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Snow Report Mt Baw Baw 2019 - Trip Reports, Pics & Conditions.

Discussion in 'Mt Baw Baw' started by D-eye, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    I can only attribute it to potential staffing issues? If they don't have enough bodies to operate the lifts, it doesn't matter how much snow they have.
     
  2. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Staff will be busy doing the smoking ceremony, priorities please.
     
  3. Baw Baw Bear

    Baw Baw Bear One of Us

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  4. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper One of Us

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    I'm planning on heading up to Baw Baw for a bit of a skin and tour around on saturday.
    The free entry makes it an easy choice over stirling :)

    i guess i will get 1 or 2 sneaky "runs" in on the slopes, but really just looking to explore a new area, and get some touring fitness in :)
     
  5. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, that alpine touring fitness becomes another factor at 1500m and above. I noticed this at bb last week ; heart was pumping on the way up despite a lot of leg work in the gym this year. I do hope people planning to "hike" with snowboards remember to use snowshoes so they don't leave post holes up the middle of the trail. (As seen too often on Bluff Spur trail at Stirling).
     
  6. Goski

    Goski Addicted

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    I do think that if Stirling management is letting boarders hike the summit access trails without mandatory snowshoes that is ridiculous. Just takes one or two walkers to wreck the trail for days for the majority of the trail users - those on skis.
     
  7. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    However XC skiing around to the River spur via the Circuit road and skinning up it will usually give you the terrain all to yourself on Mt. Stirling with no nuff nuffs putting foot prints into the track . The track up the river spur is steep and ungroomed and unpatrolled.
     
  8. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, there are other ways to access the summit area but this does not make it ok for a small group of thoughtless alpine enthusiasts to trash the main access trail in pursuit of their activities. Snow shoes should be mandatory in winter.
     
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  9. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I agree with you but if the surface on the Bluff Spur Trail is stuffed because of thoughtless or ignorant people walking on it then there are other routes up the hill, including the ascent from King Saddle Hut.
     
  10. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Think you are missing my point. I know there are other ways to the top as acknowledged above. The message is "Don't trash the trails."
     
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  11. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I hear you comrade, don't trash the ski trails. I am always going on about that for Mt. Buffalo and Mt. St. G.
     
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  12. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting day at Baw Baw today, snow was a little icy early due to wind but softened up nicely. I xcd with +1 and the boy went downhilling . Skiing early on peak weekends is the only way . On the way back after 1pm the queues at the entry gate were nearly 1,km long . Major hold up was the bottleneck by many cars not having chains and having to get them at the entry gate chain hire ... Yikes .
    Mountain food outlets were struggling big time and that was before lunchtime , coffee machines broken , many staff new and untrained , the main Baw Baw restaurant wasn't ready with lunch food until sometime after 12:30 with half hour queues waiting then told there was no lunch available yet .
    Anyhoo big population growth is putting unrealistically demand on these resorts, they need a sign at noojee particularly as I suspect the carparks would have overflowed and the chain hire at the gate must have run out of chains. Not a great customer experience for many folks up there i suspect .
     
  13. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Southern Alpine Resort Management Board operates out of Ringwood, if I'm not mistaken. Now for LM jobs this year, I'm told they advertised on Seek. No local advertising = shortage of suitable applicants = understaffing. I presume they did the same for BB. And yet, after being short-staffed last year, they said they had the organisation in place to resolve the issue for this year. Hmmmmmmm
     
    #63 teckel, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  14. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    Day trip to Bawbs yesterday for some snowshoeing on the XC trails, arriving late morning, no problems with entry gate queues. However, wanting to have a coffee/food afterwards, found VC packed to the rafters. Went to the coffee van in the day car park, it too had a crowd. People coming up early arvo had to queue at gate entry for an hour. Understandably, with free gate entry crowds would be expected, but the resort should have anticipated all this and resourced to suit. One has to ask whether they will be able to cope once the season is in full swing?
     
