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Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Dropbear, Aug 4, 2020.
Looks like The Kerry Course also used to be called The Flying Kilometre.....
Ooo what map is that from?
This makes we wonder if it’s a ‘modern’ example of climate change.
I don’t ski that often in NSW these days since joining a Vic based ski club. But based on remembered conditions driving up and info from ski.com reports, there’s rarely decent skiable snow around Sponars Chalet - not like the conditions visible in these historical pics. You’d be wasting you’re cash now even if planning allowed it?
It could be that most snow pics back the were taken during dumps to push tourism scene?
But it does seem that on average, snow packs were deeper going back 50 or 100 years - Vic and NSW -
with snow settling to considerably lower levels than we typically see these days? (Like Harrietville)
(And I’m not Specifically comparing to poor Vic years like 93, 06 & Argh! 2020)!
oh and I think the tree line is starting to reflect this - although major fire years like 1939 where Hotham seemed to lose most of it snowgums for 10-20 years, confound this as evidence?
The first time I put skis on my feet was at Sponars. In May. It was 1968, which was a heck of a season. I remember sliding on black ice at Wilsons Valley on the way home.
A Snow Revellers publication i stumbled across yesterday - "George Petersens Kosciusko" - belongs to family friend. Lots of history, havent read it yet, but would likely answer a million questions on this forum. And i did note that the resort below Mt Wheatley was called " Charlottes Pass". !
Really good book, do recommend
And in case anyone is wondering - I think "Daners" is a mispelling as " Dainer" is referred to in the text
Do you know if they are available? Would love a copy. Have emailed Snow Revellers only yesterday but obviously too soon to hear back yet
I don't think so. I tried years ago. There is a copy in the NSW State Library.
A lot of the name derivations on this Wikiski page came from it.
I have often driven past that old run you can see from the road and had exactly the same thoughts. It is difficult to know the answer. I think certainly back in the old days they probably skiied on what we would now consider thin and poor cover. Also, just as is the case these days, people probably chose good days to take photos. Also, changing snowpack patterns almost certainly a factor as well.
I bought my copy at the newsagent at Tullamarine airport back in February, stumbled across it by chance.
George Petersen's Kosciusko. Kosciusko Snow Revellers' Club; 1993.
Appears to be out of print. Not surprising for a 27 year old book.
[EDIT]... Unless there has been a reprint?
What a stroke of luck for a 27 year old book! Well done!
That’s what I thought, they had a used books bin!!
Yes it is.
And so is Kiandra.
Once snow used to isolate both places.
Now, they are lucky to get any at all.
One reason Australian skiing started at Kiandra, is because it snowed there so much & so often in winter they couldn't work the gold diggings.
Now it's lucky to get any snow at all.
The Kiandra Pioneer Ski Club relocated to Perisher Valley because of the lack of snow at Kiandra
The reason the Kosciuszko hotel was built at that location was because that was as far as they could get up the road in winter. Both the lake in front of the hotel and Rainbow lake would regularly freeze over allowing ice skating. The last time the hotel lake froze was in the 80's when Sponar was still running the chalet - though the water jet keeps the surface moving making it more difficult to freeze.
You could make the argument that the early pics were only taken during big dumps but the truth is there hasn't been any snow of that depth at either location for decades, and neither place would have been viable if they relied on the occasional dump - they had to have lots of snow regularly.
Mt Buffalo is another example - once the queen of Victorian snow holidays. When was the last time skiable snow fell there?
Fascinating history there MM!
Buffalo had one or two good years since 85’ when I stated skiing.
Not meaning to sound like a smart **** but at a guess: 90’, 95 (fab cover then record late Aug heat), 96 (ok season, had pow for my 30th stay at Cresta!), 2000 (good everywhere!), and then very few Good years (ie. two months solid skiing, XC groomable; etc...).
FWIW: The Vic smalls (Buller/Stirling is sort of part of this group) have All become significantly less reliable (to me) over my ~ 35 years. Especially at Lake Mtn and Buffalo.
I wish it wasn’t so. I think Vic Parkies and Govts. (Plural) would have been more likely to rebuild Cresta post fires and refurbish/renew lifts if the snow Season had not tailed off as discussed. It’s a great loss for oldies (good memories!), for families and especially for the alpine valley residents - especially those wanting a low cost snow visit.
