Australian ski tow directory
This article lists all of the roughly 350 Australian ski lifts that have operated, including a few dozen 'ski' lifts away from the snowfields. The dates cited are the ski seasons a lift operated (or if a particular lift didn't run in poor snow seasons, the seasons it was available to operate). Also included are a few planned lifts where details have been published (rather than just the fantasies of posters in chat rooms).
Only the "Big Five" resorts (Buller, Falls, Hotham, Perisher and Thredbo) have quad chairs, the smaller resorts have a combination of drag tows, double chairs and triple chairs. It's worth noting that the big Victorian resorts tend to replace their lifts far more often than their NSW counterparts. In the last 60 years there have been 16 lifts built to serve Bourke Street on Mt Buller. By contrast the Mt Perisher double chair is close to it's 50th birthday and many other lifts at Perisher (and to a lesser extent Thredbo) are not much younger.
Ski lifts outside resorts. Generally the clubs that operate lifts on Mt St Bernard, the Bogong High Plains and at Cabramurra don't permit non members to use their lifts, as their liability insurance doesn't cover outsiders. But if you know someone or even just smile sweetly, you may be able to use their tows. For more detailed information see the separate article non resort ski tows. The pre-war ski resort at Donna Buang had at least four ski lodges, cleared ski runs and wooden ski jumps, but it never had ski tows. Likewise both the Feathertop Bungalow and Mt St Bernard Hospice were very popular commercial ski lodges before they were burnt in the 1939 fires, but no lifts were built at either location until the 1950's when a couple of tows were installed on St Bernard. The present cross country ski resorts at Lake Mountain and Mt Stirling have never had lifts either, a system of chairlifts was proposed for Stirling in the 1990's, but they were not built.
Finally, this sort of research takes time! In particular the Buffalo and Perisher Blue sections need more work. There will be a few more corrections as more accurate information is tracked down. If you notice any errors or omissions, please correct them yourself or email the information to sisson.dave at yahoo.com.au --© David Sisson 01:05, 5 July 2007 (EST)
- 1 Links
- 2 Types of ski lifts
- 3 Australian Capital Territory
- 4 Ben Lomond
- 5 Charlotte Pass
- 6 Falls Creek
- 7 Mt Baw Baw
- 8 Mt Buffalo, Draft
- 9 Mt Buller
- 10 Mt Hotham
- 11 Mt Mawson
- 12 New South Wales, outside resorts
- 13 Perisher Blue
- 14 Selwyn Snowfields
- 15 Thredbo
- 16 Victoria, outside resorts
- 17 Ski lifts away from the snowfields
- A useful illustrated glossary of ski lift terms. It's American, so some terms may be a little different.
Ski lift directories.
- A directory of North American ski lifts.
- A directory of Swiss ski lifts. Despite a basic English interface, much of the text is in German.
- Lift World includes lifts in most countries, but there are lots of omissions and only two Australian resorts have (incomplete) entries.
Ski lift manufacturers.
- BMF (Bartholet Maschinenbau AG). A new Swiss entrant in the market. They haven't installed a lift in Australia or New Zealand yet.
- . . . . BMF website. BMF ropeways publicity book (big download).
- Doppelmayr: all areas.
- . . . . Poma: Europe.
- Leitner: Europe.
- Leitner - Poma: North America.
- Wikipedia list of former manufacturers. Incomplete and excludes some companies such as Yac that have installed lifts in Australia.
Types of ski lifts
Chairlifts can seat one, two, three, four, six or eight people per chair. Most chairlifts are fixed grip, with chairs directly attached to the lift cable. Detachable chairlifts remove the chair from the cable at the top and bottom stations, allowing passengers to get on and off a slow moving chair (around 1 metre per second). This means the main cable can move at a much faster speed, around 5 metres per second, compared to an average of 2.3 for fixed grip chairlifts. However they are much more expensive to build and maintain, so the more economical, but slower fixed grip lifts are still being at built at major resorts around the world.
Australia's first single chairlift was built at Falls Creek by Bob Hymans in 1957. The first double chair was Thredbo's Crackenback in 1958. Triple chairs appeared in 1979 when Grimus at Buller and the Mt Perisher Triple were built. 1984 saw the advent of the quad chair with Big D at Hotham and Blue Bullets 1 and 2 at Buller. Australia's only eight seat chairlift is Perisher's Village built in 2003 and the only 'six pack' in the country is the Holden which opened at Buller in 2008. Buller's Blue Bullets were also notable for being the first detachable chairlifts in the country.
Chairlift capacity is determined by the speed of the cable, the number of people per chair and the spacing of chairs. The highest capacity for a quad is 3000 per hour, which would mean a fairly quick 4.8 second chair interval. However most 4CF's have a nominal capacity of around 2400. The real number moved is usually lower due to stoppages and the lift not running at full speed. Some lifts also have 'generously' spaced towers, meaning that chairs have to be spaced further apart to keep the weight on the cable down.
Gondolas. A gondola is an enclosed cabin where passengers walk in and sit down facing each other. There are usually racks on the outside for skis and snowboards. At overseas ski fields and in Australian tourist areas, gondolas are a separate type of lift. While there are no dedicated gondolas in Australian ski fields, Buller's Horse Hill chairlift and Thredbo's Kosciusko Express chairlift have gondola cabins which are attached to the cable between chairs.
Surface lifts. All resorts started out with surface lifts (also called drag tows). They are much cheaper to build and maintain than chairlifts and are not as vulnerable to high winds. However they are not as 'beginner friendly', and they usually have a much lower capacity. They also need a consistent uphill slope. Sadly, surface lifts have been phased out by most major resorts except for areas high above the treeline that are exposed to strong winds. However at Perisher and the smaller resorts, they continue to play an important role.
Carpets. A carpet lift is simply a short conveyor belt. They are used exclusively for beginners on gentle slopes as they do not require any technique to ride them other than the ability to stand up.
Pomas. Pomas are the only detachable grip surface lift. Sticks are stored in a rack at the bottom of the lift. Passengers move to the front of the lift queue, grab the stick and put the button between their legs. At the same time, the grip at the top end of the stick attaches to a moving overhead cable. This can either by manually activated by a liftie or automatically by the skiers tripping a switch as they move past. Because they are detachable, Pomas are by far the fastest drag lift, the legendary International Poma at Falls Creek had a speed of 4.2 metres per second until a new and slower motor was installed. Pomas are the only drag tow found at resorts where self loading works in practice (although this is standard procedure for nutcracker tows at club fields). There have been experiments with self loading T-bars and platters, but skiers and boarders don't seem to be able to cope with them.
Platters. Platter lifts look a bit like Pomas because the skiers are hauled uphill by a button between their legs, but they are fixed grip and the platter has a retractable cord connected to a spring box, so they operate like single seat T-bars.
T-bars. T-bars consist of several parts. The first is a stick with a bar across the bottom which looks a little like an inverted T shape. Skiers and boarders sit on this bar, holding onto the central stick. This is connected to a retractable cord running from a spring box which is permanently attached to the main lift cable. Because they are fixed grip, T-bars tend to run at fairly modest speeds.
J-Bars. Essentially they are single T-bars. A few were built in the early days of ski lifts, but none have been built in Australia for half a century because they cost the same to build and run as T-bars, but only transport half as many people. However after snowboarders experienced difficulties riding the platters at Ben Lomond, some J-bars were added to lifts at that resort for the 2009 season.
Nutcrackers. Some modern skiers who don't venture beyond the main resorts are unfamiliar with nutcracker tows. Most resorts in Australia and New Zealand began with them. While they have been replaced at the big resorts, nutcrackers can still be found at 'club fields'. A nutcracker is a device attached to a belt worn by a skier that clamps onto a moving rope at waist level, allowing the skier to be towed uphill. The height of the rope and the pulleys that support it is adjusted according to snow levels. While it may not be necessary to use a nutcracker on short, gently graded rope tows, it is impossible for skiers to hold onto a rope with their hands on steeper tow lines or where the rope passes over a pulley. Nutcrackers explained
Handle tows. Short portable ski lifts with plastic handles permanently attached to a waist high cable. To move uphill, a skier just grabs one of the handles and holds on!
