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Thredbo to Charlotte Pass Chair

Discussion in 'Thredbo' started by andrew6736, May 23, 2006.

  1. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Not that I know of but a couple are observing the discussion from a distance. Unfortunately of the group of privileged individuals that were involved in the running of the chairlift and its associated restaurant, there are only a hand full or so left. To date I know of seven (7) who are still with us.
     
  2. Ozziski

    Ozziski First Runs

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Wow for a project of that size, that is getting very thin on the ground.
    I wonder why it is called the Thredbo chair to Charlottes Pass. It does not go anywhere
    near Thredbo and was really The Alpine Way to Charlottes Pass chairlift or vv.
    It would be great if the remaining 7 could have a reunion, possibly for the launch of your book if you
    do go ahead with the project. I have raised the naming issue to avoid having Thredbo lay claim
    to it and think it should be corrected. If the construction date is correct then 50th anniversary will
    be in 2013. Pity some of the remaining people cannot be encouraged to input to the forum before
    then.
     
  3. benchives

    benchives I forgot how to ski Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I'd guess the THredbo name comes from the proximity, the next closest thing on the map at the time would have been jindabyne.
     
  4. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    From what I understand, Thredbo was added to the name of the chairlift long after it ceased operating. During the planning stages, it was intended to be called the KOSCIUSKO CHAIR-LIFT but later it was more commonly known as the CHALET CHAIRLIFT.
     
  5. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Ozziski. Calling this thread (or an article) Thredbo to Charlotte Pass chairlift allows people to instantly get an idea of what the project was and roughly where it was in one short statement. The alternative and more correct description of:

    "The two double chairlifts from the Thredbo Road to Charlotte Pass ski resort with a restaurant 57% of the way along the route"

    ... doesn't have the same snappy brevity and people would fall asleep before they finished reading it.
     
    #505 Bogong, Sep 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  6. Ozziski

    Ozziski First Runs

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Bogong, could not agree more and obviously the forum was started long before I have come on the scene
    guess I must be a pedantic bugger and overcome with political correctness. I have a very, very high
    level of interest in this piece of ski history. Would not like to see it hijacked by Thredbo (pedantic again)
    just know from many years of experience how this can happen. I think this particular project needs to stand
    alone as something that people can appreciate as truly unique, which it was for many reasons. Do not want
    to start an argument about the pros and cons but would really appreciate understanding that to even have Thredbo
    in the name is misleading for a start.
     
  7. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Even though I love the place, I agree with Ozziski that Thredbo shouldn't be included in the name when referring to this particular enterprise. I always refer to it as the Alpine Way to Charlotte Pass Chairlift. If that title is too long then I think that it is only natural to refer to it as "Liittle Boxie", as it was affectionately known.
     
  8. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I see your point Diponza, but if your project gets to publication, remember that not everyone knows what The Alpine Way is. Those who ski in NSW, know it's a road, but to non skiers (or to skiers in Victoria or Tasmania), The Alpine Way could mean almost anything... maybe a book on Swiss cooking techniques or a ski instruction handbook...

    By contrast, almost everyone knows where Thredbo is and what it is. So even if you don't like associating the old chairlift with the ski resort a few km up the road, the term Thredbo Valley conveys the activity of skiing and the location of The Snowy Mountains of NSW. Using the term Thredbo Valley conveys a bucket load of information to anyone scanning the title on a website or in a bookshop, sadly The Alpine Way doesn't mean much except to people who ski in NSW.

    Just my thoughts (and I have proof read, edited and indexed a few mountain books for publishers). But don't take my ponderings on the subject too seriously, I won't worry if you disregard them. [​IMG]
     
    #508 Bogong, Sep 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  9. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I can appreciate your point of view but my book isn't going to be the type of publication that I think you might have in mind. The original aim of my study was to document this story before it is too late, the book was an after thought that was suggested to me by, coincidently, someone involved with the running of the Thredbo Historical Society. The fruits of my research will be a history book that concentrates on the facts, sprinkled with wonderful anecdotes and photographs. All the myths that surround this story will also be put to bed once and for all.

    I'm not doing this for self promotion or to make money, in fact I'm planning to self publish. I intend to give the first copies to universities, libraries, etc. Whatever is left over I will make available to public to purchase so if you want to secure your own copy you will need to get in quick!

    The title that I have chosen is short and sweet yet appropriate for this story. Incidently the title doesn't refer to either Thredbo or the Alpine Way. In the book I will be referring to this piece of infrastructure as the Alpine Way to Charlotte Pass Chairlift for the simple reason that that particular title is the simplest and most accurate description of what the project represented.
     
