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Old Falls Creek

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by Bogong, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks; a good read.

    I used to come up as a kid and play around the Mackay Ck power station pipeline that my father was working on. Sat. mornings in the 50s. He was Dutch and had no interest in snow - not least cos it disrupted construction. It took me another 30 years to discover its attractions.

    Added: may be of interest, in 1952 Falls Ck got a record 11' of precipitation (335cm).

    Snow fell on Vic highlands every month of that year.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/...|l-australian=y
     
    #51 Ziggy, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  2. ausi ski bum

    ausi ski bum A Local

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    These are from my ASB Alpine web site, most are from Lyn Gibbs colection that she lent me many moons ago,

    [​IMG]

    A 1950's post card, you can clearly see Diana Lodge behind the skier

    [​IMG]

    The Village Bowl, immaging having to use a rope tow today

    [​IMG]

    Falls Creeks first building, this was the hut Mr. and Mrs. Toni St. Elmo-Beveridge lived in around 1951. It was their second home in the area as they spent some years living at wallaces Hut collecting snow data.

    [​IMG]

    A 1950's lift ticket. The building where this was sold from is still there in front of Sno Ski Apartments above the play equipment, the hut is seen in some of the earlier pictures on this thread.

    [​IMG]

    Gully Chair, the one before the one we have today. It could not have been much slower

    [​IMG]

    The village bowl in 1948
     
    #52 ausi ski bum, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  3. Slushii

    Slushii Mostly missing in action...

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    Thanks ASB - it's good to see you back in here and sharing your knowledge of Falls.

    So, St Elmo's Slide is named after the couple who built/owned the first hut at Falls Creek - I often wondered where they got that name for the run from.
     
  4. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tony and Skippy St. Elmo-Beveridge were the real founders of Falls Creek. Some Kiewa Hydro employees built Bogong Ski Club, but this couple built the Nissen nutcracker tow (on the same route as the Summit lift), started a ski school and generally promoted the area as a ski destination. Without them Falls might have just been a minor club field like Mt. St. Bernard is today.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a 1961 lift map. It shows the route of Nissen nutcracker and the Summit T-bar that replaced it as well as the upper part of Australia's first chairlift built by Bob Hyman.

    There was another lift built in 1951 by the Myrtleford Ski Club, but so far I have no idea where it was located.
     
    #54 Bogong, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  5. ausi ski bum

    ausi ski bum A Local

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    Behind Gebi's not far from the entrance to the Inter Poma Line looking up International run, on the LHS you will see a platform, thats the base station of Bobs original lift.

    Also in summer if you look hard in the grass you may find the cable, I havent found it myself for some time but it was not removed it just go grown over in time. When the lift was removed the cable was dropped in the dirt and stayed there.

    Of course on the map above you see something that has long been buried. Falls Creek itself the Creek the town was named after).
     
    Marg Old Diana Lodge likes this.
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great pics ASB.

    Thanks for posting.

    AFAIK, it wasn't Wallaces but Wilkinson's Hut that was used to house a family for hydrology surveys way back.
     
  7. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The StE-Bev's never lived in the SEC Cottage (later renamed Wilkinson Lodge), I'm not sure where they lived prior to their house at Falls, but I do know that their house was built by the hydro for them and that they were initially employees of the hydro scheme before quitting to become tourism entrepreneurs.
     
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Whatever. Wallaces was a cattlemens' hut. Wilkie's AFAIK was inhabited by a hydrologist and his family in the 30s.
     
  9. ausi ski bum

    ausi ski bum A Local

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    A few more

    [​IMG]

    I am not totally sure but this may be Tony and Skippy St. Elmo-Beveridge at their rope tow.

    [​IMG]

    That first chair in 1957

    [​IMG]

    The bowl in 1970 just before the boom.

