REMOTE HUT-BASED SKIING HOLIDAYS

Tom Moppett also wrote about an aspect of their 1936 Kiandra to Kosciusko Crossing in the 1938 Ski Year Book. "We stayed at White's River Hut for one night. We arrived in a fierce blizzard, and the peace and calmness in the valley after the turmoil on top of the range, and the excellent ski-ing slopes, so captivated us that we all decided that we must go to Whites again." Tom Moppett explained that in the year following their 1936 Kiandra to Kosciusko crossing, looking for a quiet holiday, with not too much pack-carrying, they decided that White's River was just the place for a one week stay. After travelling from the Hotel Kosciusko via the Plains of Heaven, Pipers Creek, Snowy River and the White's River Valley, they arrived on 11th July 1937.

"For the most part we played in the valley around the hut, and went for short runs across to Dicky Cooper Valley and up onto Dicky Cooper Bogong and Gungartan; not bothering to go further afield. We also slept, talked, read, wrote up the diary, took photographs, cooked, ate, washed up, emptied the rubbish tin, drew water from the creek about twenty yards from the hut and brought in the wood we chopped down."

"Except that one usually does a lot more pack carrying, moving from hut to hut, the above is just about a complete list of what one does when "Main Range ratting", as it has been called. The term is, I gather, one of derision, but it is remarkable how comfortable an experienced party can make itself."

"Whites River Hut is in a very sheltered position, as it is protected by the whole bulk of the range from the blizzards which usually come from the south to west quarter of the compass. The south-western side of the valley above the hut is broken by small ridges and gullies running down to the river, is sparsely dotted with trees, many of them dead, and in winter is always covered with deep powder snow, partly blown from the top of the range."

Jean and Tom Moppett had demonstrated the high quality of the holiday that is available to a group of skiers that simply based itself in the one touring hut for about a week or two. As stated in the Fourth Installment, the Kosciusko Alpine Club (KAC) acquired an interest in Whites River Hut in 1937. Then in 1939, the Alpine Hut was built at an elevation of 1,670 m at the foot of the Brassy Mountain, in excellent snow country in the heart of the Main Range. "The hut owes its origin to the foresight and enthusiasm of Mr. Oliver Moriarty . . . . He formed a small no-profit propriety company known as the Alpine Hut Club Pty Ltd to finance and build the hut. The company consists of fifty enthusiasts, mostly members of the Kosciusko Alpine Club."

(1940 Ski Year Book).