Rope tows. This term is often used to include nutcrackers and handle tows, but a pure rope tow is one where the skier or boarder simply grasps the rope in their hands. They are only practical for short and very gently graded slopes. Typical examples are the Canyon tows at Buller which assist skiers over slight bumps on a mostly downhill access trail.
Australian Capital Territory
|Mt Franklin||Canberra Alpine Club||1957 - late 60's||Brumby Tow||Operated on Little Ginini, Slalom Run, Nursery Run|
|Mt Franklin||Canberra Alpine Club||1965 only||Austin A40 Tow||Operated on Slalom Run|
|Little Ginini||John Dowling||1959 - 1960||-||Moved to Mt Selwyn|
|Mt Ginini||RMC Ski Club||1957 - mid 60's||-||-|
|Corin Forest||Corin Forest||1980's & 90's||-||May have been upgraded to a Poma, but details are vague.|
All A.C.T. ski tows were rope tows, although the Corin Forest tow may have been upgraded to a Poma at some stage. For more detailed information see the non resort tows article. --© David Sisson 01:31, 23 July 2007 (EST)
|Thirty Second||Rope tow||-||1963 - 1984||Above current Bass tow||NTAC. Extended at base 1973, at top 1975|
|Big Ben||Rope tow||-||1967 - 1984||B/w Fanny's & Bill's||NTAC. Used parts from Mt Buller's Bourke St rope tow|
|Summit||Platter||Yac||1973 - 1991||-||Alpine Enterprises. 370 m long, 80 m rise|
|Fanny's||Platter||Yac||1973 - 1978||-||Alpine Enterprises. 300 m long, 73 m rise|
|Beginners / Village||Platter||Yac||1973 - present||-||A.E. 300 m long, 35 m rise. Renamed in 1980's|
|Giblin||Platter||Yac||1976 - present||-||Alpine Enterprises|
|Fanny's||T-bar||Doppelmayr||1979 - present||-||Alpine Enterprises|
|Creek Run||Platter||Yac||1979 - present||-||Relocated Fanny's platter|
|Bill's||T-bar||Doppelmayr||1985 - present||-||Alpine Enterprises|
|Thirty Second||Poma||Pomagalski||1985 - 2002?||Above current Bass tow||NTAC. Formerly on Mt Buller Summit|
|Big Ben||Poma||Pomagalski||1985 - 2002?||B/w Fanny's & Bill's||NTAC. Formerly on Mt Buller Summit|
|Summit||T-bar||Doppelmayr||1992 - present||-||Alpine Enterprises|
|Bass||Poma?||-||? - present||-||Built on lower section of 30 Sec, used some of its parts|
|Creek Inn-base of Bill's||2-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||c.1990||Thirty Second||TSL. Formerly Mt Buller's Bourke St chair. See note below|
|Village - Thirty Second||T-bar||Doppelmayr||2009||-||Relocate & extend Fannys. Base of Vil - top of Fannys|
|Big Ben slope||Platter||Yac||2009||-||Relocated Village Platter|
In common with Mt Buller and Mt Baw Baw, for a time Ben Lomond's ski tows were run by two companies. Alpine Enterprises (AE) was established in 1973 by Eryl Williams, Brian Hill and Arvids Endelmanis. The Northern Tasmanian Alpine Club's (NTAC) first tow was built by Eddie Hausegger and Bill Mitchell in 1963. In 1990 the lifts were split off from the club to become Tasmanian Ski Lifts (TSL).
Installation of the chairlift was repeatedly delayed by bureaucracy, eventually TSL simply gave up trying to get around the new barriers that were constantly put in the way of installing the lift and abandoned the project. Early this century the chairlift was still stored on a nearby farm, but apparently the drive terminal was then sold to a horse breeder to be used for training purposes while the rest was sold as scrap metal. :(
Some years after the chairlift fiasco, TSL was refused permission to operate their Pomas by the former Ben Lomond Skifield Management Authority and told to remove their lifts. Eventually AE was given salvage rights to them and Thirty Second and Big Ben were removed.
More on Ben Lomond history.
David M. Harvey. The Ben Lomond Story. The author, 2000.
Thanks to "Ben Lomond Brad" and "Bulldozer" for help with this list. --© David Sisson 20:10, 4 August 2007 (EST)
|Ski Hoist, aka. The Meat Hook||J-bar||1938 - 1952||Pulpit Rock||2nd ski tow in Australia. Replaced by rope tow|
|Sponar's||Rope tow||1952?||Wood Run||Was to operate in '53, but Sponar ill with T.B.|
|Pulpit Rock||Rope tow||1953 - 1963||-||Replaced The Hoist|
|Woodrum||Rope tow||1958 - 1963||Chalet Dam-Lit Stillwell||600 metres long, replaced by the double chair|
|Thredbo Valley-Stillwell Restaurant||Double chair||1964 - 1965||-||Abandoned due to strong winds & derailing -|
|Stillwell Restaurant-Charlotte Pass||Double chair||1964 - 1965||-||- Combined length = 5 km. Cost £1,200,000!|
|Pulpit||Poma||1964 - 1966||-||Replaced by a T-bar. Poma moved to Basin|
|Rope Tow||Portable rope||19?? - 2008?||-||Usually operated between Basin and Kangaroo|
|Guthries||Poma||1964 - present||-||Occasionally spelt 'Gutheries' on trail maps|
|Basin||Poma||1967 - present||-||Moved from Pulpit|
|Pulpit||T-bar||1967 - present||-||Replaced a Poma. May have been duplex T-bar in 1970's|
|Kangaroo Ridge/Kosciusko||Triple chair||1980 - present||-||Name changed 2009?|
|Kosci Carpet||Carpet||2009?- present||B/w Basin & Kosci triple||-|
Information on the 1960's Pulpit lifts is a bit ambiguous. Sponar's tow had previously run at St Christoph, Austria in 1949, it was the first tow at that resort. Woodrum may have been demolished at the end of the 1962 winter rather than after the 1963 season. Current trail map.
The former Thredbo Valley - Charlotte Pass chairlifts have their own WikiSki page here. Components have been reassembled at Wollongong where the lift still operates. See Section 15 Ski lifts away from snowfields at the bottom of this page.
More on Charlotte Pass history.