    Falls Creek Ski Lifts History


    Summit T-Bar Built 1961 Replaced 1992

    Village T-Bar Built 1961 Pulled down 2000

    Gully Double Chair Built 1964 Replaced 1982

    Baby Poma 1st side Built 1964 Pulled Down 2002

    Sun Valley T-Bar Built 1967 Replaced 1989

    International Poma Built Built 1969

    Link Lift T-Bar Built 1969 Closed 2001

    Baby Poma 2nd side Built 1972 Pulled Down 2002

    Ruined Castle Poma Built 1973 Replaced 1995

    Lakeside Poma Built 1976

    Dogpatch Poma Built 1976 Pulled down early 90's

    Panorama Poma Built 1979 Replaced in 2004

    Playground Poma 1st side Built 1980 Removed 2006

    Eagle Triple Chair Built 1980

    Headwater Poma Built 1980 Closed Down 2003

    Towers Duplex T-Bar Built 1981 Replaced 1999

    Gully Triple Chair Built 1982

    Big Dipper Duplex T-Bar Built 1983 Pulled down mid 90's

    Playground Poma 2nd side Built 1984 Removed 2006

    Tom Thumb Poma Built 1986 Removed 2006

    Falls Creek Express Quad Chairlift (then Halleys) Built 1986

    Scott Quad Chairlift Built 1989

    Summit Quad Chairlift Built 1992

    Ruined Castle Quad Chairlift Built 1995

    Towers Quad Chairlift Built 1999

    Drovers Dream Chairlift Built 2004

    The Tube Magic Carpet (Bowl) Built 2004

    Boardwalk (Magic Carpet) Built 2004

    Monkey Bars Platter Built 2006

    Mouse Trap (Magic Carpet) Built 2006
     
    #59 ausi ski bum, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  10. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Hallo to all of you with happy memories of Falls in years gone by. Sixty now and these days a farmer back in Cornwall, England, I was an innocent 19-year-old when I stumbled upon Falls Creek during my five years in Australia. Having paid a brief visit to a fogbound mountain, early in 1970, I ran into Bill Bridgeford back down at Mt. Beauty.....my luck was in....a day later I had a call from Lorna Dunkley asking if I could start right away.
    For three summers and two winters I worked for Alpine' with Dick Humphreys as my immediate boss.
    As general gopher I had the winter job of dreams - up early to make first tracks as "Head Greaser", driver of the one and only Ratrac groomer and general fixer the rest of the time.
    Boy, I heard some secrets from under the living room floor of the old Nissen lodge, the girls' accomodation, whilst repairing the temperamental boiler there.
    Claims to fame? One of the first three to operate the International Poma - it was ready the year before but lack of snow prevented it's use.....helped a Frenchman, Gerard Paviet, to build the second Baby (Nursery)Poma .....worked round the clock to remove and replace the main bull wheel drive shaft of the old Gulley Chair after it snapped during operation leaving a full lift to be evacuated.
    Picking up on a few queries.
    The Sun Valley T-Bar was entirely a Ron McCallum design and build....and way ahead of its time in reliability and engineering.
    Ron & Pam are still going strong down in Brighton and, as noted, he's consultant engineer on the Arthur's Seat chairlift project.
    The Gulley Chair was a Dopplemeyer
    Oh, and by the way, that photo of the "Summit" T-Bar coming out of the Powerhouse, has been reversed and is in fact the Village T.
    Happy times and even more so that we still stay in touch with many of the wonderful people met there.....even down to a friend coming down from London this weekend.....and she was selling tickets from that ticket office by Snow Crystal Inn - back in 1970!
    Really great to read all your posts.
    Jon the Pom
     
    Marg Old Diana Lodge likes this.
  11. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great info Jon, and if you have any pics to post , that would be wonderful.
     
  12. Slushii

    Slushii Mostly missing in action...

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    Welcome Jon, and thanks for sharing some of your memories with us. [​IMG]
     
    #62 Slushii, Aug 22, 2011
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  13. Slushii

    Slushii Mostly missing in action...

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    ASB, thanks for the chronology of ski lifts. [​IMG]
     
    #63 Slushii, Aug 22, 2011
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  14. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Hallo
    Yes re. pictures - I'll set to and search some out.
    That original query about pic #2 may have been answered but, yes, the queue was waiting at the little ticket kiosk down there. Despite being barely large enough to stand in, it could be the busiest of the two offices as newly arrived skiers dropped down, purchased tickets (many of them "strip tickets"!) and then took the Inter. Poma or chair up to the Bowl.
    The girl on duty would ride down as soon as the Gulley chair started, along with the two "bottom operators", complete with cashbox on her lap.
    Anyone thinking that singe chairlifts are something from history should check this website for Mad River Glen in Vermont. Now a very successful skiers' coop and offering some of the most challenging sking anywhere, 'we' recently rebuilt the original 1948 lift with - yes, really! - a replica. The drive and sheaves are all new but the towers are the refurbished originals. Unlike the old drive - just a large Allis Chalmers diesel - it has full dual drive - i.e. electric or diesel with a second diesel backup. Believe me, local lift laws are as strict as anywhere so "The Single" is no relic and rises 2000 feet vertical.
    As skiers, the decision to "stay single" was to maintain the Glen's wonderful skiing experience - better to have a line at the bottom than crowded trails.
    Check http://www.madriverglen.com
     
