Snow Report Mt Baw Baw 2021 - Trip Reports, Pics & Conditions.

snowgum

A Local
Ski Pass
May 4, 1999
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Gas Turbine? Where's the gas tank? It's diesel. Has been for years. Dreams of coal fired electricity have gone unfulfilled.

OK I stand corrected. But it’s still antiquated - even third world? I wonder who funded the supply of electricity to the big resorts in Vic and NSW? I bet it wasn’t the resorts or the lift companies?
 

djam

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Apr 6, 2009
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The reason Baw Baw is not of the grid, is because it is cheaper to use generators then to maintain poles and wires. So it is never going to happen. Some other towns in Vic that once had grid power are also now off grid, for the same reason.

Here is the power source details as of 2018.

1623797596201.png



The southern resorts get ~$7 million every year, the normal amount the other 3 get is close to zero. That fact that the government run large parts of Baw Baw, should mean they make more money, not a reason to run at a loss. As a tax payer, I don't need to fund the resort I live at and another I don't.
 

snowgum

A Local
Ski Pass
May 4, 1999
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vic
The reason Baw Baw is not of the grid, is because it is cheaper to use generators then to maintain poles and wires. So it is never going to happen. Some other towns in Vic that once had grid power are also now off grid, for the same reason.

Here is the power source details as of 2018.

1623797596201.png



The southern resorts get ~$7 million every year, the normal amount the other 3 get is close to zero. That fact that the government run large parts of Baw Baw, should mean they make more money, not a reason to run at a loss. As a tax payer, I don't need to fund the resort I live at and another I don't.
thanks for your detailed answer.

Just to better understand. The States (and Feds) fund and run heaps of services (hospitals, aged care, schools roads, PT, emergency services, sports stadiums etc...) mush of which we don’t all use - not constantly.

Where do you draw the line? Fund city stuff, ignore the bush? Fund blue collar stuff like footy, netball fields but leave ski facilities (toffs?) to fend for themselves.

This is a slippery slope, leaving resorts, services to self fund? Many don’t ski Buller and don’t benefit from the new dam (which I’ve seen and support btw). But they accept state assets need help.

Agree to disagree here.
 

djam

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> Where do you draw the line? Fund city stuff, ignore the bush? Fund blue collar stuff like footy, netball fields but leave ski facilities (toffs?) to fend for themselves.

yep, that is a fair view and I generally agree. But there is still a return on the investment to be considered. Buller generate huge revenues for the state, and should receive funds to grow that. Based on the amount the southern pair get, Buller should be getting something like 5-6 x that amount. The dam cost IIRC $13.1 million, so the resort (3 income sources, gate, rent and services) paid for the rest.

Baw Baw needs to find a better balance, IMO lifted skiing at Baw Baw is no longer workable and I expect a huge amount of the resort loss will be from the lift costs. Regarding a bigger dam, I'm not sure the supply is there at Baw Baw to support much more water, it is a very small catchment area.
 

Timmossy

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Nov 26, 2004
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The reason Baw Baw is not of the grid, is because it is cheaper to use generators then to maintain poles and wires. So it is never going to happen. Some other towns in Vic that once had grid power are also now off grid, for the same reason.

Here is the power source details as of 2018.

1623797596201.png



The southern resorts get ~$7 million every year, the normal amount the other 3 get is close to zero. That fact that the government run large parts of Baw Baw, should mean they make more money, not a reason to run at a loss. As a tax payer, I don't need to fund the resort I live at and another I don't.
LPG for base power - ouch. Generator would be about 30% efficient. LPG is an expensive fuel. Even if they bought it at say $0.6/L which is about as good as you can get if you buy it in bulk, that's a cost of $0.3/kWh for electricity. So cost by the time you add in maintenance, cost of infrastructure etc. would be more like $0.4/kWh. Assume it's subsidised by the RMB otherwise nobody would turn their lights on.
 

Sweefu

Hard Yards
Ski Pass
May 22, 2019
40
56
68
Apparently Baw Baw is opening up again but I imagine no lifts will be turning. Nothing at all in the forecast either, what a shame!
bawbaw-hut-roll.jpg
 

Sweefu

Hard Yards
Ski Pass
May 22, 2019
40
56
68
SO apparently hut run will be open on the weekend. Baw Baw is the closest mountain to my house although I have never been there to ski, only hiking.

Would love some advice from anyone familiar with Baw Baw, is there any point in going to mess around on Hut Run or will it get boring too quickly?

For context I missed out on the whole season last year so the bar is set pretty low, I'd likely have fun skiing mud at moment.