Rick Walkom. Skiing off the roof: the Kosciusko Chalet at Charlotte Pass and its place in the history of the Australian snowfields. Arlberg Press, 1991. Reprinted by Tabletop Press, 2000. --© David Sisson 15:22, 16 July 2007 (EST)
|Nissen||Rope tow Hamilton||1951 - 1960||Summit||Toni St Elmo. Capacity 5. 6/- day in 1951|
|Myrtleford Ski Club lift||Rope tow||1951 - ?||?||Designed and built by Gordon Mulder|
|Hymans Skyline||Rope tow||1950's||-||Bob Hymans|
|Hymans Chair||1-Chair-F||1957 - 1960?||Near Grand Couer run.||1st chairlift in Aust. 40 chairs, 375 metres|
|Village||Rope tow||1958 - 1960||Lower Village run||Jock Wilson & co|
|Collis (?)||Rope tow||1958 - 1960||Left of Nissen, Summit area||Marsh Collis and others|
|Summit||T-bar||1961 - 1991||-||Alpine Developments run by Bill Bridgeford|
|Village / Spur||T-bar||1961 - 1999||-||Replaced and extended Village rope tow|
|Gully||2-Chair-F||1964 - 1981||-||456 m long, 76 m vertical|
|Nursery / Baby||Poma||1964 -2001?||Near current Tube lift||Still in operation 1998|
|Sun Valley||T-bar||1967 - 1988||-||Replaced by Scott quad chair|
|International||Poma||1969 - present||-||1,216 m long, 278 m vertical|
|Saddle / Link Lift||T-bar||1969 - 2000?||-||Still operating '98, towers still standing '08|
|Nursery (baby) duplicate||Poma||1972 - 2000?||-||-|
|Ruined Castle||Poma||1973 - 1994||-||-|
|Mighty Mite||Portable handle tow||1970's||Various.||Unsure of precise name and dates|
|Lakeside||Poma||1976 - present||-||-|
|Dogpatch||Poma||1979 - 1992?||B/w Nursery and Summit||-|
|Panorama||Poma||1979 - 2003?||-||-|
|Playground / Monkey Bar||Poma||1980 - present||-||Slightly repositioned & renamed in 2006|
|Eagle||Triple chair||1980 - present||-||-|
|Headwater||Poma||1980 - 2003?||B/w Summit & Ruined Cas||Still operating in 1998|
|Towers||Twin T-bar||1981 - 1998||-||-|
|Gully||3-Chair-F||1982 - present||-||Replaced Gully double chairlift|
|Big Dipper||Twin T-bar||1983 - 1999?||South west of Ruined Castle||Possibly gone by 1998|
|Playground duplicate||Poma||1984 - 2005?||Between Scott & Lakeside.||-|
|Tom Thumb||Poma||1986 - 2005||Present Mouse Trap site||-|
|Halleys Comet/ Bilia/ Express||4-Chair-D||1986 - present||-||Bilia Bullet '02?-'04, Falls Express '06 -|
|Scott||Quad chair||1989 - present||-||Replaced Sun Valley T-bar|
|Summit||Quad chair||1992 - present||-||Replaced Summit T-bar|
|Ruined Castle||Quad chair||1995 - present||-||Replaced Ruined Castle Poma|
|Towers||Quad chair||1999 - present||-||Replaced Towers twin T-bar|
|Boardwalk||Carpet lift||2004 - present||-||-|
|The Tube||Carpet lift||2004 - present||Site of Nursery Poma||-|
|Drover's Dream||Quad chair||2004 - present||-||Replaced Panorama Poma|
|Mouse Trap||Enclosed carpet||2006 - present||Site of Tom Thumb Poma||Replaced Tom Thumb poma|
|Rocky Knolls||"Chairlift"||???||Beyond old Big Dipper T-bar||Approved circa 2004, 587 m long|
|Damsite||"Surface lift"||???||West of Rocky Knolls||Approved circa 2004, 750 m long.|
|Mt McKay lifts||Chairlift system||"Before 2012"||-||Mentioned in E.E.S. for above in 2002|
It appears it was intended to build Damsite from components of Big Dipper that were in storage. The storage shed was burnt in the 2003 fires and since then the rumour has been that if Damsite is ever built, it will be a chairlift.
International Poma. The 'Inter' is a unique lift and even has it's own fan page on Facebook. The International Poma was built in 1969 and was equipped with a V12 diesel engine. It could have sticks attached every 6 metres along it's 1216 metre length and run at up to 4.2 metres a second, making it the fastest drag tow in the southern hemisphere. Kids could get serious air time going around the corner... whee!
The combination of high speed and loading punters close together gave the Inter a similar capacity to duplex T-bars such as Towers and Big Dipper. Now the (single speed) electric drive only powers the tow at 2.4 metres per second, so it's much slower and slightly less fun. But it remains the longest cornered Poma this side of the equator and even with a much lower speed, it's lifting capacity still matches that of some chairlifts, which is probably why it hasn't been replaced despite it's extreme age.
More on Falls Creek history:
Julian Newton Brown. Falls Creek: how it came to be. Janby Productions, 2005.
Bob Howe. Melting tracks: history and memories of Albury Ski Club and early Falls Creek. The author, 2004. --© David Sisson 14:17, 9 July 2007 (EST)
Mt Baw Baw
|Hut||Rope tow||1955 - 1976||-||Baw Baw Ski Club. Cost £200. Replaced by a platter.|
|Painted Run||Rope tow||Early 60's - ?||-||Baw Baw Ski Club. East of T-bar that replaced it. Later duplicated|
|Access||2-Chair-F||1970 - 1999||-||Gippsland Chairlift Co. Access to village from carpark, also for skiing|
|Maltese Cross||T-bar||1971,2 or 3-present||-||Dartos Ltd.|
|Hut Run||Platter||1975 or 77-present||-||Baw Baw Ski Tows. (formerly Baw Baw Ski Club).|
|Beginners?||Rope tow||1977 - >1981||B/w Hut & Maltese||BBST. Short tow from Base of Hut Run Platter towards Old Hut Run|
|Summit||T-bar||1979 - present||-||Baw Baw Ski Tows|
|Big Hill||Platter||1980 - c.2002||-||Dartos Ltd.|
|Big Hill Access||Poma||78><86 - present||-||Dartos. Used as tubing lift from 2002? until 2007. Now for skiers|
|Tank Hill||Platter||1983 - present||-||-|
|Painted Run||T-bar||1985 - present||-||B.B.S.T. Now nicknamed Fawlty Towers due to chronic unreliability|
|Magic Carpet||Carpet||2004 - present||Behind Skiosk||-|
From 1971 - 1980 skiers had to choose between two lift companies. The chairlift merged with the combined tow company in 1988. In the dates operated field "78><86" indicates that the lift was installed at some time between 1978 and 1986.
The Access chairlift is still in storage at Drouin, but a chair from the lift is on display on the veranda of Kelly's Cafe. The latest gossip is that it may have been sold to Charlotte Pass, although what they would want to do with a 40 year old double chair is anyone's guess!
Mt Buffalo, Draft
|Cresta||Rope tow||1937 - 1938||-||1937 = 108 m, ext to 180 m in '38. built from old train tracks, burnt Jan '39|
|?||Double chair||196? - ?||Cresta Saddle||Part of Ollie Polasek’s Tatra development|
|?||T-bar||196? - <1984||-||Part of Ollie Polasek’s Tatra development|
|?||Poma||196? - ?||-||Part of Ollie Polasek’s Tatra development|
|?||Double chair||>1984 - ?||-||Cost $200,000, many teething problems|
|Operating in '06||.|
|Cresta||Poma||? - 2006||-||Some of these are original 1960's Tatra tows|
|Gully||Poma||? - 2006||-||Some of these are original 1960's Tatra tows|
|Cresta Valley||Double chair||? - 2006||-||Some of these are original 1960's Tatra tows|
|Valley||Double chair||? - 2006||-||Some of these are original 1960's Tatra tows|
|Novice||Poma||? - 2006||-||Some of these are original 1960's Tatra tows|
|Dingo Dell area||.|
|The Nutcracker||Rope tow||1949 - >1962||-||£300. Built by Canadians Herb Hall & Paul Heikkila. 6d ride, 10/- week|
|?||Poma?||196? - ?||-||Cost $20,000|
Dingo Dell’s last season was probably 1988, at the time there was a rope tow and two Pomas there. Cresta’s last season was 2006 when five lifts remained. It is unlikely they will ever run again. Final (2006) map for the Cresta area before it closed for ever.
None of the histories of Mt Buffalo pay much attention to the precise dates, location or names of ski tows, so the information in this table is rather vague. Any accurate information would be appreciated. Please email sisson.dave at yahoo.com.au
In December 2006, The Buffalo Lodge (Tatra Inn) burnt down and the lessees relinquished their lease of the Buffalo Chalet in January 2007. The Chalet still stands. At the moment it is still fairly structurally sound, but it is unlikely to operate again, as the state government is unwilling to grant a lease long enough to justify the huge expenditure required to make it attractive to guests. Unless the Chalet is occupied and maintained, it is only a matter of time until a storm or fire damages it irreparably. It all makes a sad end to Victoria’s first ski resort, Australia's oldest surviving ski lodge and the site of Australia's first ski tow.