    #64 JonthePom, Aug 22, 2011
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  15. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks Jon, I'm getting close to knowing the makers of half of the 40 lifts that have run at Falls Creek. Any extra info on makers and Falls Creek lifts generally would be appreciated. http://wikiski.com/wiki/index.php/Australian_ski_tow_directory#Falls_Creek

    I would have never guessed that the first Gully chair was a Dopp as it looks nothing like the Doppelmayr chair installed at Buller a few months earlier, but I guess that they had different models for different conditions, just like they do now..
     
    #65 Bogong, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  16. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Strange coincidence - it was forty years, almost to the day, that we were stripping the fatigued shaft out of Kissling box on the old Gulley Chair. It was then rushed down to Melbourne where Ron McCallum was ready and waiting to turn out a replacement.
    Sorry....that forty years also leaves a fatigued memory. I'm only sort of right re. that lift being a Dopp......all the moving parts were - the rest was McCallum. The same applied to the Village & Summit Ts but there he made up their unique hydraulic drives.
    Those two lifts used Dopplemeyer springboxes.....crude things without brakes which meant at least a dozen for repair every night.
    Ron's own springboxes for Sun Valley were brilliant, They had his own design of hydraulic damping and so any repair was a very rare event.
    The link lift was also a McCallum but the odd "T-bars on Poma sticks" hung down and dragged when iced. We went over to Buller one day...had some good free "staff" skiing and then returned with the secondhand Dopp (I think) boxes that replaced those 'sticks'
     
  17. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Opening Day on the Inter. Poma

    Yes, what an icon that lift is.....but anyone observing the first operation may have expected otherwise.
    A big queue had built up on the Gully Chair so Dick dispatched Heinz Kieine, Bruno Sigmund and myself to open the Inter.
    No sooner did we have the V-10 Deutz running and a hundred or so skiers appeared.....along with "Alpine's" hierarchy, to see their new investment at work. Bill Bridgeford, Ron McCallum, Sigi Haberzetl, Jeff Henke....and Lorna Dunkley included.
    The throttle was set as per the instructions and first ride was to go to ski patroller, "T.T.". He stepped forward, took the stick and I pulled the release. He landed next to the first tower...not so much from falling but the result of the Poma stick pulling apart. Some say TT was never the same again - but that would have been hard to tell.
    More brave souls were launched but soon the line of waiting skiers began drifting - fleeing? - back to the chairlift.
    As young lifties, we were then treated to the delight of the company's bosses, shovelling snow for all they were worth, to create a ramp for sliding take-offs....Jeff excluded - he didn't 'do' shovelling and found pressing business back at Moloneys.
    It was a great lift to operate - with skiers used to moving starts, it shifted people fast.... and with the extra reward of that lovely V-10 barking under full load
     
  18. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    #68 VSG, Aug 23, 2011
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  19. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Opening Day on the Inter. Poma

    I'd say the boom had already started. The AAC lodge is clearly visible in that pic - the last building that you can see fully on the left (not chopped in half). That was completed either for that 1970 winter or was partly constructed at the time of the photo, and opened for the 1971 winter. Someone else should be able to confirm the date. A year or 2 later the motel was constructed next door. And so it went.
     
    #69 teckel, Aug 23, 2011
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  20. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Opening Day on the Inter. Poma

    ASB, JonthePom, Bogong et al ...keep it coming - pics especially. I must see if I can get my old man's snaps of FC in the 60s/70s - I'll try and get them posted up.

    Tecks - you have the right years on the motel(hotel) - I'm guessing it was built 72/73 (mainly summer). Glen Docking would have the detail.

    Does anyone have a bit of history on Cumings Ski Hire?

