ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF ACCESS TO CHARLOTTES PASS

In Winter, Charlottes Pass is surrounded by snow and the access road can be buried under snowdrifts several metres thick. Dog teams (Photo Nos. 15 16 17) were used in the period 1930 to 1950 for mail deliveries etc., where the use of an engine-powered over-snow vehicle ( Photo No. 18) was not warranted.

Two chairlifts, whose routes are shown in Photo No. 19, were built from Charlottes Pass over the Ramshead Range and down to the Alpine Way, the nearest all-weather road to the Chalet. These chairlifts were intended to be the main access for skiers going to and from Charlottes Pass for their holidays. Photo No. 20 is an advert explaining what the new chairlifts should achieve.

The photos (Nos. 22 & 24) attributed to Walkom, were published in his 1991 book, "Skiing off the Roof", describing the history of the NSW Government Chalet at Charlottes Pass, which was then sold to Private Enterprise in early 1963 and has been privately operated since then.

But the new chairlifts to the Thredbo River were a failure, because the lifts could not safely operate in bad weather when strong winds were blowing. This lift line was abandoned in 1966 and its towers were subsequently demolished. Steel from the dismantled towers was still lying on the ground in August 1979 (Photo No. 25). The Stillwell Restaurant (at the mid-point along the Chalet to Thredbo River route, where skiers and Chalet guests changed from one chairlift to the other chairlift) survived until about 1982, in a derelict condition in its very exposed position, on the crest of the Ramshead Range.