Thanks to "Wangaratta_bloke" for info on Dingo Dell. --© David Sisson 14:17, 3 August 2007 (EST)
|Bourke St||Rope tow||Home made||1949 - 1958||270 / 180||-||Ski Club of Victoria.|
|Bull Run||Nutcracker||-||1953 - 1954||-||-||Blue. Relocated to Mt St Bernard, still operates|
|Bull Run||Nutcracker||-||1955 - 1961||-||-||Blue (John Hilton-Wood)|
|Baldy||Portable rope tow||-||1957 - 1961||-||-||Blue (Ernest & Aurel Forras, John Hilton-Wood)|
|Tyrol / Little Baldy||Rope tow||-||1957 - 1962||c.300/???||Tyrol||Maurice Selle|
|Skyline / Little Collins St||Rope tow||-||1959 - 1961||-||Skyline||Blue Lifts (then named Bull Run Enterprises)|
|Koflers / Transportation||Nutcracker||-||1959 - 1963||-||-||Orange (then named Ski Lifts Mt Buller)|
|Bourke St||T-bar||Locally made||1959 - 1968||-||Bourke St||Orange. Parts later used at either Guthega or Ben Lomond|
|Federation||T-bar||-||1959 - 1980||-||Federation||Orange Lifts|
|Bourke St||Double rope tow||-||1961 - 1963||-||Bourke St||Orange Lifts|
|Chamois||Rope tow||-||1961 - 1963||-||-||Konrad Koch, bought by Blue and replaced with a Poma|
|Bull Run||T-bar||-||1962 - 1984||638 / 240||Bull Run||Blue Lifts|
|Skyline||T-bar||-||1963 -present||480 / 90||-||Blue Lifts|
|Shaky Knees/Swanston St||T-bar||-||1963 - 2004||-||-||Orange. Replaced by Northside/Emirates quad chair|
|Bourke St||2-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||1964 - 1983||-||Bourke St||Blue Lifts. First Doppelmayr double chair in the world|
|Summit||Poma||Pomagalski||1964 - 1983||-||-||Orange, rebuilt at Ben Lomond as 30 Sec & Big Ben|
|Summit Access/Howqua||Poma||Pomagalski||1964 - 1983||-||-||Orange. Loaded at both ends. Replaced Koflers / Transportation|
|Chamois||Poma||Pomagalski||1965 - 1987||-||-||Blue Lifts, extended in 1968|
|Boggy Creek||T-bar||-||1967 -present||-||-||Orange Lifts.|
|Summit duplicate||Poma||Pomagalski||1968 - 1983||-||-||Orange, rebuilt at Ben Lomond as 30 Sec & Big Ben|
|Whittaker||Poma||Pomagalski||1969 - 1981||-||near Village run||Blue. Replaced by Village T-bar|
|Baldy||Duplex Poma||-||1969 - 1985||-||Heli Flat-Baldy||Orange Lifts|
|Tyrol / Tirol||T-bar||-||1972 -present||-||Orig to Baldy||Orange. Shortened in '87. Spelling change c.2004|
|Beginners / Ski School||T-bar||-||1974 - 2003||-||Mid Bourke St||Orange. Replaced by Carpet|
|Baldy||2-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||1974 - 1983||-||-||Blue Lifts.|
|Beginners||Carousel||-||1976 - 1977||-||Helicopter Flat||Orange Lifts|
|Koflers||T-bar||-||1977 -present||-||-||Orange Lifts|
|Enzian||Poma||Pomagalski||1979 - 1996||-||Upper Chamois||Blue Lifts|
|Grimus||3-Chair-F||-||1979 -present||800 / 192||-||Orange Lifts|
|Burnt Hut Spur||3-Chair-F||-||1980 -present||310 / 105||-||Orange Lifts|
|Sun Valley||Poma||Pomagalski||1980 - 1985||-||B/w Bull & Fed||Blue Lifts|
|Federation||3-Chair-F||-||1981 -present||1000/ 332||-||Orange Lifts. Replaced & extended T-bar|
|Horse Hill||3-Chair-F||-||1982 - 1985||-||-||Orange Lifts. Moved to Helicopter Flat in 1986|
|Village||T-bar||-||1982 - 2003||-||-||Blue Lifts. Replaced & extended Whittaker Poma|
|Playground||Poma||Pomagalski||1983 - 1991||-||West of Skyline||Blue Lifts|
|Blue Bullet 1||4-Chair-D||Doppelmayr||1984 -present||-||Lowr Bourke St||Not oldest remaining detach quad operating, some Euro '83 lifts still|
|Blue Bullet 2||4-Chair-D||Doppelmayr||1984 - 2007||-||Baldy||Blue Lifts.|
|Summit||4-Chair-F||-||1984 -present||-||-||Orange Lifts|
|Howqua||4-Chair-F||-||1984 -present||-||-||Orange. Eng, twr heads & bullwheels are for triple, other parts are quad|
|Spurs / Trainer||T-bar||-||1984 -present||-||-||Orange Lifts|
|Bull Run||4-Chair-F||-||1985 -present||-||-||Blue Lifts|
|Horse Hill||4/4-Chair/Gond-D||Doppelmayr||1986 -present||-||-||106 chairs, 20 gondolas. First ski gondola in Australia|
|Helicopter Flat / ABOM||3-Chair-F||-||1986 - 2007||-||-||Replaced Baldy, moved from Horse Hill. Renamed 03. Sold to Selwyn|
|Dam||Rope tow||-||1987 -present||-||Near Spurs||-|
|Southside||4-Chair-F||-||1990 -present||-||Federation area||-|
|Ski Kindy No. 1||Rope tow||-||1991 -present||-||-||_|
|Canyon Rope Tows||Two rope tows||-||1997 -present||-||S of bus station||Very gentle grade, link between Chamois & Bull|
|Tube Park||Rope tow||-||1998 -present||-||-||-|
|Bluff View||Rope tow||-||2001 -present||-||-||-|
|Cattleman's 1 & 2||Carpets||-||2003 -present||-||-||-|
|Bourke St Carpet||Carpet||-||2004 -present||-||-||-|
|Northside / Emirates||4-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||2005 -present||633 / 151||-||2.3 m/s. Replaced Shakey Knees. Renamed 2006|
|Holden||6-Chair-D||Doppelmayr||2008 -present||997 / 127||Heli Flat - Baldy||Speed 5.0 m/s. Replaced BB2 & Heli/ABOM Initial press release|
In common with Ben Lomond and Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buller had two lift companies for many years. They issued a joint ticket in 1984 and merged in 1985 when Bull Run Enterprises (Blue Lifts) took over Ski Lifts Mt Buller (Orange Lifts). The company is now called Buller Ski Lifts. Current trail maps for northern slopes and southern slopes.
At least seven old ski lifts from Mt Buller were relocated to other Australian mountains. Buller seems to be the only Australian resort with a strong record of selling its discarded lifts.
- Ben Lomond bought several lifts including the Bourke St rope tow, both summit Pomas and the Bourke St double chairlift.
- The original 1953 Bull Run nutcracker tow still operates on Mt St Bernard and is one of the oldest ski lifts still operating in the world.
- Guthega bought a T-bar from Orange Lifts in the mid 1970's, (possibly the Bourke St T-bar, as both had arch type frames).
- Most recently, the Helicopter / ABOM triple chair was sold to Selwyn Snowfields.
More on Buller history:
Jim Darby. Mt Buller: the story of a mountain. tSm Publishing, 2008.
Ann Crawford. A proud achievement: 50 years of YHA on Mt Buller 1947 - 1997. YHA, 1997. 58 page booklet.
David Joss. Mt Buller: a history. Alpine Resorts Commission, n.d. (1995?). 36 page booklet.
Ernest Forras, Jan Henderson. Ernest escapades, or seriously for fun only: the autobiography of Ernest Forras. Ernest Forras, 1994.
