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PB (and Guthega) history and old tows

Discussion in 'Perisher' started by Bogong, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    #1 Bogong, Aug 20, 2007
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  2. Podlet

    Podlet Part of the Furniture

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    Hey Bogong,

    I happened upon a Trail map from 91 or 92 form "Blue Cow - Guthega" the other day, so when I have some time I'll dig it out and scan it at high resolution colour both sides for you.

    had a quick read of the guthega lifts and the Brumby T bar used to be located at Guthega. The Blue Calf T bar was a "double" t bar, so two running from opposite load directions next to each other.

    It was moved to the brumby location in roughly, very roughly 92/93 I *think*, though the trail map I have will tell me that once i figure out which album it was in again, that'll tell me which year the map is from as there is no date on it.

    So you can change the dates for the BRumby T bar once I find that all out for you.

    The Rope tow actually in Guthega ran parrallel to the bottom of the Cow T bar but was set out about 50m or so to the left as you look uphill. i worked it in 94 and 95 but I think 96 it was only open on demand. In 2 years I probably loaded 3 classes in total [​IMG]

    The demise of guthega as a beginners area came about by removing various facilities over there, such as a dedicated ticket office, small shop and food outlet in the ski centre building. A great pity, as it means people staying at the only public accommodation there, The Guthega Alpine Hotel, cannot get beginner lessons there anymore on a beginners ticket, and to my knowledge no lessons start in Guthega any longer as they used to before Perisher Valley bought a majority share.
     
    #2 Podlet, Aug 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  3. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks Podlette. The "old ski maps" on wikiski are so blurred that they're utterly useless. This is a slightly unconventional project, but I had to do it for Victoria and I got interested in the evolution of the resorts, so while I was at it, I did NSW, ACT and Tas as well.

    I have a long and detailed pundits report written in 1950 that said Mt Wills (Vic) and Mt Rufus (Tas) would become major resorts, but doesn't even mention Thredbo or Ben Lomond as possible sites for skiing.
     
  4. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Rope Toe at Guthega was running from about 1982 and there was another T bar down towards the dam that they pulled out in about 1989. Let me find out the name for you.
     
  5. Mr Bean

    Mr Bean One of Us

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    Hey Podlette, I was there in 95. The rope tow you mention was a portable unit. I don't remember anyone actually using it much. I think the lifties on that tow tended to spend their time igloo building. [​IMG]
     
    #5 Mr Bean, Aug 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  6. agentBM

    agentBM Part of the Furniture

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    The book I have - Kiandra: Goldfields to Skifields does feature some information about Perisher as the Kiandra club moved there in the 1960s due to lack of snow in Kiandra. There are recollections of snow depth, storms, lifts, and events around Perisher in the 1960s with some photography...including the wooden ski jump erected between Perisher and Smiggs in 1967. The book is also good for old stuff on the Kiandra region and the history of ski tows there, with photos. Ski jumping was very popular there in the first half of the 20th century and the races apparently were spectacular and fast. I could scan / photograph some pages if you like as there are not any copies left / avaliable at present on ebay. I bought the book from the author in Sydney.
     
  7. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks very much Berg Meister. I've already had a look at that book for Kiandra related ski stuff, but I didn't realise it had some coverage of Perisher too. I'll wander down to the State Library of Vic and have another look.
     
  8. Austin

    Austin First Runs

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    #8 Austin, Aug 21, 2007
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  9. foxpuppet

    foxpuppet One of Us

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    three halfpipes huh? sounds efficient
     
  10. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Does anyone think those lifts are going to be built?
    I haven't heard a word about the proposed developments since the sale fell through.
     
    #10 person s, Aug 21, 2007
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  11. D-eye

    D-eye Photographer and skier Moderator

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    They started with the snow making part, put the Village 8 in while doing that and are supposed to be working on the village next summer last I heard. After the village hopefully they will start on more lifts.
     
  12. Principal Douglas

    Principal Douglas A Local

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    I assume once some real estate is sold we'll see some lift improvements.
     
  13. Podlet

    Podlet Part of the Furniture

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    Hey there! The igloo builder was probably Grassy, the guy who did the sculptures on front Valley for a few years.

    Did you work there or just ski there? Send me a PM if you like [​IMG]
     
    #13 Podlet, Aug 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  14. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    My Grandafter was involved with the first lifts put into Guthega in the 1950s/60s.

    A few photos

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My Grandfather was a founding member of YMCA Ski Club. This went on to become Brindabella Ski Club.

    Also a photo of the lift on Mt P.

    [​IMG]
     
    #14 skinavy, Aug 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  15. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Woah, a lot more sparse (in trees) around guthega back then than I would have imagined!
     