Cheers
 

chriscross

One of Us
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Like most runs at bb, Hut run is pretty short and mixed up. Summit run is longer. Maltese is more interesting. There's a fun drop off at the top, then a flat section which can be an issue for folk who don't get speed off the top (or beginner skier/ boarders), then an exciting, narrow drop down into the bowl. I would not want to ski this run all day or even half a day. But like many, if you have not skied for too long you might be tempted. I am, almost. ( Confession: I have been up and hiked it when there was snow but no lift. Years ago. Desperate). But not quite yet. Need 4 runs (3 lifts) open imo. I take free heel (tele) skis to bb to make it interesting. Can hike if necessary.
 

Onlybackscratchers

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May 7, 2017
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SO apparently hut run will be open on the weekend. Baw Baw is the closest mountain to my house although I have never been there to ski, only hiking.

Would love some advice from anyone familiar with Baw Baw, is there any point in going to mess around on Hut Run or will it get boring too quickly?

For context I missed out on the whole season last year so the bar is set pretty low, I'd likely have fun skiing mud at moment.

Cheers
It's only operating on the man-made slushie piles that need to be spread out. That will only get you up to tower 2 maybe 3 if your lucky. Not much more than a magic carpet run.
 
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chriscross

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So suitable only for beginners. Not worth the drive. Thanks for clarifying. For some reason, I assumed Hut top to bottom. Wrong again.
 

Baw Baw Bear

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Jul 12, 2003
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The reason Baw Baw is not of the grid, is because it is cheaper to use generators then to maintain poles and wires. So it is never going to happen. Some other towns in Vic that once had grid power are also now off grid, for the same reason.

Here is the power source details as of 2018.

1623797596201.png



The southern resorts get ~$7 million every year, the normal amount the other 3 get is close to zero. That fact that the government run large parts of Baw Baw, should mean they make more money, not a reason to run at a loss. As a tax payer, I don't need to fund the resort I live at and another I don't.
Yes very cheap not so because they like to make a great profit i will share our gas and electricity rate and snap shot an invoice for you. It is not Fu#$%ing cheaper , I can tell you !!!
 

djam

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Right not cheap, but cheaper then connecting to the grid.

Looking forward, a large PV solar array could spend all the green season making hydrogen stored locally in tanks, then use that stored energy to supply the winter needs. Hydrogen tech should start to accelerate soon, as it is a perfect way to store the excess energy that is currently lost, when PV output is high and demand is low. At that point the energy (excluding transmission losses) is free.
 
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Onlybackscratchers

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Screenshot_20210625-110244_Facebook~2.jpg

The main Baw Baw access road (closed), reports are that there is 13 slips to repair. Looks like access only via Sth Face Rd for a little while to come.
Photo from Regional Roads Victoria site
 
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Bpoos

Hard Yards
Mar 17, 2018
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But do they get money for the really big Capital items?

Clearly, LM has had some big money spent post bushfires.

But BB’s big items - the car parks, sealed road, the ‘new hotel’ are all 1-2 decades old now.

There’s the new ice-making system and small ‘real’ SM system - they’re not cheap but I’m not sure they equate to say a $5 million dam, for instance?

there’s also the obvious fact that the two smalls are totally Government owned and run - unlike the big 3 - so should receive more help.

I do know BB’s power system is expensive (gas turbine?), old fashioned and needs to be modernised. Maybe that’s the next big item for Vic Govt. to tackle after fixing the water supply?
 

Bpoos

Hard Yards
Mar 17, 2018
75
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68
But do they get money for the really big Capital items?

Clearly, LM has had some big money spent post bushfires.

But BB’s big items - the car parks, sealed road, the ‘new hotel’ are all 1-2 decades old now.

There’s the new ice-making system and small ‘real’ SM system - they’re not cheap but I’m not sure they equate to say a $5 million dam, for instance?

there’s also the obvious fact that the two smalls are totally Government owned and run - unlike the big 3 - so should receive more help.

I do know BB’s power system is expensive (gas turbine?), old fashioned and needs to be modernised. Maybe that’s the next big item for Vic Govt. to tackle after fixing the water supply?
Maybe if they had done the right thing way back they would have been capitalising on the huge numbers of daytrippers that have been trending towards baw baw. Imagine if the chairlift had stayed operational! Would have taken a lot of pressure off the road from the bottom of the chairlift up and maybe funded some big capital improvements! That chairlift had the potential to grow into a serious tourist attraction but......
 