--© David Sisson 13:28, 10 July 2007 (EST)
|Blue Ribbon||Nutcracker||Hamilton||1952 -72, 3 or 4?||560 / 235||-||Cost £3000, capacity 12 at a time|
|Higginbotham||Rope tow||-||1958? - >1965||-||Davenport||Probably owned by Ski Tows Ltd.|
|Basin||Rope tow||-||1959 - ?||-||Basin Run||Ski Tows Ltd. Replaced by a Poma|
|Jack Hedley's||Rope tow||-||1962? - ?||-||?||-|
|Jack's Tow||J-bar||-||1965?-1968?||-||Sun Run||-|
|Basin||Poma||-||1964 - 1970||-||Today's Basin Run||Ski Tows Ltd. Moved to Davenport|
|Pole Line / Summit||Poma||-||1966 - 1987||790 / 95||Summit||Ski Tows Ltd.|
|Playground||2-Chair-F||Poma||1969 - present||614 / 199||-||Orig planned for Aust Drift. Shortened c.1992? 1000 p/hr|
|Davenport||Poma||-||1971 - 1983||-||-||Moved from Basin, replaced by a quad chair|
|Brockhoff||Poma||-||1973 - 1986||820 / 245||North of Heavenly Valley||-|
|Basin||Platter||-||1974 - 1992||-||-||Moved to Koala Park?|
|Sun Run||T-bar||-||1977 - 1994||-||Nth side of present Sun Run||-|
|Summit||T-bar||-||1979 - 1994||-||-||Moved to Australia Drift|
|Blue Ribbon||3-Chair-F||-||1981 - present||710 / 271||-||Capacity 1600 per hour|
|Plains of Heaven||Platter||-||1981 - 1983||-||Lower Blue Ribbon||Moved to Dinner Plain|
|Big D||4-Chair-F||-||1984 - present||396 / 64||Davenport||Replaced a Poma. Capacity 2400 per hr|
|Heavenly Valley||4-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||1987 - present||845/314or395?||-||Replaced Brockoff Poma. Capacity 2400 per hr|
|Summit||4-Chair-F||-||1988 - present||595 / 98||-||Capacity 2400 per hour|
|Village||4-Chair-F||-||1993 - present||800 / 275||-||Capacity 2400 per hour|
|Koala Park||Platter||-||1993 - 1997||-||B/w Zirky's & White Crystal||Moved to summit. Renamed Summit Trainer|
|Road Runner||4-Chair-F||-||1995 - present||671 / 153||-||Capacity 2400 per hour|
|Australia Drift||T-bar||-||1995 - present||370 / 88||-||Moved from Summit. Capacity 1285 per hr|
|Gotcha||4-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||1997 - present||472 / 140||-||Capacity 2400 per hour|
|Keogh's||4-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||1997 - present||383 / 188||-||Capacity 2400 per hr|
|Orchard||4-Chair-F||Doppelmayr||1997 - present||573 / 154||-||Capacity 2400 per hour|
|Summit Trainer||Platter||-||1998 - present||132 / 22||-||Formerly at Koala Park. Capacity 500 per hour|
|Big D Trainer||Rope tow||-||1999 - present||-||-||-|
|Pups Playground||Carpet||-||? - present||17 / ?||Davenport||-|
|Harry's Hideaway||Carpet||-||? - present||50 / ?||Davenport||-|
Ski Tows Limited was operated on a cost recovery basis by members of the University Ski Club and the Alpine Club of Victoria. It never paid a dividend. It's lack of capital hampered further development of the mountain. After the 1965 season it was sold to Desmond Schuman who later built the Playground double chair. --© David Sisson 14:49, 19 July 2007 (EST)
Recent trail map.
More on Hotham history:
Donald Bennett. Hotham horizon: the Alpine Club of Victoria. The author, 1987.
Jennifer McLennan. Not below 5000: a history of the Ski Club of East Gippsland. S.C.E.G., 2001.
Lynette Sheridan. University Ski Club: 1929 - 1979. U.S.C., 1988.
Ticket prices in 1965. A 7 day ticket for all tows cost £7. Blue Ribbon nutcracker cost 30 shillings for 10 rides or 5/- for a single ride. Basin Poma and Higginbotham rope tow: 30/- for 40 rides or 1/- for a single ride.
A few details on the Blue Ribbon nutcracker tow.
Hamilton 'Type B' rope tow. Cost of purchase and construction £3,000. 1836 feet (560 metres) long, vertical lift 770' (235 m.), average slope 25 degrees. Powered by a 28 horsepower (21 kilowatt) Bedford Truck engine which was housed in a hut at the top of the tow near the road. The tow rope was 1 inch ( 2.54 cm) sisal. It was supported on 9 poles with waist height pulleys that could be raised or lowered according to the depth of snow. Capacity 12 at a time. The trip took four minutes at a speed of 6.8 miles per hour (11 kph) compared to a 40 minute walk up the slope. A canteen was added to the tow hut in 1957.
Building the Blue Ribbon nutcracker tow. An extract from: Donald Bennett. Hotham horizon: the Alpine Club of Victoria: reminiscence. Pages 95 - 97.
The first ski tow on Hotham was a major development. This too was conceived and brought about by the joint efforts of the University Ski Club and the Alpine Club of Victoria...
... The subject of tows was first raised during a... meeting on 22nd June 1950. The minutes... state, 'George Chisholm opened the subject of a ski tow for Mt. Hotham and produced detailed information of the Hamilton tow widely used in New Zealand. A meeting of a group of interested people was arranged for Monday, 3rd July 1950, to discuss the type of tow and the financing of the project'.
George Chisholm had visited New Zealand in 1949 as Captain of the Australian Inter Dominion Team. He had been most impressed by the Hamilton rope tow manufacturers at Littleton near Christchurch. This rope tow was used at Coronet Peak and gave George ample opportunity to assess the practicability of the device.
A company, rejoicing in the name of Ski Tows Ltd., was formed in 1950 with four U.S.C. and three Alpine members earlier mentioned as directors. We determined to purchase a Hamilton Tow and, as usual, the immediate problem was finance. This elusive commodity was acquired by our joint contributions and the practice of a polite species of highway robbery, brow beating and moral suasion on our unfortunate friends. In all there were over fifty shareholders of touching faith.
Nobody ever expected that the company would pay a dividend. Their expectations were absolutely correct.
The Hamilton tow consisted of an endless one inch diameter sisal rope passing over pulleys, mounted on brackets adjustable in height to cope with varying snow depths. The pulley brackets were attached to nine inch steel pipes some 20 feet high, set at appropriate intervals down the slope. A 'nut cracker' attached to a waist belt, clipped onto the moving rope. These waist belts were fabricated from old war time aircraft belts. Power was derived from a 28 Horsepower, 6 cylinder, Bedford Truck motor, located in an engine house just below the road. The engine house also provided accommodation for the tow operator in separate living quarters.
A certain skill was required whilst stationary and awaiting uphill transport to clip the nut cracker onto the moving rope. Failure to adequately connect, or careless ski orientation, resulted in undignified collapse or being dragged up the slope on your posterior. Another hazard was the possibility of loose clothing being wrapped up in the moving rope. On its upward journey the rope sometimes revolved slowly compounded with forward motion. Legend has it that a lady of superb physical charms became thus caught up. First the parka was shed, then the pullover and finally the shirt. The tow operator, a man of rigid moral principles, is alleged to have stopped the tow some distance from the expectant uphill onlookers. This allowed the deprived damsel to fade gracefully into the bushes. Topless skiers were rare in those days.
Despite these hazards the ascent out of the Drag was reduced from 40 minutes on climbing skins to about 4 minutes over 770 vertical feet, the rope tow carrying ten skiers upwards at a time. Initially, there was much debate amongst the directors on a suitable location. After all, the tow was to be the longest in Australia at that time and the first at Hotham. The chosen site was on a slope now occupied by the Blue Ribbon chair lift and effectively serviced the Drag, Blue Ribbon and the Wood Run downhill descents. The final location was surveyed and cleared during the weekend of 16th and 17th February 1952.
