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Vegetation Grooming, Ben Lomond - May 29th and 30th

Discussion in 'Ben Lomond' started by The BLC Inc., Apr 22, 2010.

  1. The BLC Inc.

    The BLC Inc. Hard Yards

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    Great News!!!!!!!!!!! Put the date in your diary!!!

    The BLC, in partnership with PWS, will be holding a Vegetation Grooming working bee on Ben Lomond on the weekend of May 29th and 30th, 2010.

    Final approvals are now being processed with PWS and more information as to specifics will be available as soon as possible.

    All work will be done by hand with loppers and pruning tools, so the more volunteers we have, the more we will achieve.

    Put this date into your diary!!!!!!!

    PWS has assisted the BLC in making this happen, by providing for a botanist to complete a full flora survey of the area to be groomed, at a substantial cost, and will be in attendance on both days with a number of staff working along side all volunteers.

    Put this date in your diary, tell your friends to do the same, and lets make this working bee as productive as possible.

    Keep an eye on this thread for more details as they arrive

    Brad Colson
    Secretary
    Ben Lomond Committee
     
    #1 The BLC Inc., Apr 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2013
  2. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    Is not the real problem rocks ?
     
  3. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Hunter, there are issues with rocks, but there are also issues with overgrown vegetation which in places is now over a metre high on some of the 'runs' which means that we need an aweful lot of snow to cover them up, and if it remains soft, very hard to ski over.

    Plus, moving rocks is a much bigger tasks, requiring much more complex approvals and requiring lots of $$, than plant pruning. Once we have made this happen, we will then start looking at the rock issue.


    There are many things in the pipeline at the moment
     
  4. kiter

    kiter One of Us

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    This would be useful for dealing with the rocks [​IMG] I don't think the army have much of a practical use for them besides practice wargames
     
    #4 kiter, Apr 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  5. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    So instead of skiing through jungle at the Ben, we will now be skiing through this...

    [​IMG] . [​IMG]

    Why do the enviro-Mentals object to moving a few rocks? [​IMG] It's not as if there is any shortage of them up there! [​IMG]
     
    #5 Bogong, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  6. Jack Rabbit

    Jack Rabbit First Runs

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    Haha Bogong, that cartoon is hilarious! I love the little patch of snow behind the guys!
    This vegetation grooming is a HUGE step forward guys!
    Make sure you take part and invest some time in the future of skiing in Tasmania.
    Once this is done, then further down the line is slope grooming and hopefully even snowmaking!
    But the BLC and PWS need to see that people care!!! so get out and show them!
    If I was in the country and state, then I'd be picking up a carload of people to take up and help.
    Get amongst it guys.
    J
     
  7. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Bogong, they are not against the moving of rocks, however at the moment, to cost of doing such to a significant degree is beyond the scope of what is achieveable by the BLC and volunteers that would be used to do the work. In this instance, PWS have gone out of there way to make cegetation grooming happen.

    A number of proposals to improve the area for everyone, not just skiers and boarders are currently being developed, so now that we are starting to move forward, we need positivity to get volunteers to the mountain to make it happen.

    Feel free to fly over and lend a hand
     
  8. Maxcimus

    Maxcimus Hard Yards

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    I must say that I though this may never happen. Great news though, i'll be there! Any idea if we will need to bring our own equipment?
     
  9. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Brad, I will pay 10% of the cost of a bulldozer to remove those rocks.

    If you can find other people to pay the other 90%, I will give the Secretary of the BLC the cash in person on the 29th of May.

    Sadly, I think my money will remain in my wallet because the bureaucrats will almost certainly find a way to obstruct it. [​IMG]

    But still, congratulations on getting the vegetation trimming okayed. [​IMG]
     
    #9 Bogong, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  10. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Actually Bogong, we don't want a bulldozer up there. Selective rock removal, followed by appropriate revegetation techniques is the direction that any slope grooming will take.