  10. Ozziski

    Ozziski First Runs

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Just did a Google search, Thredbo 1.6 Million, Alpine Way over 5 Million. Not that this necessarily answers anything
    but it would appear that the Alpine Way is well known. I am always surprised about how few people actually know where Jindabyne is, let alone Thredbo whereas the Alpine way is self explanatory. Had a quick look at the references for Swiss Cook Books that contained the title Alpine Way, only came up with 157 Thousand. Personally I think Thredbo in the name is very misleading.
     
  11. Telestrom

    Telestrom A Local

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Ozziski.

    You're figures/methods are out.

    Searching on google.com.au

    thredbo has 1,550,000 results
    alpine way has 787,000 results

    Remember that you need to add quotes around "alpine way" to ensure Google only returns pages with that particular phrase.
     
  12. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I reckon if you asked people outside NSW what a book or website with the term "alpine way" in the title was likely to be about, there would be a huge diversity of answers with ski instruction being the most common and Swiss cooking a long way back, but still in front of people who thought it might be a road.

    I don't think I've seen the term "Way" used to describe a road anywhere else. [​IMG]
     
    #512 Bogong, Sep 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  13. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    nsw has lots of 'way's. summerland, thunderbolts and olympic spring to mind.
     
  14. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Ah, sorry Majikthise. I'm a Mexican and rarely go north of the Murrumbidgee River (aka the AFL - NRL border).
     
  15. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Bogong, there's Wurundjeri Way just down the way near the station that used to be spencer street and the stadium that used to be Docklands or Telstra or Colonial or Etihad or something
     
  16. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    and you'll really be in the poo if you don't remember the acheron way
     
  17. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    [​IMG] Dead right he will be!!
     
    #517 teckel, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  18. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Whoops, and here I am, almost finished writing an article on the history of Donna Buang as a former ski resort (... but I can't find out who built the 5th ski lodge on the mountain). ... and I forgot about the Acheron Way.

    Okay, while the term is rare in Victoria, there are two instances of a road being called "Way" in this state. So I was wrong. [​IMG]

    Now can we get back to discussing the "Stillwell Chairlift" (as I have decided to rename it)... ?
     
    #518 Bogong, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  19. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    i prefer ritual humiliation to facts [​IMG]
     
    #519 currawong, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  20. Ozziski

    Ozziski First Runs

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Some people just do not get it. It was, as far as I know never the Stilwell Chairlift. Apologies for
    breaking the discussion but this name thing is important. Am not asking anyone to concede a
    point and agree but it would be appreciated that the difference is acknowledged..... or it could
    drag on you know.......... just have a look at what has happened since the matter was raised.
     
  21. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    It doesn't matter if people are from outside NSW, the fact of the matter is that this particular chairlift went from the Alpine Way to Charlotte Pass, hence it being appropriate for the title. I'm sure there are lots of peole in NSW who wouldn't know where the Alpine Way is or even Thredbo or Charlotte Pass or Perisher or Mount Stilwell. I don't live in Victoria however I know that the Bourke Street Carpet is not located within the Melbourne CBD but what does that prove?Including Thredbo in the title is simply incorrect. If people don't where the Alpine Way is and are too lazy or ignorant to look it up, then that's their problem. Those type of people would never go to Thredbo anyway since one needs to use the Alpine Way to arrive there. Hopefully this matter is now settled.

    I have just spent three (3) wonderful days in the mountains interviewing lots of people about this subject. The facts are slowly emerging and I would like to repeat my previous comment that nobody ever perished as a result of using this lift nor was a death the result for its closure. The reason why the lift was put out of operatiuon was financial.
     
  22. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    That backs up what Rick Walkom wrote in his chapter on the subject.
     
    #522 Bogong, Sep 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  23. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Rick Walkom's book is extremely well researched and consequently it has been a great source of information for me. Rick is also a very nice guy and he has been extremely helpful and supportive of my research.

    Incidently he just finished another season at Charlotte Pass running one of the lodges. He obviously has a deep love for the place which is evident in his wonderful book.
     
  24. Ozziski

    Ozziski First Runs

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Would like to add further support to both Rick's and Diponza's observation, no one died on that chairlift, either during construction (which is amazing) or during operation of the lift. There was a fall from the lift when someone was seriously injured through a misguided attempt by them to get off the lift to rescue someone who had broken their leg skiing but that is an entirely different story which I am sure Diponza will address in his book. When you have a close look at this lift, the engineering, construction, problems and subsequent operation plus the people who were involved with it, including the ones who subsequently dismantled or vandalised it. It deserves recognition as a truly amazing and to some extent visionary piece of Australian ski history. It really would be a shame to see it just fade from memory or have it disappear like Kiandra did. Which the idiots that dismantled it are now trying to resurrect under the guise of, "ooops we should never have done that". Fingers crossed.
     
