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Redesigning the Great Dividing Range

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by teleroo, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. teleroo

    teleroo Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    So I'm holed up at the caravan park at Old Adaminaby waiting for the next snow system to arrive (not much snow at Selwyn atm). Last few days I've been pondering how I would "sensibly" redesign the Great Dividing Range to optimise snow conditions for the type of skiing I like, which is resort downhill and also overnight ski-touring, yet still retain reasonable access. In general I like the shape of the Snowy Mountains, nice rolling touring country from Kiandra south to Dead Horse Gap. Steep bits on the western faces and reasonable terrain for downhilling. Access is reasonable via road and I like skiing in snowgums.

    Personally I've always thought the NZ Southern Alps were a bit too steep for ski touring. I also don't like avalanches or crevasses or the huffy puffy of too much altitude. So I've kind of settled on a figure of an upwards block shift of about 300m as being optimal. Seems kind of modest but I think I like this amount.

    This would give northern Kosci a bit more snow depth (eg. Kiandra would go to Perisher Valley elevation) to give 100 percent snow cover all winter in most years. Selwyn would roughly translate to Hotham I reckon. Perisher/Thredbo would max out at 2300m which is about the same as the highest lifts on Ruapehu NZ (noting Ruapehu seems to shut up shop completely a few days per year, so more isn't always better).

    You'd probably warrant another ski field somewhere in the north of the Park.

    A 300m uplift would also still preserve reasonable road access to most resorts except Perisher, but it has the ski tube. Dead Horse Gap could experience a few more closures per season, but hey, that would help keep the Victorians out. But there would still be a good mix of above and below tree line skiing (1800m approx) and I think we'd avoid the dramas of glaciation and crevasses.

    Canberra and Jindy be mostly snow free and the access still snow free from Sydney down the Hume 95 percent of the time, though snow clearing probably needed more between Berridale and Jindabyne. But not too much to cause big problems.
     
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  2. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Never mind the snowies.

    I’d prefer to see the Otway and Yarra Ranges have an extra 1500 to 2000 elevation.
     
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  3. teleroo

    teleroo Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Make the Otways like the Kaikoura's eh?

     
  4. MarkV

    MarkV One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Stretch them across Bass Straight down into Tassie.
     
  5. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Something like that.

    Otways would get pounded. Nothing between them and Antarctica!
     
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  6. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    West Coast of Tassie with another 1000m-1500m would be all time.
     
  7. teleroo

    teleroo Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Might get the glaciers back at +1500m?
     
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  8. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Could you live in tassie though?
     
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  9. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Can we also have a range from Blue Mountains to Broken Hill that blocks pineapples.
     
  10. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd move to melbs for that
     
  11. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    It would be crazy.

    The otways are already one of the wettest places on earth, or certainly feels like when you’re there.
     
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  12. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Move to Fox Glacier then 6M of rain in a standard year.
     
  13. teleroo

    teleroo Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    That's kind of what I was trying to avoid. Get too greedy and go for too much uplift and other problems start appearing ie bad weather, access issues.
     
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  14. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mount Sabine in the otways is 582. No idea if it’s the highest down there. Get it up to 2000-2500 and wow wee.
     
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  15. BlueHue

    BlueHue One of Us

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    I'd whack up the coastal escarpments of NSW South Coast to 3000-4000m. Need to be a good 500-1000m higher than whatever the Snowies a jacked up to to ensure they get their fair share of snow in westerlies for reliable cover. The idea however is to see just how much snow they would get in a decent ECL season. Might not get the regularity of big snowfalls that big mtns in the Otways would, but when a decent ECL hits, other than Tasmania, there are not many locations that could rack of snowfall rates and storm totals that high alpine ranges on NSW eastern coastal escarpments could. Imagine the snowfall in all those rain trains coming up from the south onto the coast in June. Gondola near the beach along the Wollongong strip somewhere up to the alpine, skiing on the high summits in the morning, mtn bike down to the sea level and afternoon surf..... and the views of the ocean.

    I like the idea of a modest lift in the Snowies/Vic alps. 200-300m would be sufficient. Just needs to be enough to turn those marginal systems that bring plenty of rain to our hills every winter into snow, which in turn would make for a pretty solid season June through September. In the process keep the character of those hills, I like them they way they are other than the unreliable snowpack.
     
  16. BlueHue

    BlueHue One of Us

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    Oh yeh, we also need one region of genuinely big ass mountains, like 5000/6000 or bigger, maybe linking Tassie to mainland from Otways through King Island to maximise exposure to westerly fronts...... or perhaps a southward extension off Tasmania into the Southern Ocean for summer glacier skiing.
     
