the beginner intermediate crowd and snow sight seers. Closer than dinner plain, falls creek and hotham for novice skiiers and a more affordable opertunity.

As for marginal, it is less marginal than Baw baw, LM etc... and still produces around 80,000 winter visitors each year and growing.

Hotham would love to see it operational again as it was a feeder resort for them but good ol Parks want to shut the place down and have been trying to do it for many years.

It’s a bit silly to say that it would cost 45k to run snowmaking for the season. There are so many variables to that cost. Temps, natural snow, rain washing away what you’ve already made. The water supply isn’t that great.

It’s just too marginal now for the location.

In your feasibility study did you look at how your were going to get all those people up there to buy a lift ticket to pay for your snow making? Car parking is next to nothing.

Hotham couldn’t care less about buffalo. You’re forgetting that its in joint ownership with falls creek. the best beginner feeder resort in the country!!!

I’m sad to see buff waste away (I learnt to ski there myself) but it’s done. Move on. The real world has.
 
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snowgum

A Local
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It’s a bit silly to say that it would cost 45k to run snowmaking for the season. There are so many variables to that cost. Temps, natural snow, rain washing away what you’ve already made. The water supply isn’t that great.

It’s just too marginal now for the location.

In your feasibility study did you look at how your were going to get all those people up there to buy a lift ticket to pay for your snow making? Car parking is next to nothing.



Hotham couldn’t care less about buffalo. You’re forgetting that its in joint ownership with falls creek. the best beginner feeder resort in the country!!!

I’m sad to see buff waste away (I learnt to ski there myself) but it’s done. Move on. The real world has.

You're probably right and agree it's done. Like a turkey dinner!!

It's more the gutless lack of explanation & lack of consultation with ski & stakeholder groups that sucks.
(I had several skis there over the years both xc & lift - & stayed at Tatra one winter for a significant birthday).

Where's the formal PV/DELP report on the closure for the public record?

It's all so 'fait a compli' and past tense in the scant literature.

How does that sit - folks?

Could we lose other key public infrastructure in the future using this 'passive resistance' methodology?
 
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Seth

Pool Room
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You're probably right and agree it's done. Like a turkey dinner!!

It's more the gutless lack of explanation & lack of consultation with ski & stakeholder groups that sucks.
(I had several skis there over the years both xc & lift - & stayed at Tatra one winter for a significant birthday).

Where's the formal PV/DELP report on the closure for the public record?

It's all so 'fait a compli' and past tense in the scant literature.

How does that sit - folks?

Could we lose other key public infrastructure in the future using this 'passive resistance' methodology?
Yes. Absolutely.

Baw Baw is only a decade or so behind Buffalo.
 

DbSki

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They should run motor racing there.
Mt Buffalo TT
Some tight and fast sections, great road for it.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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While I think the way all facets of Mt. Buffalo have been mismanaged is nothing short of a travesty and premediated debacle , I will be up there XC skiing the Horn road in winter for sure .I like walking there in green season too. People like me won't go away !
 

Ben

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Jan 1, 1970
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It’s a bit silly to say that it would cost 45k to run snowmaking for the season. There are so many variables to that cost. Temps, natural snow, rain washing away what you’ve already made. The water supply isn’t that great.

It’s just too marginal now for the location.

In your feasibility study did you look at how your were going to get all those people up there to buy a lift ticket to pay for your snow making? Car parking is next to nothing.

Hotham couldn’t care less about buffalo. You’re forgetting that its in joint ownership with falls creek. the best beginner feeder resort in the country!!!

I’m sad to see buff waste away (I learnt to ski there myself) but it’s done. Move on. The real world has.


Seth, I have had personal meetings with the resorts/parks and other industry figures to understand their position, so I know the facts unlike yourself sorry mate... Given the costs re snowmaking they have been calculated by Technoalpin ex equipment costs and confirmed. I rely on data and facts other than assumptions and it is viable. Water is a plenty given creek flow rates of 2 water sources.

Knowing what the turn over of resorts are, given big or small along with all operational costs, expenditure it is viable, but parks don't want it there much like the Chalet!

We have weather data already obtained by our data tags for 3 seasons and temps as low as -12WB were recorded and around 700 hours of snowmaking from May to September 1. Av temp over 8 hours -4.6wb to which 70 hours at that temp would have the area covered in 50 - 70cms in snowmaking areas.

Av day time temp was around 4c during the winter months.

One thing you have to remember, by grooming the snow you add around 40% sustainability of the snowpack, and as it is at the moment, it doesn't happen.

It is what it is but bad politics and bureaucratic medaling called it a day, not the climate.
 

Seth

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Seth, I have had personal meetings with the resorts/parks and other industry figures to understand their position, so I know the facts unlike yourself sorry mate... Given the costs re snowmaking they have been calculated by Technoalpin ex equipment costs and confirmed. I rely on data and facts other than assumptions and it is viable. Water is a plenty given creek flow rates of 2 water sources.

Knowing what the turn over of resorts are, given big or small along with all operational costs, expenditure it is viable, but parks don't want it there much like the Chalet!

We have weather data already obtained by our data tags for 3 seasons and temps as low as -12WB were recorded and around 700 hours of snowmaking from May to September 1. Av temp over 8 hours -4.6wb to which 70 hours at that temp would have the area covered in 50 - 70cms in snowmaking areas.

Av day time temp was around 4c during the winter months.