    nezumi likes this.
  15. Skiain

    Skiain Addicted

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    Mon 10/6 arrived early and got through the gate because of All-mountain pass. Others were asked to queue until power generator for booth was operating. Rain and 4C was not looking promising. Headed off around the summit trail, over the summit, avoiding the washouts and bare patches. Unfortunately, the trails were completely trashed by the selfish p**cks who walk past the "do not walk on ski trail" signs and decide to wander up the centre of the trails leaving postholes. The grooming is poor to begin with however, this selfishness causes more than just frustration, it is dangerous. Just before 5-Ways it happened. Skating the rutted slush was hard enough, but when pushing off one ski, it bridged a double posthole. Luckily, the only 'snap' I heard was not ligament or bone, but my ski as it cracked. Top sheet and core. Frustratingly (or fortunately), there was no one walking the trails whom I could self-righteously vent at! I guess this means new skis ;-) At village, 2 tows were operating, food service was slow and day shelter toilets were sub-standard (hand towel for toilet paper? wtf) but it was still nice to visit after many years absence.
     

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  16. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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  17. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    I noticed the same problem on the summit trail, plenty of 'potholes'. I wouldn't mind if they were on the side, but no, straight up the middle, glad I snowshoed! Public toilets have always been smelly and not well kept, all facilities are in desperate need of upgrades, including car parking.
     
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  18. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    That would be summit, camera is a bit crooked I think!
     
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  19. Skiain

    Skiain Addicted

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    Summit. All runs were looking bare or very patchy yesterday

     
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  20. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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  21. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    How does one dolce a problem like Baw Baw? Unless all the Snr. management are new to snow they must no vaguely that they'll need staff at least from Queen's Birthday and potentially much earlier thanks to snowmaking, lift maintenance, last minute obstacle removal etc...notwithstanding an early dump that's not all that uncommon here.

    But every year they run surveys, ask for comments, hey they may even look online here if they really care? And yet every year, the same old mistakes and excuses (like when failing to make snow early season when it's 4 or -5 overnight!!)

    Like not grooming alpine or cxc after a dump just before the weekend;
    (Or summer drainage works on the same);
    Like not checking for or preventing walkers without snowshoes walking up runs;
    Not getting IT, cams; snow reports or general Comms working reliably;
    Like inadequate (& v slow) Mtn entry systems;
    Or poor / insufficient eating facilities and ditto for public loos.
    Or resolution of power supplies (to be this needs the Vic Gov to step up & provide the support they provided to the big 3 resorts in earlier decades).

    It never ends - perhaps other than experience, they need another $0.5m or do p.a to run effectively /employ winter & summer staff. Can someone please tell DELWP & the minister??
     
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  22. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    "How does one dolce a problem like Baw Baw?"

    La dolce vita?

    Is LM run by the same mob as BB?. Skiable resort terrain should not be open to pedestrians! Fence it off or something ...do something !!!
     
    Skiain likes this.
  23. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes. Different staff at each resort, obviously. Both administered by the Southern Alpine Resort Management Board. http://www.southernalpine.vic.gov.au/
     
  24. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    AND, there it is!
     
  25. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You cant get career public servants to deliver services , they simply dont these days in most cases , its all outsourced and they stick to policy , finance and making sure they work in their own interests not that of the customer . They are so far removed from the actual coal face , they might produce a few power points and have some work shops and respond to ministerial briefs , but they dont have clear operational models, operational accountability ( they avoid any or most accountabilities ) or performance measures to go with them .
    Its not a case of more money , i it is simply service delivery and management capable of delivering it.
     
  26. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Good point skimax. It would be absolutely tragic if there is more funding / resources potentially available for Baw Baw and it's not delivered due to management being deaf to these needs or unable to ask for it.

    (Let's face it, nos. - ESP. Siteseers, have exploded in recent winters - this alone is a reason for more funding)
     
  27. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ms Bunn is predicting some snow falling up at BB and MSG next Wed. , so keep your fingers crossed!.
    http://www.janebunn.net/mt-baw-baw
    However it does not look like enough to form a base for grooming.
     