An alternative site was considered near the later situation of the Brockhoff Tow. This was ruled out partly because of doubts if a rope tow and passengers could negotiate a bend in the tow line, obviously needed at this location because of the terrain. It is of interest to note that during our explorations in the valley around this area we discovered a small grass grown flat on which could still be seen the outline of a log cabin. The outline was nothing more than moss lines with cross-over points at four corners. We surmised that it had once been an overseer's quarters when the water race to Brandy Creek Mine was under construction in the sixties of the last [19th] century. Today, of course, the water race, partly dug into the hillside and partly supported by stone escarpments, is a convenient track for skiers passing between runs off Loch Spur.
The company was unique in that the Directors were also the installation engineers, fabricators and general labourers. A shop steward of the Builders Labourers Federation would have been completely non-plussed. A major labour was pole erection, much of it over a rock scree slope. In some locations base holes had to be blasted out of the rocky soil. Hamish Pearson was O/C gelignite and he developed a playful habit of letting off a charge with scant warning. If one was working down the pole line the drill, on hearing the explosion, was to immediately cease all activities and gaze intently at the blue sky. Thus the observer skipped nimbly aside to avoid falling rocks descending out of the heavens.
To assist in correct installation, we imported a New Zealander, one Snowy Hansen, to supervise the project. Snowy was a man of iron nerve, having been in a Bomb Disposal unit at the Middle East Front during the 1939-1945 war. However, like many New Zealanders, he had somewhat of a complex about snakes - New Zealand is free from these reptiles. On arriving at Melbourne Airport his anxious queries concerning snakes at Hotham were soothed by soft and oblique answers. Even we did not then know that the Blue Ribbon scree slope housed a significant number of tiger snakes and copperheads.
Snowy was installed at Hotham and all was peace and joy until one day he noticed various directors at work down the scree slope suddenly leaping downward or sideways for no apparent reason. Naturally he queried this eccentric behaviour and, perforce, we had to tell him about the snakes. His immediate reaction was to arm himself with a pale blue broom handle as a defensive weapon. This never left his side and rumour has it that he even took the broom handle to bed with him! Our duplicity pained him and he sorrowfully stated that 'if he had known he would not have left New Zealand'. Fortunately nobody was bitten and it is probable Hamish Pearson's mighty gelignite blasts dispersed the snakes to more peaceful quarters.
The tow commenced operation in the winter of 1952 and gave many years of service until 1965. Subsequently Ski Tows Ltd. was disposed of to Desmond Schuman. It was the forerunner of the network of chairlifts, pomas and T-bars now reticulating over Hotham slopes.
|Cuming||Rope tow||1958 - 1959||-||Harold Cuming. Burnt January 1960|
|Mawson||Rope tow||1963 - present||-||Extended in 1982. Most southern tow in Aust|
|University||Rope tow||1968 - present||-||-|
|Rodway||Rope tow||1973 - present||-||Reputedly the steepest tow in Australia.|
|Beginners||Rope tow||19?? - present||-||-|
Unlike Ben Lomond in northern Tasmania, Mt Mawson never developed into a full scale ski resort. It is the last 'club field' in Australia that is still open to the public, (although there are still three private, club run, nutcracker rope tows in Victoria, a club owned Poma and rope tow at Cabramurra in NSW and plenty of club fields in New Zealand).
The tows are operated by volunteers drawn from the seven clubs with lodges on the mountain. In recent years the lifts have only operated on weekends and midweek during school holidays. The Rodway Tow is the steepest in Australia, but due to a shortage of volunteers, it often doesn't operate even when other lifts are open. --© David Sisson 14:39, 25 July 2007 (EST)
Click for "resort" map showing the day shelters, four lifts and seven club lodges.
New South Wales, outside resorts
|Main Range||Ski Tourers Assoc.||1953 - 1956||Northcote Tow||Burnt, parts used in Crackenback rope tow|
|Diggers Creek||Hotel Kosciusko||Late 1940's?-51?||-||Dates uncertain, near Hotel Kosciusko|
|Diggers Creek||Tony Sponar||Early 1960's||Poma||Dates uncertain, near Sponar's Lakeside Inn|
|Kiandra||Wally Reed||c1950 - 1957?||-||Township Hill|
|Kiandra||Colin Myers||1958-late 70's||T-bar||Two locations, moved to Selwyn|
|Kiandra||Colin Myers||?60's-late 70's||Rope tow||-|
|Kiandra||Colin Myers||?60's -late 70's||Rope tow||-|
|4 km SW of Kiandra||Tumut Ski Club||c.1960 - c.1970||-||-|
|Kings Cross||?||? - < 1973||Rope tow||Half way between Kiandra & Selwyn|
|Cabramurra||SMHEA (Snowy Hydro)||1956 - ?||-||-|
|Cabramurra||Cabramurra School?||1960's - present||Rope tow||Now operated by Cabramurra Ski Club|
|Cabramurra||Cabramurra Ski Club||? - present||Poma||-|
|Round Mountain||Corryong Ski Club?||1960's? - 1970's?||-||Some poles remain|
|Tooma Dam: Montagues Hut||?||1960's? - 1970's?||-||Pulleys attached to trees, dismantled each year|
All non resort tows in NSW are/were nutcracker rope tows except Sponar's Poma, the Cabramurra Poma and the Kiandra T-bar. Thanks to Craig Doubleday for his reports on sites near Selwyn Snowfields and the Northcote Tow. For more detailed information see the non resort tows article. --© David Sisson 14:52, 24 July 2007 (EST)
|Village||Rope tow||1956 - ?||?||Johnny Abbotsmith, moved from Smiggins|
|?||Rope tow||1958 - ?||North Perisher||Svere Kaaten|
|?||T-bar||1959 - ?||Below Sundeck Hotel||Ken Murray’s “Murray Publishers”|
|No. 2||T-bar||1960 - ?||-||Either Lawson or Blaxland, see note on numbering system|
|Eyre||T-bar||1974 - present||On Mt Perisher||The furthest west lift in Perisher|
|International||T-bar||1977 - present||Mt P b/w Eyre & Mt P double||-|
|Mt Perisher Double||Double chair||1961 - present||-||Aust's highest and oldest chairlift 2034 m|