Onlybackscratchers

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Maybe if they had done the right thing way back they would have been capitalising on the huge numbers of daytrippers that have been trending towards baw baw. Imagine if the chairlift had stayed operational! Would have taken a lot of pressure off the road from the bottom of the chairlift up and maybe funded some big capital improvements! That chairlift had the potential to grow into a serious tourist attraction but......
On a very basic adding of numbers these days it doesn't look pretty.
6-pack on summit with upgraded snowmaking $20mil
Gondola from Neylunes Mill with the associated upgrade of the old carparks, surely a min of $40mil (and MTB trails)
Connection to the grid, big guess here, another $40mil
Upgrades of the Baw Baw tourist Rd to full width, gee that would chew $100mil easy
Realistically none of those things are likely to happen. Seems to be more of same for Baw Baw, requiring govt subsidies to survive and never achieving profitability. As much as I would be sad to see the removal of the lifts that my family was involved in building, I can't help feel that it's days as a downhill resort are numbered and focusing on the snowplay market is it's future. Using the south facing ski runs for tobogganing and snowplay makes more sense than there current locations.
 
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snowgum

A Local
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On a very basic adding of numbers these days it doesn't look pretty.
6-pack on summit with upgraded snowmaking $20mil
Gondola from Neylunes Mill with the associated upgrade of the old carparks, surely a min of $40mil (and MTB trails)
Connection to the grid, big guess here, another $40mil
Upgrades of the Baw Baw tourist Rd to full width, gee that would chew $100mil easy
Realistically none of those things are likely to happen. Seems to be more of same for Baw Baw, requiring govt subsidies to survive and never achieving profitability. As much as I would be sad to see the removal of the lifts that my family was involved in building, I can't help feel that it's days as a downhill resort are numbered and focusing on the snowplay market is it's future. Using the south facing ski runs for tobogganing and snowplay makes more sense than there current locations.

Very sad the blooming’ lot! Weather, snow, Covid, lift removal, contracts and board issues!

I think we’re starting to see accelerated CC effect the Vic smalls and Buller in particular, much like as predicted by CSIRO about 20 years ago. (I forget the title - something generic)

I agree north facing runs at the modern snow line make no sense. In fact far too many runs in Victoria face north or variations of north - the big 3 all have major north facing areas and all struggle to stay open much of the season - especially in low-snow periods.

The slushie machine is the saviour of the small resorts - other than after rare big dumps.

BB should make a business case to 1-2 long runs covered by the ice maker top to bottom.
Maybe Summit or Champagne. Then buy (ironically) a second chair (triple or quad) and use in summer for mtn biking (nothing new there). Summer groom to the Max allowed too! Lose the rocks on runs.

Offer few runs most of the time but do their best to guarantee a couple for most of the season. After all the parents need somewhere to ski while the kids learn on the carpets.

Or we could keep waiting for Huey to do his or her job? ;)
 
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euexp

Hard Yards
Aug 5, 2017
74
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Very sad the blooming’ lot! Weather, snow, Covid, lift removal, contracts and board issues!

I think we’re starting to see accelerated CC effect the Vic smalls and Buller in particular, much like as predicted by CSIRO about 20 years ago. (I forget the title - something generic)

I agree north facing runs at the modern snow line make no sense. In fact far too many runs in Victoria face north or variations of north - the big 3 all have major north facing areas and all struggle to stay open much of the season - especially in low-snow periods.

The slushie machine is the saviour of the small resorts - other than after rare big dumps.

BB should make a business case to 1-2 long runs covered by the ice maker top to bottom.
Maybe Summit or Champagne. Then buy (ironically) a second chair (triple or quad) and use in summer for mtn biking (nothing new there). Summer groom to the Max allowed too! Lose the rocks on runs.

Offer few runs most of the time but do their best to guarantee a couple for most of the season. After all the parents need somewhere to ski while the kids learn on the carpets.

Or we could keep waiting for Huey to do his or her job?
 

euexp

Hard Yards
Aug 5, 2017
74
44
68
I've been in Australia 20 years and saw the ski season get shorter and shorter , I was in Baw Baw in summer to MTB , this place has a huge potential to become a great DH MTB destination , they need to build flow trails serviced by a chairlift , they would have a bigger business than in Winter . Australia has two problems : mountains not high enough and temperature not cold enough ( which could offset the lack of heights , like in Japan) .I'm totally against damaging nature for human recreation but , with some good planning it could be done.
All over the world ski resorts jumped on the bandwagon of the new MTB craze and reaping the benefits .
 