    #77 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  28. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    "(Let's face it, nos. - ESP. Siteseers, have exploded in recent winters - this alone is a reason for more funding) "
    THIS ALONE ACCOUNTS FOR MORE HUGE FOOTPRINTS ON GROOMED SKI TERRAIN!:mad:.
    Sight seeing people new to seeing snow should be fenced off from skiable terrain.
    Their resort entry gate passes should be emblazoned with "DO NOT WALK ON SKI TRAILS" in 10 major community languages.
     
    Charlie likes this.
  29. Oldie

    Oldie Hard Yards

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    I like the new Mid Summit cam. It took me a while to work out where it was showing, but I get it now. As Serinity said it probably needs straightening a little. Its just after the run crosses the tow path, that is, the lower part of summit.:)
     
  30. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    I have had that issue with a lot of cameras and perspective - I really appreciate that Hotham shows the webcam locations on their trail map.
     
  31. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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  32. Bpoos

    Bpoos Hard Yards

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    They kicked themselves in the foot - tried to take Kelly's, now they're down a food retailer in a big way - oh and Kelly's also shared their toilet facilities with all those people who use the toboggan run for free for years - so without Kelly's the toilet facilities are underdone as well! They also got rid of the private chain provider - so they are buggered there too!
     
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  33. djam

    djam One of Us

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    will they ever learn.. seems it's the same old same old.
     
  34. bawbawskier77

    bawbawskier77 Hard Yards

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    Interesting reading. As a member of a lodge on baw baw I have seen a lot of goings on in the recent years. Yes somethings done are questionable but look at some positives....they now have 2 snow factories and the resort board has also started a process to solve the power problem on mountain. Fingers crossed it is due to be deployed before next season.

    It is easily to kick the management board as a soft target...but in my view the problems for baw baw are at the end of Collins st and in DELWP. Essentially Baw Baw operates on a year to year basis and has not had any Major investment for years and is not able to execute or prepare a masterplan as they are blocked at every angle. It’s no wonder senior managers get pissed off and move on.

    They get told essentially who what and how shit needs to happen and unless you can beat the beaurocrats at there own game of smoke, mirrors and bullshit you are on a hiding to nothing.

    On staffing...they have so little budget that they can’t start the staff when they want to, but start then when they are allowed to.

    If you want to do something to help baw baw...give your local member of parliament a kick along or pressure the minister(s) responsible to invest something and put a plan in place for 10-15 years.
     
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  35. Snowy Joey

    Snowy Joey One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice to get a bit more insight into the goings on in the background. And to hear your perspective. Thanks @bawbawskier77
     
  36. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Cheers Bb77, good insights & info.

    Yes the general public gave no idea as to the workings of Govt’s generally. Its practically impossible for most public servants to change a Minister’s / Premiers mind once firmly made up. (Mt Buffalo anyone?)

    But if the main problem is funding, then we all need to rattle the cage & speak out. Public pressure is one of the few things these people fear. Staff pressure wont cut it!

    The underfunding of Baw Baw cant and must not continue!
    I’m not prepared to see it become the next Buffalo - ie. starve it of funds and wait for some ‘natural disaster’ (ish) to write it off!

    Funding is frustrating, our collective Govts seem happy to spend in cities and even major regional towns (grandstands, libraries, roads and galleries) but not spend a cracker in the bush.

    And then look at all the past public funding to alpine resort infrastructure - stuff that largely gets missed at Bbaw, like mains electricity, local ‘town’ gas. , snowmaking dams, roads and access, and other ‘one off’ grants - like environmental. All good stuff but stuff BB largely misses out on. So much for having yo stand on its own feet?

    As for stirring up one’s local member - that may depend a lot on the particular person. Some care about matters outside their electorate but I suspect a lot dont. Ours is in opposition in Victoria but in a seat thats been safe Liberal for 90 years, so they're pretty complacent on a lot of stuff and tend to fly the flag when ‘one of their own’ (& also local) feels aggrieved.

    Better to contact the alpine resort area of DELWP directly and write to Lily D’ambrosia - Minister for the Environment.

    Every letter forwarded is worth dozens of phone calls. Maybe more.

    Customer satisfaction/ public appearances will be considered in the grand scheme of Spring St. KPIs. The overwhelmingly underpreperation of the resort to cater to early snow and visitors must be not allowed to continue. Its up to all of us to complain.