    During summer if you walk up past the top of the old Village T-bar and head towards the summit you'll come across old cable embedded in the ground. I wasn't sure if that was old stuff left over from years of Inter poma use or other....
     
  21. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    ASB - one lift missing from your list - the "Mitey Mite" - the little fixed-grip tow we put up outside the old Nissen!

    At the time of that photo, Cumings would have been owned and operated by Barry Lawther who sadly passed away last October. More recently he and his wife Lee have been at Halley's - the old Spargo Lodge.

    I'm pretty sure that cable at the top of the old Village T is the same as was there in my time and is part of Bob Hymans' original chairlift.....probably the top anchor? There used to be more cable and poles where the Inter, run crosses the race line.
     
  22. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lorna Dunkley. There were 2 Lornas instructing at the FC ski school at that time. Now telling tales out of school, if memory serves me correctly, Bogong had his first ski lesson from a Lorna. [​IMG] Would that have been Lorna Dunkley?
    Your memory for detail Jon, is amazing!
     
    #72 teckel, Aug 24, 2011
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  23. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    #73 JonthePom, Aug 24, 2011
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  24. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not quite jon , but keep trying .
    make sure you copy the .jpg for the picture and as you insert it using the Picture link quite often when you paste the link into it , it doubles up on the http:// part and you have to remove one of them if that makes sense.
     
  25. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    I'll work on the pics!

    Yes there were two Lornas. One was an instructor and (I think) had some Austrian connection. Perhaps once married to one or maybe just worked there...not sure but can still picture her - a shortish lady.

    "The" Lorna Dunkley was called Bill Bridgeford's secretary. More PA/Administrator, she effectively ran Alpine Developments from St Kilda in summer and from her tiny office/bedroom beside the workshop in the Powerhouse by winter.
    You knew when you crossed Lorna but she never held grudges and life moved on quickly. A great skier and a good friend.
     
  26. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    #76 JonthePom, Aug 24, 2011
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  27. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Jon, can you give the url that ends in ".jpg" or ".jpeg" or similar. Then enlose the url with "[​IMG]"
     
  28. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    jon, thanks for all the great info

    re linking to picasa
    as teckel said, you need to enclose your reference in "[​IMG] " tags

    It works fine using Firefox
    in picasaweb, display the photo (not just thumbnails). right click on the photo and select Copy Image Location. now paste this between the "[​IMG] " tags

    It works fine using Chrome
    as above but when you right-click, select Copy Image URL

    IE8 doesn't want to play
     
  29. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    I should be out dodging showers as we try to harvest wheat but here's another go with the img brackets.....thanks for all the advice - and patience! And they're not the best pictures anyway!
    How do you get images to come up on the postings rather than as a link? Or does that happen automatically when I finally get it right?

    [​IMG]
     
  30. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can't wait to see you photos Jon!

    Perhaps just post the web page address and one of us will transfer your pics to here.
     
  31. weerab

    weerab One of Us

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    It must be great to have experienced the Vic ski fields at this time. I was just starting work myself but the workplace at that time was so stifling I wished I had taken some time off and got a job at the skifields myself! You must have great memories!
     
  32. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    i think you are getting the address of the picasaweb page, not the address of the image itself. which browser are you using? as i said above, Internet Explorere doesn't want to help you. Can you try Firefox or Chrome? When you are looking at the photo in picasaweb, right click it and Copy Image Location. Don't use the "link to this photo", that is not for embedding photos, just linking to them.

    there may also be an issue with permissions. do you have it to "Public on the Web", or "Limited, anyone with the link" or "Only you"? I think it should work with either of the first 2, but the first is most likely to work.
     
    #82 currawong, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  33. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    What a relief...to let someone cleverer than me get these pictures sorted! Thank you all for the offers - and good luck.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/112419887678209537868/Falls70?authuser=0&feat=directlink

    They are just five odd shots from some that my wife, Sally, had lifted from my many old slides. She was focusing mainly on people - with a view to embarassing us all when last in Victoria six years ago. Plans are afoot to be back next year.....have to really when two octogenarian former bosses throw down the challenge to keep up with them skiing!
    We'll scan more asap.
     