  16. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is the lift I was talking about but it turned into a T bar at a later date. It was below the road (hence no trees) and they pulled it out in 1985 I think. The hut was used as staff quarters and as I recall .... temporary housing for a couple of Playboy bunnies. [​IMG]

    Karl and I built a bridge out of telegraph poles across the creek down there in 1983.
     
    #16 dawooduck, Aug 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  17. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bogong.. a bit of circa 1982 info.. check the history of each area...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #17 VSG, Aug 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  18. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ta muchly Virtual Snow Goose. I've been looking for those old ski resort guides in second hand book shops, but they're as rare as hens teeth down here.
     
  19. Podlet

    Podlet Part of the Furniture

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    Karl Gunter??
     
    #19 Podlet, Aug 23, 2007
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  20. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I found the Thredbo plans in a promotional glossy coffee table book, commissioned by Thredbo that I bought at the Thredbo Museum 3 weeks ago.
    [​IMG]
    Jim Darby. Thredbo 50: 1957 to 2007. tSm Publishing, 2006. 127 pages. $40. The planned future lifts are on p 25

    It's a good read, although the coverage is a bit hit and miss. Some areas are covered in detail, others are mostly neglected. The same outfit has been commissioned to do a similar book on Buller, due out in November.
     
    #20 Bogong, Aug 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  21. Principal Douglas

    Principal Douglas A Local

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  22. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    About three years ago... Panda just popped into the snail mail for me.. .no cost. Pleasant surprise. I don't know what's become of Panda. [​IMG]
     
    #22 VSG, Aug 23, 2007
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  23. jt-ski

    jt-ski One of Us

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    VSG... I don't suppose you wouldn't mind scanning in a few more of those pages. Mainly the rest of PB and blue cow??
     
  24. agentBM

    agentBM Part of the Furniture

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    Those old Perisher maps make the hills sure look steep. Interesting stuff VSG.
     
  25. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's mostly it. I guess I can have another look.

    Remember: the book is so old, it pre-dates Blue Cow as a distinct resort. Perisher/Smiggins were one combined resort, and Guthega was over the back, only accessible by the dirt road, mentioned in the book. Or keen individuals who risked going over the back of Pretty Valley or North Perisher T, in quest of Blue Cow Moutain T bars and the rest of Guthega. The Ridge Chair did not exist. [​IMG]
     
    #25 VSG, Aug 24, 2007
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  26. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    No more.

    Some Mount Buller might keep you interested.

    buller resort pages
     
    #26 VSG, Aug 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  27. Ted Harper

    Ted Harper One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The bottom lift wasn't ever a T-bar to my knowledge (only a poma before it was disassembled).

    Back in the day (sigh) there were two rope tows (either side of the area at the bottom of Bloody Mary and parallel with the Cow t-bar alignment), and another one that ran back up underneath the chairlift to near the top of Blue Calf (ie just down the hill from the horrible ski school sheds under the chair top station).

    That's more-or-less the 1984-to-merger-with-BlueCow configuration (ie Calf duplex T, Cow T, chair, cowpastures poma, bottom poma and those ropetows). NB: There was a "powder valley (rope) tow" also, further up the hill and on more-or-less the alignment of Cowpastures poma, but that lift pre-dates the construction of the Cow t-bar and since the mid-80's only a concrete block remains of it at all and definitely no lift has operated there in that time.


    ted.h. (only semi-embarrassed to admit he has a complete set of Guthega, then Blue Cow Guthega, then Perisher Blue season passes from 1984 to this year inclusive and the assorted physical and mental scarring to go along with that).
     
    #27 Ted Harper, Aug 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  28. telemark fred

    telemark fred One of Us

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    I agree that it is sad that there are fewer facilities than ever at guthega, and nothing for beginners. I stayed there last week, and my room-mate was a complete beginner. The arrangement for beginners to get lessons at the moment is that the ski school runs a (free!) oversnow service to and from blue cow. One pick up at 0830 at the burning log, returns from blue cow at 1600. To be eligible you have to have booked a level 1 or 2 lesson at Blue Cow.

    for early starting lessons (9am) at higher ability levels they will send an instructor to pick up at 0830 and ski over - loading the blue cow lift at 0845 (it opens to all at 0900).
     
    #28 telemark fred, Aug 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  29. tjilbee

    tjilbee Hard Yards

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    As an added extra. There was also a "nutcracker" rope tow over the other side of the dam. It ran towards Tate and was built by members of the then YMCA Ski Club, now Brindabella. It was ferried along the waters edge on a raft in pieces with members poling it off bank and more members pulling the raft along. SkiNavy's G/father built most of it in his yard in Canberra and it went to Guthega like a large Lego kit. This was either late 50's or early 60's. It was a mongrel trying to use the nutcracker when the wheels were as high as your head (I was 8yrs old). The hut in the bottom of the other photo was the home of the resident instructor "Walter Spanring" and his samoyeds (the mobile moguls). His motto "Bend ze nees, watch ze trees, 10 shillings pleez". (german accent).
     