Not wanting to disagree with your,post, I broadly agree. However, the lake in front of sponars does frequently still partly freeze over, and can stay frozen for weeks. Last year I saw crazy tourists unaware of the danger walking out on the ice into the middle of the lake. It has not frozen to any significant extent this year. I always have a look at it every morning and afternoon when I drive by. The extent of the ice, and the way it forms across the lake, is something that interests me. It is also interesting to look at the temperatures as indicated in my car. Sponars lies in a frost hollow, and in the mornings is quite cold.
Never seen the lake completely frozen so thick that I would happily skate on it though, I guess thats how it used to be
The lake can definitely freeze pretty good some years, I think it was last year I too saw some people a fair way out towards the middle. I did stop on another day and was able to walk on the ice (Stayed at the edge where it wouldn’t have been any deeper than half way up my shin though).
A pic from social media last year
I've uploaded another film from the 1930's that is filmed in Murren but features some famous Australian skiers. Does anyone know if Mitchell T bar is named after Tom Mitchell?
Perisher lifts are named after explorers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Mitchell_(explorer)
Not entirely. Perisher started off by numbering their lifts, then they moved to explorer names for about 8 years, but for the past 44 years they have named their lifts in the same way as other resorts.
Extract from the lift names section (1.3.7) of the ski lift directory...
Perisher did things differently to other ski resorts for its first few decades and had its own naming traditions.
Numbers. After the lifts in Perisher’s Front Valley came under one company, they were simply numbered from 1 to 7. When a new lift was built between the existing lifts 5 and 6, it was called 5A. Obviously this only worked at a smaller resort, so as Perisher expanded, many of its lifts were named or renamed after…
Explorers. The late 1960s saw a growing awareness of this country’s history, so when the unified Perisher and Smiggin Holes resorts decided on a new theme for their lifts, many were named or renamed after explorers. Strangely, none were named after explorers of the high country like McMillian, Strzelecki or Von Mueller. Rather, some of the lifts were named after explorers who died in the contrasting environment of the desert such as Leichhardt, Burke and Wills. This theme was abandoned for new lifts after 1976, but the existing lifts were not renamed and when Leichhardt T-bar was replaced in 2019, the new chairlift kept its predecessors explorer name.
I wonder who gave you this information?
Bogong is the expert here on this stuff.
Do you think that the Mitchell lift was not named after an explorer? Does Bogong?
So what's the point of him regurgitating information I gave to him, at least in outline? Pointless pedantry.
Some years ago someone who emphasised they wished to be anonymous sent me an email with a photo of an old table of lifts, it was an internal document from the Perisher lift company. I don't have it in front of me, but from memory it was fairly old.
Anyway that table of lifts helped me sort out a few confusing things I'd found in other sources and the Southwell-Keely book helped a bit more, as did other emails about particular lifts and stuff I found in ancient magazines. But I will readily admit that Perisher is the only resort where I'm not 100% confident in the details listed about every one of the early lifts.
You don't think that you got it from Wikiski?
It was still pointless pedantry. Was the Mitchell T Bar named after an explorer?
If it's on WikiSki, I know who I'd bet on having put it there.
Umm, I originally put a draft of the ski lifts list on wikiski, but as I was constantly being trolled on this forum by an unpleasant person, (not Legs Akimbo or any of his friends), I left for about five years. After I left, I set up a website to publish things like my Donna Buang history and articles written by a couple of other people. I also had a look at some of the things I'd put on other websites. The list of ski lifts on wikiski was still pretty rough, but as over 99% of the content was mine, I ported it to australianmountains.com, extensively revised it, added to it and the expanded, improved and more accurate version has been there ever since.
But if Legs Akimbo was one of the very few people who contributed to the wikiski lifts page other than myself, I apologise for not acknowledging him. Just send me a PM saying what area was contributed to and I will happily add an acknowledgment.
There was also a kind of intermediate period where the unofficial numbering system for 1 to 7 morphed into 1 to 8 (with 5 and 5a becoming 5 and 6). Hence the reason why many refer to Leichhardt as number 8. Not sure if this was ever official though.
Bogong, just checked out your website. Holy crap there's an amazing amount of detail! Hats off to you for what must be years of data gathering. Respect.
Thanks for that useful info. In the next few days I will add a note to the Leichhardt T-bar entry saying that it was (at least) informally known as No. 8. I will also revisit my old magazine sources to check on the numbering system to see if that became formal. But that may take me a little longer.