    I will complain to DELWP ASAP - through their stuff ups I wasted hours trying to determine what skiing would be available, lifts, conditions, prices. In the end I pulled the pin on QB Friday PM - just not worth driving 400km + in a day to ski to lift tower #2 even for just $35 pp!

    Now with sufficient staffing and grooming use, I suspect MBBAR could gave groomed 1-2 full runs (esp, with 45 fresh cm on the ground on the Monday). Ungroomed snow in low altitude Aussie, resorts lasts a fraction of the time of well groomed snow. Its science but not of the rocket variety!! ( ;-)

    Such a wasted PR effort - Just hope potential new visitors will return or give the resort another chance.

    I urge everyone to get in involved. I accept resort staff & board/management can't work miracles with hands tied by Spring St. They are the meat in the sandwich here! I feel very sorry for them towing (sorry) the company line!

    In the meantime, I’ll ‘pray’ to Huey for snow. Gunna be very quiet at all the hills till then!
     
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  37. djam

    djam One of Us

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    The ski lifts are not profitable at BB and haven't been for years, the public have been
    subsidising the resort for many years in the order of $7-$8 million per year between BB
    and lake mountain. That's a huge amount of money, and to stay it's not enough give
    BB more :confused:

    BB needs to find a new direction, pouring more and more tax payer funds is not the
    answer. Other resorts like Buller get next to no funds, zero in the last year, and in
    Bullers case is responsible for 45% of the snow visitors in Victoria.
     
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  38. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I wish I could be more positive about the staff and only criticize the higher levels of goverment, however my experiences over the last 20 years of visiting has often found staff to be rude and condescending. These experiences have put me off visiting Baw Baw more than any wasted government subsides. Maybe as goverment employees they feel they are unsackable/unanswerable? I can't help feel that government trying to provide tourists services is goverment at it's worse.
     
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  39. Bpoos

    Bpoos Hard Yards

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    I can see a big difference between Buller/other successful resorts and Baw Baw - private investment is encouraged at Buller, Falls Creek etc, but where are the private investors at Baw Baw? Are they still looking for the 'right' type of investor? You won't see private investors unable to provide food/drink services due to broken coffee machines and insufficient staff, or run out of snow chains in peak times - they can't afford to lose income through lack of contingencies when things don't go right! Additionally there is a huge new demographic visiting Baw Baw for day trips - they need to be accommodated by providing quality visitor services - these should already be in place, but they seem to be poorly executed.
     
  40. bawbawskier77

    bawbawskier77 Hard Yards

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    A direct quote from last years gm on the topic of staff and it goes directly to your rude and condescending remarks....”I would rather be short staffed with the right people who have the right attitude then be fully staffed with the wrong people and the wrong attitude”. I believe the same approach has been adopted in this years recruitment. Baw Baw has been guilty of just getting any body regardless of attitude.

    Lifties are the heart of a resort so having bubbly friendly lifties is very important. The past two years I have seen a major shift in this area.
     
  41. bawbawskier77

    bawbawskier77 Hard Yards

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    Some big differences..Buller has previously got millions in grants, including last year to upgrade infrastructure.

    Buller has mains power, which means most of the mountain is paying normal power costs circa 25-35 cents per kwhr. Baw Baw is off grid and last bill I saw was $1.18 per kwhr.

    Not sure how Buller lifts run, but my guess would be they would run off the grid. Baw Baw lift run off diesel generators, most are 20 plus years old.

    Buller and other major mountains have sewer systems...Buller just got more $$ to upgrade it water systems and reuse the water for snow making. Baw Baw has all the lodges and buildings on septics.

    Baw Baw gets about $3mil per year and according to this years annual report has achieved it best result in recent times financially. Just when Buller gets 7.5 mil to upgrade water storage.

    https://djpr.vic.gov.au/about-us/news/new-water-storage-facility-a-win-for-mt-buller

    Southern alpine resorts board has pushed into this space in the back half of last year so hopefully Baw Baw starts to see some of this money in next rounds of announcements.
     