  17. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    NSW people often forget that the further south you go, the lower the snowline is. Falls and Hotham aren't that much further south than the NSW resorts, so 1700 metres altitude there is only equivalent to a bit over 1800 m in NSW, snowfall wise. But further south near Melbourne there was a former ski resort that had a maximum altitude of 1250 metres, although snow there wasn't terribly reliable. But down in southern Tassie, the ski tows at Mt Mawson are at about 1,100 metres.

    So rather than going higher, perhaps we should go further south? There's a large oceanic plateau just south of Tasmania and I once dreamt that there was a big upswelling that punched it up by a couple of thousand metres. That would mean lots of new land for the Tasmanians to settle and the mountain peaks would have good and reliable snowfields.

    P.S. For Seth's info, the Otway Range doesn't go much above 700 metres, the town of Lavers Hill is only 450 metres. So while the area gets snowfalls, it usually doesn't stay around for long. However most of the range gets a huge rainfall of over 2 metres a year.
     
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  18. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like the fact that you are modest and not too unreasonable in your requests:D;)
     
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  19. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well apparently the western macdonnells were approaching himalayan size once, so its not the lack of vert, its our timing thats bung. Its always about the timing.
     
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  20. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    *Via Wilsons Prom
    Need to keep the surf
     
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  21. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Almost due East, @VSG i think you’ve done a crayola of this to work out how many metres South.
     
  22. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was liking you, until the Victorians bit. ;) :p

    Later in this thread Bogong gets geographically embarrassed, re how far south the Vicco resorts are, compared to Perisher and Thredders...

    @Bogong . That is as near as dammit North East and 100km, Falls to Perisher. :D And if I told you the base leg of the imaginary triangle, fomed by making a line due East of Falls, to due South of Perisher was 95km long.. you can work out how far south of Perisher it is. :D



    Did you say 43 km?
     
  23. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmm I’ve had to reread @Bogong ’s post a few times. I can read it to mean NSW is further South than Vicco or visa versa.

    I am surprised NSW is as far North of Vicco as you suggest. Compass bearings from the MR to Bogong are typically only a bit South of West. Crude to be sure & not as accurate as good map work.

    @VSG will your mappery tell us the difference between the NSW & Vicco latitudes?
     
  24. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, the cartographic types get all fussed over direction. :D You got magnetic, true... humpty dumpty Norths, you got variations in magnetic lines due to local geology.. and then.. frikkin gps gets involved. Aaaaah.
     
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  25. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You don't need to change the Aussie Alps, of any of the mountains/hills.

    What you need are lower temperatures and more moisture.
    Falls Creek has almost exactly the same latitude south as the mountains around Hakuba (Japan) has latitude north. And yet at 1700m on each mountain (compare Happo One with Falls Creek), Happo gets 800-1000cm MORE snow than Falls Creek. Happo is 6-10 degrees colder in winter at 1700m.

    Why? The two main reasons:
    - Asian mainland is a pool of very cold air
    - The Sea of Japan is a "lake" which is relatively warmer than the Asian mainland.

    This causes the "lake/sea" effect, where -20 degree air pushes across the sea from the NNW, and sucks up huge moisture. When this hits the mountains, it dumps huge amounts of snow in a short time. It's not uncommon to get a lazy 40cm overnight, with NO cold front, NO low pressure trough, but just a fresh NNW wind blowing off the mainland. I've seen 160cm+ fall in 3 days(numerous times).... and 250cm in 4 days. Two Japanese seasons back, I skied a place that was 15km from the coast, which got 50cm overnight and another 20cm up to when we left at 2pm. Meanwhile, 40km inland, there was only 10cm. (this was because the wind was WNW, racking the coast rather than pushing directly from the NNW.... but that's the sort of snow that can happen in Japan, just on the right wind direction.
    This is typical:

    Hakuba & most of the 100 or so ski mountains located around Nagano/Niigata are within 40km of the north facing coast (about halfway up). The Sea of Japan is around 800km wide at that point. You can see the cloud just appearing 150km south of the Asian coast. This causes the huge snowfall in Japan. And it falls down to sea level. A place on the coast called Takada (in Joetsu city) often has a base of 180cm + at 14m ASL.

    So, we don't need to change the mountains, we just need a large continent south of Australia, and an 800km sea between that and the Aussie mainland. I posted this a few years ago:


    Same mountains, but 6-10m more snow, and 6-8 degrees colder!!!! :D
     
  26. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    So which fantasy is easier/cheaper/Moar realistic? A new continent or bigger mountains LOL

    Why not both?
     