|Mt Perisher Triple||Triple chair||1979 - present||On Mt Perisher||-|
|Sun Valley||T-bar||1969 - present||-||-|
|Olympic||T-bar||1973 - present||Above Sun Valley||Curved T-Bar, accessing some of the hardest terrain|
|Happy Valley||T-bar||1979 - present||-||-|
|Leichhardt||T-bar||1976 - present||-||Called The Self Loader by older folk who recall when it was|
|Home||Rope Tow||1982 - present||-||-|
|Lawson||T-bar||1963 - present||-||-|
|Blaxland||Duplex T-bar||1963 - present||-||Duplex with Wentworth|
|Wentworth||Duplex T-bar||1969 - present||-||Duplex with Blaxland|
|Freelander/Forester Exp||Quad chair||1986 - present||-||Originally Perisher Express|
|Pretty Valley||Double Chair||1978 - present||-||-|
|Telemark||T-bar||1982 - present||-||There may have been a Poma on this site|
|Piper||T-bar||1982 - present||-||There may have been a Poma on this site|
|North Perisher||T-bar||1968 - present||-||-|
|Flat||T-bar||? - c.1975||Perisher Creek||Used to access North Perisher|
|Interceptor||Quad chair||1995 - present||-||-|
|Sturt||T-bar||1964 - present||-||-|
|Flinders||Duplex T-bar||<1976 - 2002||-||Duplex with Bass, replaced by Village 8|
|Bass||Duplex T-bar||<1976 - 2002||-||Duplex with Flinders, replaced by Village 8|
|Village 8 Express||Det Octuple chair||2003 - present||-||Replaced Flinders and Bass T-bars|
|Mitchell||T-bar||1968 - present||-||-|
|Ski Carpet||Carpet||? - present||-||-|
|Tom Thumb||J-bar||1977 - present||-||-|
|Ski School||Rope Tow||? - present||-||-|
|Kids Carpet 1||Carpet||? - present||-||-|
|Kids Carpet 2||Carpet||? - present||-||-|
|?||Rope tow||1953 - 55?||?||Johnny Abbotsmith, moved to Back Perisher|
|Link||T-bar||1964 - present||-||610 m long, 130 m vertical|
|Burke||Duplex T-bar||1968 - present||-||Duplex with Wills|
|Wills||Duplex T-bar||1969 - present||-||Duplex with Burke|
|Kaaten||Triple chair||1979 - present||-||-|
|Hume||T-bar||1964 - present||-||520 m long, 80 m vertical|
|Captain Cook||J-bar||1975 - present||-||Converted from a Poma. 275m, 35 m vertical|
|Scott||J-bar||1973 - present||-||Converted from a Poma. 280m, 35 m vertical|
|Ski School||?||? - ?||-||-|
|Harry’s||Rope tow||? - 2007||-||-|
|Herman’s||Rope tow||? - 2007||-||-|
|Zappy’s||Rope tow||? - present||-||-|
|Zoe’s||Carpet||? - present||-||-|
|Harry's & Herman's||Carpet||2008 - present||-||-|
|SMA Tow||Rope tow||1957 - 1965||Mt Tate East Ridge||Island Bend Ski Club. Burnt 1965. 213m long|
|Beginners Tow||Rope Tow||1961 - 1975||Above Walter's Hut||YMCA S.C. then Walter Spanring. Short|
|Blue Calf||T-bar||1965 - 1980?||Western Blue Calf slopes||Poma brand T-bar. Walter Spanring|
|Powder Valley?||Rope tow||1976 - 1981||Near Cow Pastures||Bruckschloegl Austrian tow|
|Blue Cow||T-bar||1976 - 1980||Mt Blue Cow||Ex Mt Buller. Replaced in 1981|
|Blue Cow||T-bar||1981 - present||Mt Blue Cow||Doppelmayr. Replaced the 1976 T-bar|
|Cow Pastures||J-bar||1981 - present||Cowpastures basin||Doppelmayr J-Bar|
|Blue Calf||T-bar||1981 - present||-||Built as a duplex T-bar|
|Beginners||Rope tow||1982 - ?||Top of chair (Saddle area)||Cowpastures tow relocated after J-Bar built|
|Rope Tow 1||-||<1992 - 1993?||-||-|
|Rope Tow 2||-||<1992 - 1993?||-||-|
|Carpark||Double chair||1982 - present||Carpark-base Mt Blue Cow||Doppelmayr chairlift|
|Ridge||Quad chair||1987 - present||-||-|
|Summit||Quad chair||1987 - present||-||-|
|Early Starter||Double chair||1987 - present||-||-|
|Terminal||Quad chair||1987 - present||-||-|
|Brumby||T-bar||88><92 - present||-||Moved from Guthega - formerly ½ of Blue Calf Duplex|
|Pony Ride 1||Rope tow||88><92 - present||-||-|
|Pony Ride 2||Rope tow||>92 - present||-||Previously named Ski School?|
|Donkey Ride||?||>92 - ?||-||-|
|Pleasant Valley||Detach quad chair||1987 - present||-||-|
This still needs more work, an early tow or two may be missing.
Perisher Valley Unlike many resorts that have replaced lifts on the same location several times, Perisher has mostly stuck with the original lifts and some of them are approaching 50 years old. By 1964 Perisher had 12 lifts and by 1972 there were 14 lifts. Ken Murray sold the resort to Australian Consolidated Press after the 1972 ski season. Originally, the Perisher T-bars on Front and Centre Valleys were not named. Number 1 was Wentworth on Front Valley, and they were numbered consecutively westward to what is now Leichhardt. The Mt Perisher T-bars, Sun Valley, International, Olympic and Eyre have always had those names. Current Perisher trail maps.
Mergers. Perisher and Smiggins merged after the 1972 ski season. Blue Cow and Guthega merged in 1991. Both these combined companies merged to become Perisher Blue in 1995.
Perisher. Thanks to "VSG", "Ian S" and especially the anonymous person who supplied many of the dates.
Guthega. thanks to "Atlantisau" for contributions that helped to untangle the confusion of hearsay and conflicting information. --© David Sisson 14:00, 20 August 2007 (EST)
|?||Rope tow||1961? - ?||-||John and Helen Dowling, tow formerly ran in the A.C.T.|
|The Quarry||Rope tow||1966 - ?||Township run||Colin Myers.|
|Township 1||T-bar||1972 - 2008||-||Moved from Perisher. Replaced by Township chair in 2009|
|Township 2||T-bar||1978 - 2008||-||Moved from Kiandra. Replaced by Township chair in 2009|
|Racecourse||T-bar||<1984 - present||-||-|
|Ski School||Rope tow||<1984 - present||-||-|
|New Chum||Double chair||1988 - present||-||-|
|Powerline||Poma||? - present||-||Was to be replaced by triple chair, but still intact|
|Homerun||Poma||? - present||-||-|
|Boomerang||Platter||? - present||-||-|
|Home Run||Poma||<1984 - present||-||-|
|Snowflake||Snowtube||19 - present||-||-|
|Wombat||T-bar||<1984 - present||-||Converted to snowtube circa 2003, back to T-bar 2009|
|Gentle Annie||Carpet||? - present||-||-|
|unknown||?||<1998 - ?||B/w Ski Sch & Home Run||-|
|Township||3-Chair-F||2009 - present||Township||Buller's Helicopter Flat/ABOM chair relocated. 709 metres|
Either Powerline or Homerun Poma was moved from Smiggins. There may be a couple of rope tows that aren't on this list yet. Colin Myers and his family have built and operated all tows on Mt Selwyn since 1966. More information on dates of lift construction would be appreciated. Current trail map.