    What is the fun in skiing dead flat, perfectly smooth runs??? [​IMG] That is not what Ben Lomond is about, and is not what anyone on th ehill really wants anyway.

    Removing the dangerous rocks and improving the flow of runs is a far better way of maintaining the delecate environmental balance of the hill, while still improving safety and enjoyment for skiers and boarders.
     
    #10 Ben Lomond Brad, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  11. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry Brad, that was a moody post that I was planning to delete, although I can't now you've replied to it.

    I appreciate how politically sensitive things are and how very hard the BLC has worked to bring this clearing day about. [​IMG]
     
    #11 Bogong, Apr 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  12. Squidly

    Squidly One of Us

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    Having manufactured runs takes away the natural aspect, and the interest in skiing and jumping around things, however doing this all the time is not fun. The tall clumpy vegetation is the problem atm. Smaller rocks can be picked up and be moved to the side of runs, smaller rocks that stick up can be smashed up and redistributed.

    Ben will never have the possibility of skiing on 6 inches of snow, in reality most skiing in resorts on the big island on less than 30-40cm of snow outside of the maniculed runs is marginal.
     
  13. Powder_skier

    Powder_skier First Runs

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    rock dodging is what the ben is good for!
     
  14. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Thanks to Ben Lomond Snow Sports who have offered to put on a BBQ Sausage Sizzle for lunch for all Volunteers

    And to the Ben Lomond Creek Inn who have offered to run a happy hour at the end of each day to soothe those tired and aching muscles [​IMG]
     
    #14 Ben Lomond Brad, Apr 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  15. Jonwah

    Jonwah Hard Yards

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    am i wrong or did ntac used to do rock blasting etc during summer back when they owned tows? i'll be up there for sure, got a few mates lined up to come up as well...

    i must say though, the ben is a great place to learn to ski/board.. you certainly get good at turning quickly haha!
     
  16. Squidly

    Squidly One of Us

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    Alot of things were done at Ben in the past without much approval or just a wink and a nod from the Ranger.

    The current more formal process may take longer, but should ensure works are conducted in a more throrough planned way.
     
  17. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Not sure about blasting, but there was lots of rock moving done, some of it to the detriment of the enviro, and yes the formal process can be time consuming, however, it makes sure everyone is on the same side, working together to achieve the same goals.

    Good to see a bit of a ground swell of support, with people offering to be there. Spread the word, the more we get there, the more we can get done [​IMG]
     
    #17 Ben Lomond Brad, May 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  18. The BLC Inc.

    The BLC Inc. Hard Yards

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    UPDATE

    All Volunteers will need to attend an on-site briefing at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday, prior to the commencement of any work. This is a PWS requirement for Volunteers working within any National Park.

    Pruning work will be carried out by Volunteers using hand tools only:
    Secateurs
    Loppers
    Hand Pruners
    Pruning Sheers
    Volunteers are asked to supply their own tools, and will require strong shoes, gloves and appropriate clothing for all weather conditions, because knowing Ben Lomond, we will get them all within a day.

    Sausage Sizzle lunch will be provided by Ben Lomond Snow Sports
    Post working bee Happy Hour at the Creek Inn

    Could anyone planning to attend, please email ben_lomond_committee@hotmail.com so that we can have some idea of the numbers attending each day.

    Spread the word and see you there
    Brad Colson
    BLC Secretary
     
  19. Maxcimus

    Maxcimus Hard Yards

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    How about some electric/petrol powered hedge trimmers? Would this be appropriate? Would certainly speed things up!
     
  20. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Maximus, bring them with you and ask, but I doubt it.

    PWS Staff will be using brushcutters, but due to public liability, motorised tools can only be used by those who have had 'appropriate training' and PWS have decided that only their staff will be doing so.

    Unfortunate I know, but as it is being done under the PWS's volunteer program, we need to follow their rules
     
  21. Squidly

    Squidly One of Us

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    Its govt rules BBB, workplace standards etc. If there was an accident PWS would get roasted, its happened before.
     