    #29 tjilbee, Aug 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  30. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    The mountain man legend himself.

    Ted, ours paths must have crossed at some stage. You are right about the poma. My mind is vague on some details. (but I remember the bunnies well) It was a lonely vigil working that lift but we got to ski it waiting for a customer.
     
    #30 dawooduck, Aug 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  31. Podlet

    Podlet Part of the Furniture

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    He certainly knew how to farm snow Guthega style! [​IMG] I noticed they'd renamed Fun run after him, has he passed away?
     
    #31 Podlet, Aug 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  32. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    No Podlette Karl is still going strong. Last I heard is that he had a bad fall at Masters and it has slowed him down a lot.

    Karls Run ... now there is a story of clandestine logging techniques. They broke the mould when they made Karl.
     
  33. Gra

    Gra First Runs

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    Bogong,

    I notice that on your Wikiski entry for the Pleasant Valley chair, it states that it has operated since 1987. However, I have a recollection of skiing a Pleasant Valley chair in about 1979 and a friend says she skied there in 1984. I don't remember if it was a quad but I remember a chair there well before Blue Cow opened. However, it is not shown in the above extract from Australian Skiing.

    Could you or anyone else confirm that a Pleasant Valley chair pre-existed Blue Cow? I'd also be interested in knowing when it opened.
     
  34. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Gra. One of the reasons I struggled with the Perisher list more than the other resorts is that I'm not a regular there and I don't have any contacts or books on the history of the place. So while I can rattle on about the history of skiing almost everywhere else in the country, I'm not that savvy on Perisher Blue. That's where you lot helped out hugely.

    As a Mexican who rarely visited Perisher and Guthega, I tended to get mixed up between the similarly named Pleasant Valley Chair and Pretty Valley Chair. Would it have been a bit awkward to get over to Pleasant Valley before the Blue Cow complex was built? But if you are clear that (unlike me) you weren't confused between the two, then we have an interesting development!
     
  35. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re. Guthega. Thanks to everyone for all the stuff on Guthega, but because people are unsure of the dates, locations and names of the lifts, I'm still unsure of things.

    This is about the best I can do with a list of Guthega tows, what have I missed or got wrong?

    Unknown. Rope tow. Early - mid 60’s. Mt Tate East Ridge. Island Bend Ski Club

    Name unknown. Rope Tow c.1965- ?. Walter Spanring. Short length.

    Powder Valley. Rope tow. Near current Cow Pastures

    Beginners. J-bar. <1982-c.1989. Mid village area

    Beginners. Rope tow. <1982>. Top of chair

    Blue Cow. T-bar. 1982 - present.

    Cow Pastures. J-bar. 1981 - present.

    Blue Calf. T-bar. 1981 - present. Formerly a duplex T-bar

    Rope Tow 1. <1992 - 1993?

    Rope Tow 2. <1992 - 1993?

    Carpark Double chair. 1982 - present
     
  36. Ted Harper

    Ted Harper One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    For bogong...

    On wikiski there is a scan of a 1984 Guthega trail map (I have the same one on the wall of my caravan - in Berridale so not readily accessible), see http://wikiski.com/wiki/index.php/Image:Guthega-piste-map-1984.jpg

    Of note on that map are the two mid-mountain ropetows (the third ropetow across under the top of the chair was definitely added a few years after that), just they aren't shown parallel on the map which they more-or-less were; one to the left (looking uphill) of the snow fence near the bottom of Bloody Mary, and the other on the left hand side of the same flat, cleared area. As to the eventual removal of those ropetows (and the overall ski school capability in Guthega), the "across under the top of the chair" one was first to go - I think the first year Blue Cow took over - then the one on the right hand side (next to the Bloody Mary snow fence) was removed next, and the left hand side one survived - mostly unused (see various old threads on here laughing about whether it had operated yet each season as it was part of the official PB lift count) - until a couple of years ago.

    NB: I'm pretty sure that map is also the first appearance of the "proposed quad" (starting near the creek below the bottom of the Cowpastures poma and lifting to near the top of Mother-in-Law) - it's either that or the last appearance of the powder valley ropetow (which was dismantled by then); it's been nearly 20 years since I last looked at that map in any detail and as you can see the scan on wikiski is somewhat less-than-legible. I thought I'd better mention something about it though in case you were trying to reconcile your list of lifts with the red lines on that scanned map.


    ted.h.
     
    #36 Ted Harper, Aug 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  37. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ted. Any chance you could do that scan again?
     
    #37 VSG, Aug 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  38. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I tried to read that map on Wikiski when I was compiling the list, but it was too blurred to be legible. I could make out vauge lines, but I couldn't read much of the writing.

    EDIT. I'd be grateful if someone could just name those tows starting with Blue Cow T-bar at the top and working clockwise.