  25. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Does anyone have any information pertaining to the story of the prisoners from Cooma jail being used to dismantle the lift towers?
     
  26. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I think you're waxing lyrical there. Put in perspective, the chair was a poorly considered business venture that failed well before it had recouped its capital costs. I'm interested in this little piece of alpine history, but it's also a fine illustration of the old adage "just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
     
    #526 sly_karma, Oct 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  27. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I disagree. Just because this chairlift was poorly planned doesn't mean that it isn't an important part of our high country history. The fact that it was such a failure is what makes it so unique.

    The ANZAC campaign was also a complete disaster however that doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate the occasion, in fact the extent of the failure at Gallipoli is the main reason why the event is so important to us a culture. The history of mankind is littered with failures however it is often the case that the failures are what defines a people, not the victories.

    When this particular chairlift is considered in the wider context of the Australian ski industry, it was a truly remarkable and visionary project. Never before and certainly never since, right up to the time of the construction of the Skitube, has a project of this scale ever been attempted. That fact alone is why the Alpine Way to Charlotte Pass Chairlift deserves the recognition that Ozziski refers to above.
     
  28. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    errmm... really?

    What about the Cairns - Kuranda gondola? [​IMG]

    or if you want to include trains, there are have been a dozen bigger railway projects including the Port Augusta to Darwin line.

    Nope, it was a screw up and what's more it was a screw up that could easily have been avoided if they'd bothered to look at already existing records on snowfall, wind intensity, etc. All they had to do was look at stuff that was freely available from the Bureau of Meteorology and Snowy Hydro (or whatever they called themselves back then).

    It was a doomed folly and it was doomed from the day work started... but that doesn't mean it isn't an interesting folly!
     
    #528 Bogong, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  29. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Yes really, well at least I think so. From what I understand, the Skyrail was built after the Skitube was constructed. However I don't know as much about ropeways built outside the Australian skifields so please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  30. benchives

    benchives I forgot how to ski Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Meh non alpine infrastructure, if no one uses it does it actually exist?
     
  31. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Diponza, I've spent hundreds of hours (literally!) compiling a list of all 400 ski lifts and passenger ropeways to operate Australia, just so people like you have the answer to questions like that at your fingertips. Yes, I might be an utter "train spotter" to have compiled it, but 35,000 hits demonstrate that people are using the webpage. http://wikiski.com/wiki/index.php/Australian_ski_tow_directory

    Section 12 (Perisher) shows that the Ski tube was opened in 1988

    Section 17 (Tourist ropeways) shows that Sky rail was built in 1995.

    But I stick by my earlier statement...
     
    #531 Bogong, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  32. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I think we are getting off the topic here but anyway..... I have never claimed that this project was anything but a massive screw up. It goes without saying that if the environmental data of the time had have been referenced then the chairlift wouldn't have been constructed in the form that it was. That is one of the major points of interest in this story because on the surface, it appears that the effect of the prevailing weather conditions was completely ignored, even though the data was freely available just down the road at the SMA weather station at Spencers Creek. However strickly speaking, that claim only applies to the surface of this story which I have long since discovered is made up of many layers. One such layer which is yet yo be substantiated revolves around a second, more expansive proposal for a ropeway that did take into account the environmental data but that's a story for another time.....
     
  33. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Thanks for confirming my claim with your own data! [​IMG]

    But seriously, I have looked through your list on many occasions and it's a great resource. And you can still stick to your earlier claim, especially since I never disputed it.
     
    #533 Diponza, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  34. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I agree with Bogong, it was folly, but a very interesting one. Diponza, please keep digging and sharing. Even though I was gently suggesting you keep things in perspective, I'm still very much enjoying the little tidbits you keep turning up.
     
  35. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Who said that it wasn't a folly?
     
  36. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Snow Lease 85 was one of the many grazing leases in the Snowy Mountains, used during the summer months by graziers in the district. It was (very) roughly rectangular in shape, with the north-western being the crest of the Ramshead Range and south-eastern boundary being the Thredbo (Crackenback) River. The south-western boundary is two creeks east of the Cruiser chairlift at Thredbo, whilst the north-eastern boundary is the creek that terminates near Ngarigo on the Alpine Way. I believe this snow lease was revoked fairly early on in the peace, but have not looked into it in much detail.