  22. Tezwah

    Tezwah Hard Yards

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    Can't we just sign a waiver?, saying we accept full responsibility if we hurt ourselves while pruning with motorised pruners on Ben Lomond? I think there is more risk of hurting yourself with normal pruners, or just skiing or boarding on the ben in general! The volunteers would be a lot more effective if they were given the go ahead to use automated equipment..

    Or PWS could hold a 10 minute induction on how to use a petrol powered hedge trimmer.. Its not rocket science and I'm sure most people have either used one at home or could learn in less than 10 mintes how to use one..
     
  23. BenLomond Iceman

    BenLomond Iceman One of Us

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    I dont rekon PWS would be into waivers somehow.. !
     
  24. Tezwah

    Tezwah Hard Yards

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    Yeah I know, but the logical part of my brain cant see why that sort of thing wouldnt work..
     
  25. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Tez, it ain't gonna happen, so it is hand tools for all of us.

    Yes, it would be quicker, however PWS Liability will not allow it. Even PWS staff will have to be appropriately accredited to come under their own workplace liability.

    The advice from the botinist who surveyed the area was that mechanincal pruning is more likely to cause damage to the plant than the use of hand tools, and should be avoided where possible.
     
  26. tom11

    tom11 First Runs

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    How about a list off people that can help with rides up the mountain for the grooming??
    I'll start.

    Leaving: Lton 8ish saturday

    Returning: Sunday 10ish due to working sunday afternoon

    Space: 3 spare seats
     
  27. Maxcimus

    Maxcimus Hard Yards

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    Are there many staying up saturday night mate? I had not thought of that.
     
  28. tom11

    tom11 First Runs

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    Not sure how many are staying up, i would imagine that there would be afew staying at rovers,
     
  29. benny b boy

    benny b boy First Runs

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    got a car going from south of hobart on sat with a few spare seats and the boot available
     
  30. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    #30 Ben Lomond Brad, May 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  31. daveski4ever

    daveski4ever Hard Yards

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    We are looking at coming up for the working bee for the weekend. Just need to sort out some minor details at home, plus see if it is possible to get accomodation at Rovers.

    A couple of questions for Brad, I don't suppose we will need to have chains ?? given no snow, though I guess it is always possible or icy conditions. Secondly, what happens if the weather is totally crap, ie, freezing, strong winds, overcast/foggy or rainy ??
     
  32. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    According to all the signs, chains are required, so I guess the choice is yours.

    As for the weather, come prepared. It is not something that we can postpone, so we will push on through, rain, sleet and SNOW!!!!!!, Well, hopefully none of that will turn up and it will be a beautiful sunny day, and we will all be working in tshirts [​IMG]

    I guess it will be up to the individuals on the day to make their own decisions as to what conditions they are prepared to go and work in.
     
    #32 Ben Lomond Brad, May 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  33. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer First Runs

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    Surely some one from parks will have to make a call based on the conditions, the training and experience of the volunteers and the tasks to be completed. If not they are neglecting their duty of care. It would be good to hear from some one from parks as to when and how they might communicate this information.
     
  34. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    I have just been in contact with PWS and this is their response..
    PWS do keep an eye on these threads, so either post your thoughts here, or contact them directly.
     
    #34 Ben Lomond Brad, May 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  35. daveski4ever

    daveski4ever Hard Yards

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    Thanks Brad, good to get yours and PWS feedback on this. I agree that given the time of year, let alone how changeable Ben's weather can be, it is difficult to assess the conditions until the day. I just wanted to check if in the eventuality of crap weather, there was an alternative plan.

    In a way it is a pity that the working bee couldn't have been held back say in March, but I guess perhaps the approvals weren't in place back then. Not a problem, all going well we should be there to help. As to chains, well I am not sure what i can do about that, as I don't have any and would have to hire them from SkiGia. The alternative could be to link up with people going up and say park my car at the Rangers Station or bottom car park ??

    Will keep an eye on the thread.
     