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  42. Bpoos

    Bpoos Hard Yards

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    Not sure the attitude of the lifties was ever questioned? When i think of last season fiasco comes to mind!
     
  43. Bpoos

    Bpoos Hard Yards

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    But all the best for the new GM...
     
  44. djam

    djam One of Us

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    Buller will get $7.5 million for the dam, which is part drinking water, part snow making,
    The $7.5 million is less then half the cost. That's the only money they have been given
    in recent times.

    > Buller just got more $$ to upgrade it water systems and reuse the water for snow making.
    please explain ?

    > Baw Baw has all the lodges and buildings on septics.

    Lucky you, they are super cheap to run, the sewage system costs a mint to run. $500k was
    spent last year, out of RMB funds just repairing the pipes.

    Yes, power is an issue for BB, they are never going to be connected to the grid. If fact
    AEMO are looking to remove some connected communities from the grid, because
    it is cheaper to go there own way.

    Buller is also having power issues, the feed is limiting the requirements, but the cost
    of upgrade is still beyond what anyone is willing to pay.

    That's part the reason for the huge solar roll out is underway at Buller.

    Yes, all the lifts bar 1, are electric and run off the grid, with generators as back up.

    I know the cost of running off diesel, as my father part owned the lifts at BB, the chairlift
    cost a fortune to run.

    I helped build some of those lifts, and was a lifty for a while as well as far back as the
    rope tow days.

    None of this helps with making lifts become profitable or the resort for that matter, that's
    why I say, BB needs a new plan, one that can work.
     
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  45. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    I did a double take at @bawbawskier77 's phrasing there - I am running on the assumption that they were referring to @Onlybackscratchers ' comments around the staff being "rude and condescending", rather than that the remarks themselves were rude and condescending.

    As far as lifties go, they are part of the staff - if the remark was that the hospitality staff were rude and condescending , that's different - but it read to me as a general comment on the staff at Baw Baw, which may or may not have included the lifties.
     
  46. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I believe Baw Baw has a sewer system, down near the gantry*. Known affectionately as Twin Lakes Resort.
    *About halfway between the old chair bottom station and the ticket box.
     
    #96 Onlybackscratchers, Jun 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  47. djam

    djam One of Us

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    I think that might just take the overflow from the septics from memory.
     
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  48. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    As @djam says, Baw Baw needs a new plan.

    If major investment is not possible, eg along the lines of a 6-pack chair up the Summit with slushie machines to cover the whole run, which would also mean a new dam and really require mains power to be economical as well, then maybe Baw Baw needs to seriously consider giving up on it's Downhill operations.

    A 6-pack chair up the Summit is how to make money from these slushie machines, currently we have a slushie machine which has run since the start of May to make enough snow to operate a Platter lift to tower 2. Obviously it's not a great economy of scale, have a look up the numbers on Bourke St, Friday Flat and Front Valley on any given day. You just can't make $ and never will from that setup. Really to justify the cost of the snow of these slushie machines, you need to install the uphill capacity first.

    So back around to my point, without the constraints of the lift operation, Baw Baw could really focus on being a snowplay resort. This includes using the existing south facing ski runs for much more reliable toboggan runs than the current north facing one. However it is a future which is probably not great for the current surviving lodges.

    Of course a Gondola from the old carpark near the resort entry is the ultimate dream. No chains required for day trippers, no having to drive that final steep section!!! and MTB in summer off about 600m vert. However that is probably even more unlikely than the lift discussed from Merrijig to Buller.
     
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  49. bawbawskier77

    bawbawskier77 Hard Yards

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    I would love to see a 6 pack chair on summit, reality is that even a 3-4 pack chair is an improvement and would be a great start, then the existing t bar could be redeployed maybe onto hut run and move hut pomas onto old big hill/back of painted.

    Last years gm spoke of a plan to have a snow factory for toboggan run and bottom of malt/champagne and then another for mid summit based near the maintenance shed.

    Mains power not likely to happen but affordable power would be great!
     
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  50. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    More snow factories would be great - ignoring the costs of running the thing & emissions of course. It's probably the only way The mtn will get top to bottom (summit to village skiing) and hence mak a chairlift worth wf