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  27. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL
    Why not both? Higher mountains would not be accessible, if there was a continent there. Hakuba (Happo) only goes 1830m up a 60km range that goes up to 2900m, because it's too difficult to get there (and there's no need).
    There's one resort about 30km east of Hakuba that CLOSES in January, because they get too much snow!!!
    One place the other side of that range behind Hakuba is a dam.(similar to the Snowy Mountains hydro, I guess) You can't even GET TO IT in winter. They cut the road in April when it stops snowing and after it's melted a bit:
    [​IMG]

    Sometimes it gets 20m deep at that spot.
     
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  28. slotele

    slotele Hard Yards

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    Loving this conversation while I can't ski or run.

    Off topic but anyone getting Bentley adds after the discussion of logos in a different thread or is it because I had my phone with me while discussing a mention of them in the Friday paper? Who's listening?
     
  29. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Inaccessible just means fun to get to
     
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  30. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  31. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    A bit of snow this partic season. ACT.





    and the whole building [Mt. Franklin Chalet, approx 1590m asl] in the green season. Years later. '03 fires took it.

     
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  32. teleroo

    teleroo Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    That would make it hard for me to concentrate at work, gazing out of office onto a Kaikoura type vista. I remember standing on the pier at Santa Monica CA in winter, looking back over LA to the snow capped mountains beyond. Always something special about sea to snow vistas.
     
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  33. teleroo

    teleroo Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've skied it like that in the 90s. Been away from ACT for ten years and don't think recent seasons have been so kind snow wise however. Mt Franklin ski runs were starting to get overgrow even then, which I thought was sad as we were losing a bit of history.[/QUOTE]
     
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  34. MHzMe

    MHzMe Hard Yards

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    Using Google Earth to get the UTM coordinates, where the Northing (Southing?) is the latitude difference in metres relative to a reference point, so the difference between two Northings is the distance between their latitudes:
    • Mount Kosciuszko 613196 m E 5964722 m S
    • Mount Bogong 527327 m E 5934725 m S
    • Mount Hotham 511730 m E 5907703 m S
    • Mount Buller 449005 m E 5888911 m S
    • Mount Baw Baw 436184 m E 5811879 m S
    So:
    1. Bogong is 29,997m (30km) south of Kosci
    2. Hotham is 57,019m (57km) south or Kosci
    3. Buller is 75,811m (76km) south of Kosci
    4. Baw Baw is 152,843m (153km) south of Kosci
    If I had my choice, I would stretch the top of the Southern Divide around Baw Baw about 500-600m to get some more altitude, better steeps and better vertical. Mostly because it is only about 80 minutes drive from home in the Dandenongs. (I would also straighten the damn road from Noojee to Baw Baw to reduce the drive time by 20 minutes or so!)
     
  35. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper One of Us

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    Surely we just mandate that the next big mining project needs to dump all the dirt form the great big hole they make, onto the Bogong high plains, How deep is that hole outside of Kalgoorlie?

    Chuck it all on top of the plain @ 1800m, and Bobs your Uncle, new ski resort starting @ 1800, topping out around 23/2400m
    Make it just south west of falls and the pretty valley dam, means you tap the dam for snowmaking,
     
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  36. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    That's the essence of the WASTED business plan in one hit.
     
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  37. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its pretty amazing how much gets moved around. The very small mine at Tomingley NSW has created two quite large in area 100m tall hills of overburden in around 5 years. If you really hooked in you could definitely raise Kosie by a couple of hundred in quick time.
     
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  38. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd raise Mt Townsend by 20m, just to cause a stir :p
     
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  39. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Exactly my point, Kosi & company are so close to due West of Bogong.:)

    Thanks for looking up the locations and doing the math. I thought about it in principle then was side tracked by irrigation.
     
  40. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well there is a tradition I've heard of that when you hike up there you are supposed to take a rock and leave it. After 10 years or so and thousands of hikers, Bobs your uncle;)
     
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  41. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    How do you think Mt Bogong got it's 3+ metre high cairn?

    Note: Image may not be 100% accurate.


    [​IMG]
     
  42. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like the murray darling basin plan :)

    Sorry. 4 corners was allfkduplastnight
     
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  43. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just the back yard.
     
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  44. MHzMe

    MHzMe Hard Yards

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    Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_climate states moving up 100 metres on a mountain is roughly equivalent to moving 80 kilometers towards the pole. So Bogong is effectively 52m taller relative to Kosciusko, and Hotham is effectively 71m higher, and Baw Baw is effectively 191m higher. (Which is part of why Baw Baw at 1567m gets any skiable snow at all. Add 500-600m to that and we are in Kosci territory, but with better access to the lows that don’t come far north. Actually scratch my earlier request, let’s stretch it my 1000m for reliable snow coverage!
     
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