    One item that may be of interest to you Diponza is the 5th edition of the Kosciusko Parish Map. It shows the alignment of the chairlift for the first time (it was not shown on the copy of the 4th edition map I have). Click the image below for a full sized version.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, another great photo I came across whilst cruising around in Google Earth:-

    [​IMG]

    (Sourced from here: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/37319043 )
     
    #536 Craig D., Oct 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  37. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Love that map, too bad about the 'cancelled' scrawled across it. Finding out details of the old chairlift has been interesting enough, and it's barely 50 years old. How about getting info on the very interesting sounding "Crackenback Goldfield Extension"?
     
  38. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Hi sly, the main Crackenback Goldfield was in the Skitube/Thredbo Diggings area. There are also old gold workings up on the range in Diggers Creek, which flows into the lake in front of Sponar's Chalet. I haven't encountered any workings to the west of here, within the region marked on the map as the Crackenback Goldfield Extension. No doubt the old prospectors would have checked the area very thoroughly, they may have found some gold but not enough to justify a rush or any start substantial mining activity.
     
  39. Ozziski

    Ozziski First Runs

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Gentle persons, I am back, have not had time to keep up with the forum but nice to see that it is progressing from being correctly named and identified as a folly and now a potential pointer to riches in the form of an undeveloped gold field, who knows what will come next. I sense that Diponza may really be on the right track with either one of the original promoters of the project. Just possibly if he can get his hands on some of the original Broken Hill Company minutes of meetings on this project the answer as to how big a folly it may or may not have been can be put to rest. I agree with the sentiment just because you can does not mean that you should but also know that if we all stuck to this then no one would get out of bed would they ?. It was unfortunate that the start up year 1964 for the chair was one of the biggest snow years on record and I was in the mountains that year, it was impressive. If that particular chair was operating say this past season then it would have been packed. I also saw the lift in operation during summer and on good days it was very busy in fact any number of people who were in Thredbo at the time will tell you they were concerned at the amount of business that would go to and was going to the Alpine Way to Chalottes Pass chair.
     
  40. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Outa left field - have you heard about the dude who has supposedly relocated stone from the tower bases to build his own shack
     
  41. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Pini?
     
  42. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    hahaha not me, I know a couple crusty ex patrollers who might be candidates
     
  43. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    You might be on the money there Pini
     
  44. agentBM

    agentBM Part of the Furniture

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Is there a collection of photographs of this lift in some central place? I can then check to see if the pics I have are hosted. Just been checking Australian Ski Tows - wikiski and there are only a few.

    I picked up a very good condition copy of Australia's Snowfields book by Henry Plociennik....cost me $1.50. It has three photos of this lift, one from a distance looking at its' base station at CP and as it goes uphill from there, and two other closeups of base station and remains after dismantle. Just thought the first pic might be worth submitting in the least and the others have their historical interest factor too I guess.
     
  45. roho

    roho Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Just post your pics anyway.
    Don't worry if they already hosted.
    Often hosted pics are dumped from servers after a while so they disappear from DB's like this.
     
  46. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Thanks for the link to the map. It's a very interesting document and I've enjoyed studying all the various amendments and notes. However it doesn't give any answers to my interest in 58/756725.
     
    #546 Diponza, Apr 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  47. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I agree Sly. I think the history of those pioneering days in the Thredbo Valley is very interesting.

    From what I understand, the current day Wollondibby Homestead is all that is left of the Wollondibby Inn which was built to service the prospectors of the Thredbo gold rush. In addition to the licenced premises, the site also included a house (which I assume is the present day Wollondibby Homestead) for the owners, the McEvoy family, and a secure outbuilding that served as a police lock-up.

    The Inn building survived until 1957 when it was demolished. Subsequently the Neewalla Ski Club bought some of the stone which was then used to construct the ground floor walls of its building in Thredbo. From what I understand, the stones in those walls are still standing today.
     
    #547 Diponza, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  48. Diponza

    Diponza Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    I've never heard that particular tale. Tell us more. From what I know, the tower bases were all constructed out of reinforced concrete and all them are still sitting in the ground on the mountain.
     
    #548 Diponza, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  49. crackson

    crackson Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    ,
     
  50. Tropposkier

    Tropposkier Hard Yards

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    Re: Thredbo chair to charlottes pass

    Like a lot of others saying this is a great piece of folly and history that makes our mountains special. BUT I AM REALLY FRUSTRATED AS I AM USING AN IPAD AND SOME OF THE GREAT PHOTOS SUBMITTED ONLY SHOW A SMALL BLUE ICON WITH A ? ---- can anyone help?.