For the 13 years I've been working on getting details of every one of the 500 odd Australian ski lifts correct, I've always found it curious that the 1961 vintage Mt Perisher double chair never got a number or explorer name. Perhaps having a chairlift was a big deal back then, so they wanted to emphasise that it was a chairlift and not a surface tow?
I don't care about acknowledment. I do get a giggle about people who demand small essays because a cursory but accurate answer does not meet some random's bizarre standards.
I must say, some members here are so graceful when they do an apology.
Number 8 was also informally called "the self loader", a name which stuck for years even after they converted it back to a regular T.
There was also a point (around 86 i think) where they numbered every single lift from left to right, starting with Eyre at no 1. That would have made the double #3. It was shown on trail maps but not sure it was ever used outside of that. People who were new may have used those numbers but i have never heard locals use them, and I'm not sure if or when that trail map reference ever stopped.
Has anyone apologised? But it's good to see you stick your boring little nose in. Again.
I thought someone had. You advice here is somewhat harsh.
When we started going to Perisher in the late 1970s the lake in front of Sponars was always competely surface frozen. Now it never or rarely is. The filling of Lake Jindabyne as part of hydro scheme was said to push the snowline higher but that would not explain the lake not freezing now as it was already finished before we first went. In the 70s and early 80s snow coverage was widespread from Ski Rider Hotel so I can only assume climate change.
Do you always react so badly when someone demonstrates they have much more knowledge of a subject than you? It's not a good look.
This is interesting. I identified that Perisher lifts are named after explorers. Correct.
I identified the explorer. Tick.
Bogong confirmed that Perisher lifts are named after explorers. He did not identify the explorer. He provided a lot of irrelevant faff. Why?
Then of course cold-wombat, our pet sad and bitter marsupial decided to join in. Again.
Soooo, we're all good here then.
Don't forget Sponars snow making. That's why most of the old pics showed lots of snow.
Ok, I'll bite. I know snowmaking has been around longer than most people think, but didn't realise Sponars had it? Or do you mean the fountain?
You made a broad statement that said:
Had you said "The Mitchell T-bar is named after Thomas Mitchell" and provided the link, that may have been different - but given the absence of any qualifying remarks on the comment, your comment suggests that *all* Perisher lifts are named after explorers.
Bogong clarified that while some of the lifts at Perisher are presently named after explorers, this hasn't always been the case, and that the lifts built after 1976 (i.e. for the last 44 years) have not maintained this theme.
I really like the history of the snowy region and was thoroughly enjoying this thread and then it turned a little dark, so I thought I would lighten things up.
I also wanted to see if anyone would bite. While I've got you @buckwheat what era was that map from? Note the use of the metric terminology for "The Flying Kilometre". Wouldn't have been many Aussies who knew what a kilometre was back then.
This. The background info @Bogong provided was interesting to read and for me brought back childhood memories. I certainly appreciated it and it seems I'm not the only one.
I was wondering how many would notice that! Was def pre decimal. It was named after a run in Europe, I think in Interlaken.
PS I did check the map at the time but couldn't find a date anywhere.
I suspect the lake would be prepped for skating (flooded to create new ice formation) 'back in the day'.
The Flying Kilometre was most likely named by one of the Austrian ski instructors who were fashionable before the war. In the 1930s it was quite the thing to have a lesson with an Austrian, even if you couldn't understand them very well and having a mere Australian instructor meant that you had missed out.
Of particular note were the Skadarasy brothers. Franz was employed by the Victorian Railways and taught at their three chalets at Buffalo, Feathertop and Hotham which were all close to each other. He was quite a drawcard and lured skiers away from competing ski destinations at Buller, St Bernard and Donna Buang. His brother taught at the Hotel Kosciusko and was also a respected instructor. He may have made it up to Charlotte Pass as well, but I'd have to look that up.
Hand drawn maps without contour lines or even contour shading were the standard format before the war, radiating dashed lines were used to show ridges and peaks. After the war, better surveying led to the publication of the sort of contour maps we are familiar with today. Some private map publishers persisted with the old format into the 1980s, but that map in particular looks like it was made in the 1920s or 30s.
Advertisement from Table Talk. 4 June 1936. p. 31.
Yep you might be right, i did spot his name as i skimmed through the pages. I think he may have invented the Arlberg Technique, making him the father of the modern ski school.