    Also, did the earlier tow downhill from the village have a name?
     
  39. Gra

    Gra First Runs

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    Bogong,

    I wouldn't assume that my memory is correct. I hadn't skied for about 15 years until last week. When I skied down under the Pleasant Valley chair, the run (as well as the name) was very familiar to me. My memories of it relate to a particular trip with three others around 1979.

    However, a friend who has skied Perisher for years is disputing that I could have skied Pleasant Valley in 1979 (and now there is a bet riding on the answer). But then another friend says she skied there in 1984. I am confused!

    My memory says we accessed the Pleasant Valley chair by traversing from the top station of the Forester Quad.

    I'd be grateful if anyone could shed definitive light on this question. Some of the features of the Pleasant Valley run were very, very familiar to me after all these years but I can't reconcile my memory with that of my friend who says it came with the advent of Blue Cow. Unless it was built as part of Blue Cow but opened earlier while the rest of Blue Cow waited for the Ski Tube to be completed.

    As you have now noticed, I have started another thread on this topic and it looks as if my memory is not getting much support which may mean I have to give up and pay up on my bet with my mate.
     
  40. Podlet

    Podlet Part of the Furniture

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    you may have skied it, but there wasn't a lift there as it's part of Blue Cow and that wasn't built and lifts put in there until 1988.

    You sure you're not thinking of Pretty Valley, the double chair?
     
  41. Gra

    Gra First Runs

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    Thanks Podiette. I know it couldn't have been part of Blue Cow as BC didn't open until 1987 & I had never been to BC until last week.

    I've posted a more comprehensive answer on the "Pleasant Valley chair" topic I started today.
     
  42. Ted Harper

    Ted Harper One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I didn't do the original submitted scan, but I definitely do have a copy of the original trail map, so I can scan it when I get a chance to grab the map and bring it to my scanner (possibly not for a couple of months unless it dumps before the end of the season).


    ted.h.
     
    #42 Ted Harper, Aug 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  43. tjilbee

    tjilbee Hard Yards

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    Unknown rope tow = very early 60's. Mt Tate East Ridge was YMCA Ski Club. Later sold to Walter Spanring who turned it into T bar some time later. Engine shed was burnt down some years after. Not sure of exact date.
    Name unknown. Rope Tow c.1965- ?. Walter Spanring. Short length.
    Was installed by YMCA club 1955. Base for diesel motor (power source) built by my father and he was operator and caretaker of YMCA lodge for 1956/7.
    As mentioned earler Walter had the lodge (hut) at the bottom of this run.
    Another source for this info is the "Christie" magazine at the National Library and I think the YMCA/ Brindabella Ski Club web site, in their history area.
     
  44. tjilbee

    tjilbee Hard Yards

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    Have just checked with my father and the short length tow equipment was purchsed by the club from John Abbotsmith, who used to have the "Creel" outside Jindy where the Shell is near the Thredbo turn off. JA was a ski instructor for the Aust. Army to provide an Alpine capability during WW2.
     
  45. Podlet

    Podlet Part of the Furniture

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    Ok,. so the big long main t bar is The Cow T Bar, next lift clockwise is Cow Pastures Poma, next around is Blue Calf T bar, next around is Car Park Double Chair. That's from when I worked there, they could have change the name of the chair or the poma and I wouldn't take any notice!

    If you're working from the old map, then the next lift around (directly parrallel with the Cow t bar) is the desert park rope tow. If it's the new map, there won't be a rope tow marked
     
    #45 Podlet, Aug 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  46. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    1994

    [​IMG]
     
    #46 VSG, Aug 30, 2007
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  47. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    1992.

    [​IMG]
     
    #47 VSG, Aug 30, 2007
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  48. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    1988

    looks like Pleasant Valley was Pleasant Valley all the way through.... incidentally.

    [​IMG]
     
    #48 VSG, Aug 30, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  49. GlenH

    GlenH Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    I can certainly remember the 'proposed chair' marked on the trail map at Guthega in the time between when I started skiing (1986) and when Blue Cow bought them.

    Also that old Blue Cow map reminds me that when it first opened in 1987, the Roller Coaster had not at that stage been cut through.

    I also remember the original name for 'Zali's' was 'Stampede', which fitted with their early cow-based marketing slogan of 'Escape the Herd'.

    I loved Blue Cow from the start.
     
  50. Copakid Reinvented

    Copakid Reinvented First Runs

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    Escape the Herd - I remember that

    I was on of the fortunate few that was there on the June Long weekend BC opened. There was no snow, but if you could get there, there food and drink for all to have, with no cost!!.

    I too have always known it as Pleasant Valley chair. If you think of the description given, it is very similiar to Pretty Valley ie start off, then a gentle, then a bottle neck.

    Rollercoaster - I am sure it was there at the start, maybe by a different name