    #83 JonthePom, Aug 24, 2011
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  34. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Hi Jon,

    Yep, I remember that little mitey mite - as a kid I had to hang onto that (no stocks) like mad to get up the top there....it was fun though....and a continuous loop, chugging away all day. Sorry to hear of Barry's passing, was not across that. Knew they were operating the old Spargo's (Halleys - never did like the name change though). Haven't seen any cable across the race line but I'll be back up in summer so will have a look.
     
    #84 BillyKidd, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  35. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    that looks like the right sort of link, but i can't see the page. can you check you security/visibility settings?

    while looking at the album, click on the Actions tab, then Album properties, then use the drop down for Visibility to make it "Public on the Web", or "Limited, anyone with the link"
     
  36. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    I'm learning more now than ever I was at Falls four decades ago! Good job I only had to worry about grease guns and de-icing hammers then and computers were only sci-fi!
    I've changed picasa to "limited with link". Fingers crossed.

    Yes, that was probably the heyday of seasonal ski area work....less regulations, no visas and amazing mix of people prepared to take a season off the treadmill. We had three qualified medics, an accountant, a TV director and so many others with quality qualifications.

    Workers at Falls then had something of a novel position. With no pub, no draught beer on the mountain, and Spargos or Julian's/Mountain Man, the only places one could buy a drink from a bar, needless to say, evenings revolved largely around parties in club lodges.....so lodge and lift staff not only were the people to ask where and when...but knew where to head themselves.

    I had the great discipline of the early starts - solitary greasing on the fine mornings and then taking a deicing crew up on the Ratrac, after snow or rain. That way I enjoyed enough of the evenings to make many friends but skipped the heavier drinking sessions.....and the hangovers!
     
  37. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hi jon, have you managed to "make it public" yet as we can't access the link ?
     
  38. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]

    Gerard Paviet, Tim Turkama, Dick Humphreys, Karl Sigmund rounding up springboxes on first day after closing for the 71 season
     
    #88 teckel, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  39. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]

    Early morning staff ski - Valley of the Moon


    [​IMG]

    Spargo Lodge 1970


    [​IMG]

    Pouring concrete for John Stevens at Pretty Valley
     
    #89 teckel, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  40. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]

    From Gully Chair 1970/71
     
    #90 teckel, Aug 25, 2011
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  41. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can everyone see them?
     
  42. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Opening Day on the Inter. Poma

    Yep, the Inter is probably the only part of Falls that deserves the icon tag
    I for one would be prepared tp lie down in front of dozers if they ever considered pulling it out
    Though I think the slingshot start has been tamed a bit!
     
  43. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Opening Day on the Inter. Poma

    I have great memories of riding the pomas at Falls as a kid. Not such good memories of riding the Summit t-bar though as a kid in ski school. The instructor wanted to take us up to Headwater I guess but it scared the living daylights out of us.
     
  44. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Thanks so much Teckel....as mentioned before, we will pick out some more from slides.
     
  45. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    thanks Teckel and Jon , those slides are gold .
     
  46. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    #96 JonthePom, Aug 26, 2011
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  47. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Great snaps Tecks....really good shot of Spargos there.

    I'm assuming that is Mark and Katie Stevens standing at the pour in the last photo...
     
    #97 BillyKidd, Aug 26, 2011
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  48. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Thank you BillyKidd - I would have added the names but couldn't come up with Mark's.
    From left to right that's Jim ?(in summers he had one of Jack's (Heberle)Flats and had a dingo cross called Moses!), I think that's John Stevens behind, Tim (the Finn), Mark & Katie, Heinzi (Kiene)and Gerard Paviet.
    You can see the shute that John had constructed to run the concrete down to lower level for the footings. The driver never quite mastered barrow-sized batches so standing at the bottom with a barrow took some faith.
    Subsequent floors were wheeled in on the level and up a ramp.....and finally a pump was brought in for the last level. All good fun....and useful extra pay.
    How that area has changed now!
     
  49. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Herberles were a prominent family in Mt Beauty AFAIK. Lawn bowl honours not least. See the board at the Country Club.
     
  50. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Re: Opening Day on the Inter. Poma

    Quite forward thinking. One lift, relatively high speed, that takes you from car park=ish to summit. Much better than the summit lift(s). My intro to FC in the late 80s was the Summit T. I used the poma almost exclusively after the first few tows on the Summit. [​IMG]
     
    #100 VSG, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013