One thing you have to remember, by grooming the snow you add around 40% sustainability of the snowpack, and as it is at the moment, it doesn't happen.

It is what it is but bad politics and bureaucratic medaling called it a day, not the climate.

You can not possibly put an arbitrary cost to snowmaking. I’d really like to know how you’d make much at all without some sort of dam in place.

What are the snow fall stats for the past decade? Snowmaking dominant only is never going to get it done. You’ll just burn cash making it.
 

snowgum

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The way the NWPS manage their assets seems to be less bloody minded than PV appears to be. Both have zero money in their respective budgets.

I've always felt PV don't 'get' skiing. If someone doesn't get or understand something, they generally won't advocate for funds or maintenance. I'm not sure of PV's exact charter, I've seen extracts. But I don't think we'd see skiing -especially lifted skiing - high on the priority list.

That may be fair enough. But if a Govt. org is charged with maintaining land containing ski assets, then it should be done so with due diligence, and not ignored or allowed to wither by neglect.

Some evidence:
Over the years, I've watched Mount St. Gwinear change from a reasonable level of management (inc ski patrols and ranger presence most ski days, skiable trails marked and signposted) to in my opinion, a state of slow attrition and neglect (Rangers weekend only, v limited weekday patrolling, only main 2-3 trails marked, days of delays removing fallen timber from approach road). Oh and no more printed maps - I understand).

I've also watched this great saga unfold at Buffalo. (I'll exclude Baw Baw & Stirling issues in this thread - clearly they're alpine resort territory).

I've even watched the difficulty PV has in grooming NP trails in the month before the Hoppett. (Perhaps the blame here is more VNPA?)

And looked on as PV tried to charge skiers aiming to cross the Dam Wall. (Ambititous or perhaps deluded plan). To be fair, some resorts tried this and realised it cost more to collect the $8 pp.

And I guess I wonder, what's next?

And as MrTSS questions, could Victoria (resorts, PV, DELP, Ministers) learn from NSW?
 

NewTurns

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Been a long tradition of mysterious structure fires in NPs in NSW and Vic. Not hard to suspect a deep green righteous pyromania as a covert cultural thread binding like minded eco warriors to their version of the greater good and what they think is right.
Or I could be completely exaggerating/paranoid/conspiracy suspicious/barking mad/need a good feed! (On a 5:2 fast day and could eat the crutch of a low flying duck! I am about 1,700 daily calories short of rational thought at this point...)
 
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snowgum

A Local
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Been a long tradition of mysterious structure fires in NPs in NSW and Vic. Not hard to suspect a deep green righteous pyromania as a covert cultural thread binding like minded eco warriors to their version of the greater good and what they think is right.
Or I could be completely exaggerating/paranoid/conspiracy suspicious/barking mad/need a good feed! (On a 5:2 fast day and could eat the crutch of a low flying duck! I am about 1,700 daily calories short of rational thought at this point...)

Hey I'm fairly Green but burning huts and other stuff in the bush is just nuts.

Yes I'm aware of the history of Summit Hut on Bogong ('83) but I'd suggest that only most extreme nutters would stoop to such low levels.
 
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Billy_Buttons

Part of the Furniture
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This just sucks to no end!
Sack the lot of them!
Watch out for new DA's coming from DICKHEADS!
:headbang::tany::blb::cry_ubb:
 

snowgum

A Local
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Sure sounds like it.

In Govt circles (includes PV) I think tend to assume those lower down the chain have a lot more power than they actually have and hence lower- order officers, often those with public contact, cope the blame when they're really just doing their job.

The real policy makers are at ministerial level including their advisors and very senior (exec) level in the relevant department.

The Rangers and first contact people at regional level have always been pretty helpful and practical when I've had questions about access to new and wild areas for 4WDing, skiing & walking.

Unfortunately, I understand most of the 'real' policy people are in HQ and (imo) would rarely deal with stakeholders - particularly out in the (ski) field. So our voice is rarely heard.

I'm pretty sure the odd Parkie lurks around ski.com - I can only hope the policy people heed our voices!!
 

Tanuki

Part of the Furniture
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Been a long tradition of mysterious structure fires in NPs in NSW and Vic. Not hard to suspect a deep green righteous pyromania as a covert cultural thread binding like minded eco warriors to their version of the greater good and what they think is right.
Or I could be completely exaggerating/paranoid/conspiracy suspicious/barking mad/need a good feed! (On a 5:2 fast day and could eat the crutch of a low flying duck! I am about 1,700 daily calories short of rational thought at this point...)
Haha, not 'hard to suspect'. Maybe in your mind.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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I know that PV and NPWS are merely instruments of the Sir Humphries of this world, a world which is based on "Yes Minister". So one can't blame the rangers . They are just following orders just the way the Non commissioned officers in the Third Reich were also just obeying orders.
 
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Jellybeans

Part of the Furniture
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I know that PV and NPWS are merely instruments of the Sir Humphries of this world, a world which is based on "Yes Minister". So can't blame the rangers . They are just following orders just the way the Non commissioned officers in the Third Reich were also just obeying orders.
Comparing the Nazi regime to Parks Victoria is a step too far. Time to relax...
 

snowgum

A Local
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I saw some kids climbing up on the ski towers at Cresta this week and doing some risky stunts. Where were their parents?

No wonder PV are keen to rip them out.

An asset nort making money but potentially costing a small fortune as a legal liability has no place in modern governments and their offshoots! (l;-)
 
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