  36. BenLomond Iceman

    BenLomond Iceman One of Us

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    I expect that the weather will be crappy on Saturday more likely wet or maybe sleet but i doubt it will be cold enough for snow.. Just bring your wet weather gear and gloves it is Benlomond afterall.. It should be a good weekend.
     
  37. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer First Runs

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    Looks like Saturday morning will be Damp with moderate to fresh winds (it is Ben Lomond) so make sure that you have a waterproof layer, hat and gloves. Individuals are responsible for their own PPE (Personel Protection Equipment) so if you are not adequately protected from the tasks with such things as sturdy boots, eye wear etc and from the elements then an OH&S assessment by parks may limit your involvement.
    It is a long way to go to sit on the sidelines and it is to important a chance for improving the skiable terain to be wasted through not being prepared
    On a brighter side the Weather should improve over the weekend.
     
  38. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    An update from PWS in regards to the working bee

     
    #38 Ben Lomond Brad, May 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  39. BenLomond Iceman

    BenLomond Iceman One of Us

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    Dont think we will ned the sun screen unless there is a dramatic turn in the predicted weather . [​IMG]
     
    #39 BenLomond Iceman, May 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  40. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer First Runs

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    Snow Cam is active today for those who want to keep an eye on the weather on the mountain, Doesn't look like much fun:(
     
  41. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Of course it will be fun, Bulldozer..............Ben Lomond is always fun [​IMG]
     
    #41 Ben Lomond Brad, May 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  42. BenLomond Iceman

    BenLomond Iceman One of Us

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    FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN ! !
     
  43. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Bring your gumboots, snorkles, SCUBA Gear and plenty of warm and waterproof clothing.

    Hopefully Huey shines on us and lets the sun come out
     
  44. Squidly

    Squidly One of Us

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    Parks might call it off, I can't see the specialists and rangers working in the pouring rain.
     
  45. BenLomond Iceman

    BenLomond Iceman One of Us

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    Its to late to call it off now .. Thats what happens when working bees are organsied in late may.. ! We,ve all been on the Ben when the weather is bad.. It shouldn,t be to cold just wet. !
     
  46. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    Parks won't make the call till tomorrow, and it will be on the mountain............it may only be a temporary pause, as the weather may change 5 mins later.
     
  47. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    unfortunately we had to pull the pin on today, but the weather shoul clear for tomorrow - Sunday - and it will be all go. Great to see so many keen today, ant the howling gail and torrential horizontal rain made it a little unpleasant to venture outside.
     
  48. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    A BIG thanks to those who made the effort to make it up to Ben Lomond over the weekend, especially those who travelled from Hobart for a day trip on Saturday.

    Unfortunately the weather wasn't on our side on Sat, but cleared slightly on Sunday, allowing a group of 20 hardy souls to make their way up onto the slopes, armed with loppers, secateurs and pruning shears to make a start on what will hopefully be the first of many grooming weekends over the next 2 years.

    Big thanks to PWS for supporting and staffing the day, to Geoff and Flea for the hot snags, and to Colin for the cheap cold beer.

    As always much fun was had over the weekend, depsite Huey not wanting to play the game.

    Hopefully we will see many more at the next one!!!
     
  49. Squidly

    Squidly One of Us

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    Brad, is that it for this year ie before the season, or will there be other opportunities, I know time is running out. Did PWS give instructions on what could be cut or not, so others could do more grooming unsupervised at another time.
     
  50. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture

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    There has been some discussion about further opportunites prior to this season, but time is getting shorter. Approval lasts for at least 12 months in current area, and there will certainly be further weekends over the summer and prior to next season. We need to see who is available as PWS would still ike to have some personel on the ground for a while yet, and then look at dates. Whether PWS are there or not, it still needs to be 'managed' in some way or another, and as such isn't an open slather opportunity to prune.

    The Ben Lomond Ski SLope Development plan will be here VERY soon, so that will alllow for the BLC to push for further approvals to look at other areas of need