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djam

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if Winter can't make chairlifts profitable, then summer sure as hell can't. Buller don't run the chair anymore in summer for that very reason as well as OHS requiring bike racks.
 

snowgum

A Local
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May 4, 1999
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if Winter can't make chairlifts profitable, then summer sure as hell can't. Buller don't run the chair anymore in summer for that very reason as well as OHS requiring bike racks.

We can’t install bike racks for the biggest lift on the mountain? :oops:
 

skimax

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Jul 25, 2000
32,361
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Yes very cheap not so because they like to make a great profit i will share our gas and electricity rate and snap shot an invoice for you. It is not Fu#$%ing cheaper , I can tell you !!!
Understand but the cost of electrical connection would be $15 million conservatively
 

djam

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Sadly, PV solar makes most the power in the wrong season. And batteries barely work (financially) for storage in hours and days. Maybe for a few hundred million you could have a battery large enough to carry it through to winter. Hydrogen will be the right fit, in time, cheap to store, just needs a big tank.

Chart a couple of years old now, must update the data.

Last few days, 1, 1.5, 4.7 kWh's, today looks good, blue sky 5.4kWh already, should get ~15kWh today.

1624841165394.png
 

euexp

Hard Yards
Aug 5, 2017
74
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Sadly, PV solar makes most the power in the wrong season. And batteries barely work (financially) for storage in hours and days. Maybe for a few hundred million you could have a battery large enough to carry it through to winter. Hydrogen will be the right fit, in time, cheap to store, just needs a big tank.

Chart a couple of years old now, must update the data.

Last few days, 1, 1.5, 4.7 kWh's, today looks good, blue sky 5.4kWh already, should get ~15kWh today.

1624841165394.png
Yeah , just a little joke . By the time we have unlimited free and clean energy , snow will be history in Australia I'm afraid .
 

Bpoos

Hard Yards
Mar 17, 2018
75
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On a very basic adding of numbers these days it doesn't look pretty.
6-pack on summit with upgraded snowmaking $20mil
Gondola from Neylunes Mill with the associated upgrade of the old carparks, surely a min of $40mil (and MTB trails)
Connection to the grid, big guess here, another $40mil
Upgrades of the Baw Baw tourist Rd to full width, gee that would chew $100mil easy
Realistically none of those things are likely to happen. Seems to be more of same for Baw Baw, requiring govt subsidies to survive and never achieving profitability. As much as I would be sad to see the removal of the lifts that my family was involved in building, I can't help feel that it's days as a downhill resort are numbered and focusing on the snowplay market is it's future. Using the south facing ski runs for tobogganing and snowplay makes more sense than there current locations.
That's why they should never have let go of the chairlift - that was the start of it all!
 
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Oldie

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C'mon people! Think positive. I've going to BB since 1981 and little or no snow in June is not unusual at all. For the first decade I didn't keep snow depth records so I have to rely on my memory and record of the days I visited. 81 was an amazing year with great snow. BB only closed back then when the snow ran out so I was still skiing in the second week of October. Then followed 82 (Ash Wednesday bush fires!) a very poor year. 83, to 88 all mediocre. Most of those my first day was in mid July, in 88 it was mid August. 89 was a bit better and 90 was a great year with good early snow. 91 and 92 were a little unusual. They started poor, but in mid July big dumps started and great depths remained to mid October. This post will be too long if I keep going like this, so I will just list the years that had little or no snow in June. 94, 95, 96, 97, 02, 03(and half of July), 05, 08, 10, 13, and 17,
 
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Onlybackscratchers

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C'mon people! Think positive. I've going to BB since 1981 and little or no snow in June is not unusual at all. For the first decade I didn't keep snow depth records so I have to rely on my memory and record of the days I visited. 81 was an amazing year with great snow. BB only closed back then when the snow ran out so I was still skiing in the second week of October. Then followed 82 (Ash Wednesday bush fires!) a very poor year. 83, to 88 all mediocre. Most of those my first day was in mid July, in 88 it was mid August. 89 was a bit better and 90 was a great year with good early snow. 91 and 92 were a little unusual. They started poor, but in mid July big dumps started and great depths remained to mid October. This post will be too long if I keep going like this, so I will just list the years that had little or no snow in June. 94, 95, 96, 97, 02, 03(and half of July), 05, 08, 10, 13, and 17,
So your saying there's no CC? I completely disagree. Watching the snow level rise at Baw Baw over the years has been like death by a thousand cuts for me.
 

chriscross

One of Us
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The Foothills
Still lots of people don't want to believe it. My neighbour has a house in Inverloch not far from where the surf beach has been washed away and the coastal road is under threat. Doesn't want to countenance global warming or climate change. Snow at the lower resorts has been retreating for years and I still recall (with dread) the great hair dryer at FC in July 2006. Let's hope for a better year at BB (or the powers that be might get sick of funding the place.)
 