In the past there were 11 other lifts nearby at: Kiandra (4), Tumut Ski Club (1) Kings Cross (1), Cabramurra (3), Round Mountain (1) and Tooma Dam (1). All were removed long ago except the Poma and a handle tow at Cabramurra which still operate. For details see the article non resort ski tows. --© David Sisson 15:41, 12 August 2007 (EST)
|Crackenback||Rope tow||1957 only||Mid half of Kosci Express||Cost £1870, used parts of Northcote Tow. 270 m rise|
|Gam Tow||T-bar||1957 - ?||Below C/back rope tow||Light & underpowered. Probably 1957 only|
|Crackenback||2-Chair-F||1958 - 1989||Same as Kosci Express||Originally to Kareela, lengthened 1962|
|?||Rope tow||1958 - 1963||Kareela - Upper C/back||Relocated 1957 Crackenback rope tow|
|Middle||T-bar||1962 - 1967||Middle Snowgums||Later moved to Merrits, renamed 'Ski School'|
|?||Rope tow||1963?||Upper Snowgums||Original Crackenback rope tow moved again|
|Basin||T-bar||1963 - present||In Basin, top of mountain||650 metres long x 145 metre rise|
|Ramshead||2-Chair-F||1963 - present||Base to bottom of Basin||2nd oldest chairlift operating in Aust. 1770x480|
|?||Rope tow||1964 - 1967||B/w Kosi Exp & Ramshead||4th location for 1957 Crackenback rope tow|
|Merritts||2-Chair-F||1968 - present||Base area to Merritts||1350 metres long x 299 metre rise|
|Merritts Duplex||T-bars||1968 - 1994||Merritts, Walkabout run||Replaced by Cruiser Chair|
|Ski School / Easy Rider||T-bar||1968 - present||Merritts Spur||Shortened & renamed in 1995. Now 275m x 65|
|Anton's||T-bar||1977 - present||Central Spur area||Originally self-loading (chaos). 800 x 230|
|Harusch?||Rope tow||1978 - 1995||Merritts Spur||Located under the Merritts Chair top station|
|Harusch?||Rope tow||1978 - 1995||Valley Terminal||-|
|Harusch 500?||Rope tow||<1982>||Top C/back - top of Basin||-|
|Harusch 1000?||Rope tow||<1982>||Beyond Harusch 500||-|
|Mitey Mite||Rope tow||<1982>||Merritts Spur||-|
|Karel's||T-bar||1979 - present||-||Highest remaining ski tow in Aust. 464 x 83|
|Sponar's||T-bar||1979 - present||Central Spur area||942 metres long x 260 metre rise|
|Snowgums||2-Chair-F||1980 - present||Parallels Kosci Express||Fastest chair in Aust when opened 1735 x 472|
|Gunbarrel Express||4-Chair-D||1988 - present||-||1679 metres long x 560 metre rise|
|Easy Does It||4-Chair-D||1988 - present||-||448 metres long x 49 metre rise|
|Crackenback/Kosciusko Exp||4/4-Chair/Gond-D||1990 - present||-||Replaced Crackenback, renamed 2001. 1860 x 560|
|Cruiser||4-Chair-D||1994 - present||Merritts Spur||Superseded Merrits duplex T Bar. 1000 x 214|
|Snowrunner 1||Carpet||2000 - present||Friday Flat||80 metres long x 13 metre rise|
|Snowrunner 2||Carpet||2000 - present||Friday Flat||85 metres long x 10 metre rise|
|Twin Valleys||?||Planned 1983||Nth east of Friday Flat||-|
|High Noon||Sextuple chair||Recent plan||Upper slopes||-|
|Golf Course Bowl||Chairlift||Recent plan||Upper slopes||c.1820 - c.2030 metres|
|Lower Golf Course||Chairlift||Recent plan||9th hole-mid Ramshd Chair||-|
|Golf Course Beginners||?||Recent plan||-||-|
|Fiveways||T-bar||Recent plan||500 m west of Sponars||-|
|New Kosciusko Express||Sextuple chair||Recent plan||-||Replace & extend current quad|
See the Charlotte Pass entry for details of the two chairlifts that operated between Thredbo Valley and Charlotte Pass in 1964 and 1965.
A few things are still incomplete. Names are missing for some Thredbo rope tows and dates for a few lifts on the same sites overlap, so they may be a year out. Current trail map. Thanks to "Ian S" for help.
More on Thredbo history.
Jim Darby. Thredbo 50: 1957 to 2007. tSm Publishing, 2006.
Helen Swinbourne. Accordions in the snow gums: Thredbo's early years. Thredbo Historical Society Inc., 2006.
Geoffrey Hughes. Starting Thredbo. The author, 2008. pp. 28 - 33.
. --© David Sisson 15:29, 31 July 2007 (EST)
Readers comment. The changes in lift names and locations reveal a lot about how long someone has been skiing a resort, and their familiarity with it. This contributor knows people who call Merrits, 'Falls' (and it is probably called something else now) at Thredbo Merritts (no Falls), because that is what it was called before the Merrits Chair was put in. And there is Little Merrits. I call what is now called 'Meadows' at Thredbo, the 'Middle Slopes', because that is what they were called when the old Crackenback Double had a middle station. And I still call the quad chair Crackenback. In the same way, at Perisher, the people who have been skiing the place forever always call the T bars by the numbers, not the explorer names.
Victoria, outside resorts
|Mt St Bernard||Wangaratta Ski Club||1955 - present||Mt St Bernard||Tow was originally at Bull Run on Mt Buller|
|Mt St Bernard||Wangaratta Ski Club||1958 - present||Nursery Tow||-|
|Bogong High Plains||Rover Scouts||1968 - present||-||Langford West Aqueduct. Didn't operate 2003 - 2005|
|Mt Wills||Tallangatta Ski Club||1950's - c.2000||-||2 km north of summit near the lodge|
|Dinner Plain||Dinner Plain||1985? - present||Cobungra Platter||175 m, 18 m rise. Capacity 731 p/h. Formerly at Plains of Heaven, Hotham|
|Mt St Gwinear||Resort||2009 - present||Portable||Australia's newest ski lift! (Well probably, installation not confirmed)|
All lifts are nutcracker tows except the Cobungra Platter at Dinner Plain and the St Gwinear tow. For more detailed information see the non resort tows article. --© David Sisson 10:55, 30 July 2007 (EST)
Ski lifts away from the snowfields
|Area||Name||Type of lift||Dates||Notes|
|New South Wales||.|
|Sydney||Taronga Zoo||Gondola||2000?-present||Sky Safari Cableway. Web page. Photo gallery on Poma website.|
|Sydney||Former showgrounds||Gondola||?||Reinstalled at Wonderland.|
|Sydney||Former showgrounds||Double? chair||?||-|
|Sydney||Wonderland||Gondola||1999 - 2002||Ex showgrounds, renamed Skyrider.|
|Sydney||Moore Park grass ski||Rope tow||?||-|
|Kurrajong||Grass ski & cart||Drag tow?||? - present||Now only carting. link|
|Port Macquarie||Grass ski||Drag tow?||?||-|
|Katoomba||Skyway||Cable car||1958 - 2004||Amusement park directory.|
|Katoomba||Skyway||Cable car||2004 - present||Web page. Amusement park directory.|
|Katoomba||Cableway||Cableway||2000 - present||Web page. Amusement park listing.|
|Wollongong||Jamberoo Action Park||Double chair||1980 - present||Ex Thredbo-Charlotte Pass. Lift history & Amusement park directory|
|Melbourne||Showgrounds||Double chair||19?? - 200?||-|
|Montrose||Fox's Point Scenic Railway||Funicular r/way||1950's||3 rail with passing loop, powered by 1927 Oldsmobile, 110' vertical|
|Dromana||Arthur's Seat||Double chair||1960 - 2006||The website is still available.|
|Portsea||Back Beach||Double chair||1960's - ?||Photo.|
|Scoresby||Carribean Gardens||Double chair||? - present||-|
|Torquay||Grass ski area||Handle tow?||1980's||-|
|South of Moe||Grass ski area||Rope tow?||1970's||-|
|Hobart||Showgrounds||Double chair||? - present||-|
|Launceston||Cataract Gorge||Double chair||1972 - present||Claims to have longest chairlift span in world Web page.|
|Stanley||The Nut||Double chair||? - present||Web page.|
|Adelaide||Mt Thebarton||Conveyor/carpet||1980's-90's?||Indoor ski slope|
|Adelaide||2 x grass ski parks||Drag tows?||1980's?||Unconfirmed|
|Victor Harbour||Granite Island||Double chair||? - present||-|
|Perth||Showgrounds||Double chair||? - present||-|
|Perth||Adventure World||Double chair||1993 - present||Sky Lift. Amusement park directory.|
|Brisbane||Showgrounds||Double chair||? - 2008||-|
|Brisbane||Samford grass ski||?||1984 - 1993||link.|
|Gold Coast||Magic Mountain||Double chair||1962 - 1987||Reinstalled at Dreamworld|
|Gold Coast||Dreamworld||Double chair||1989 - 2005||Skylink ex Magic Mountain Web page.|
|Gold Coast||Seaworld||Open gondola||1989 - present||Sky High Skyway. Web page.|
|Cairns - Kuranda||Skyrail||6 seat gondola||1995 - present||2 separate cableways, total 114 cars, capacity 700 hour. website.|
Thanks to these posters from forums.ski.com.au for help: SnowAndrew, ians 158, HiLo, jt-ski, Heinz, Dive, BLB, cashie, SAL, Claude Cat, pigface, Rowdy, PolePlant, K10.
In addition to these passenger lifts, there were dozens of aerial freight cableways and hundreds of tracked steep cable haulages built for dam construction, timber harvesting, mining, hydro electricity, etc.