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Oldie

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So your saying there's no CC? I completely disagree. Watching the snow level rise at Baw Baw over the years has been like death by a thousand cuts for me.
No Backscratchers, my comment was not about CC at all. I was simply saying that to panic, and predict the demise of the resort, over a slow start to a season at BB is an over-reaction given that no snow starts to seasons at BB have been common at least in the past 40 years.
 

Onlybackscratchers

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No Backscratchers, my comment was not about CC at all. I was simply saying that to panic, and predict the demise of the resort, over a slow start to a season at BB is an over-reaction given that no snow starts to seasons at BB have been common at least in the past 40 years.
I didn't really think that the recent general discussion had been about the level of June snowfalls, but more about it's potential and pitfalls. Whilst downhill operations may have a limited future, snowplay has massive growth potential, such a pity the last part of the road is so tough for first timers.
 

Oldie

Hard Yards
May 1, 2002
300
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Skied that chair a lot in '97 (I think)
I also remember the run under the chair down to a mid station. I have an article written by Rae Moore ( a well known Baw Baw identity.) probably written in about 2001. She says that in September 2000 the Resort Management Board advertised the Head Lease of the resort but received no acceptable offers so the State Government steped in to purchase the resort lifts but not the chair which was on a separate lease which expired at the end of 1999. It remained but not used for the 2000 season and was removed soon after.
 
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Onlybackscratchers

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I also remember the run under the chair down to a mid station. I have an article written by Rae Moore ( a well known Baw Baw identity.) probably written in about 2001. She says that in September 2000 the Resort Management Board advertised the Head Lease of the resort but received no acceptable offers so the State Government steped in to purchase the resort lifts but not the chair which was on a separate lease which expired at the end of 1999. It remained but not used for the 2000 season and was removed soon after.
The gov got the ski lifts for not much more than $500K, but wouldn't pay the extra $500K the lift company wanted for the chairlift. Less than the price of a house these days!
 
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Onlybackscratchers

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I have a few super 8 movies but cannot post du to size , any tech savvy people out could show me how to. Would love to share some history . Have a movie from 68 Cheers
Gee 68, that would be fantastic to see.

The old timers always spoke about how great 64 and 68 were. It was part of a 4 year cycle of rippers, 52, 56, 60, 64, 68. The much anticipated 72 was a dud and the cycle was over.

Calling techheads, PM Baw Baw Bear and lets get this out there.
 
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Bpoos

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Mar 17, 2018
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The gov got the ski lifts for not much more than $500K, but wouldn't pay the extra $500K the lift company wanted for the chairlift. Less than the price of a house these days!
Yep and what an absolute total waste! A valuable asset pulled down because they wanted a freebie #bluffcalled.
 

Onlybackscratchers

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Yep and what an absolute total waste! A valuable asset pulled down because they wanted a freebie #bluffcalled.
Technically bluff called. Unfortunately the lift company didn't get much for the lift. Most of it is now living out it's life lying on the ground at Cooma airport. Purchased by the owner of Selwyn and Charlotte Pass.
 

Onlybackscratchers

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Although parts of it are still in use. The original bullwheels replaced in 88, are now on the Nut chairlift in Stanley Tasmania. Some of the original chairs were also used, however I've noticed in recent photos that it now using the newer post 1988 chairs.
 

nick12

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May 30, 2005
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What's the story with snowmaking? Looks like good temps this week and I haven't seen the Fan guns on once (via cams).
 

travelislife

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Ski Pass
Jun 9, 2008
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Melbourne
Hi Team, never been to Baw Baw in winter, only summer. Was thinking of taking my 3 year old up on Sunday to muck around on the magic carpet. Understand this is free. Any experience with this by members here? Is there enough snow there to make it worthwhile? Would prefer to drive to Baw Baw then my typical go to at Buller.
 

Oldie

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What's the story with snowmaking? Looks like good temps this week and I haven't seen the Fan guns on once (via cams).
I agree nick12. Buller is in a similar position with very little natural snow, but they seem to be full on with the snowmaking. Baw-Baw seems to be asleep. Their daily reports say that snowmaking is "ongoing" but I wonder if it really is.
 

djam

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There have been very little days with the right conditions to make snow this year, if you can't go hard when the conditions are right, then you can't get enough volume on the ground. Even Buller has limits, mostly power now I expect, as the feed to the Buller entry Mirimbah is not fat enough. An upgrade is under way to address that. The next seven days or so look promising.
 
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