This sixth installment of the AAC's ski heritage photos takes you back to the decade 1950 to 1960 during which unprecedented expansion of skiing facilities occurred in the Snowy Mountains. This sixth installment also looks at the origin of the sudden increase in the numbers of skiers utilizing the Snowy Mountains in this decade, not only for ski exploration but also for downhill skiing using ski tows to return them to the top of the ski slope. At the start of the decade there were 2 ski tows in the Snowy Mountains. By 1960 there were ten. The main on-snow accommodation in 1950 was at the Hotel Kosciusko, the Chalet Charlottes Pass and Kiandra. The existing club accommodation in 1950 was best described as embryonic. In the next ten years four new NSW ski resorts – Perisher, Thredbo, Guthega and Smiggin Holes were founded.
Writing in the March 1951 issue of SCHUSS, the magazine of the Ski Club of Victoria (SCV), Mr E. Axford wrote that the only club huts on Kosciusko in 1951 would be the Kosciusko Snow Revellers' Club 20 bed lodge in the Perisher Range, then under construction, the existing Ski Club of Australia at Charlotte's Pass (an annex to The Chalet), the Ski Tourers' Association (STA) 16 bed lodge at Lake Albina, then under construction at Lake Albina and the Kosciusko Alpine Club's new 22 bed lodge to be built at Charlotte's Pass. In addition to the three lodges on Kosciusko, the Kiandra Ski Club (founded about 1878 as the Kiandra Snow Shoe Club) probably had a lodge at Kiandra, although some of the members lived locally and visiting members had a couple of alternate accommodation options, including the then newly opened Kiandra Chalet.
The first installment of this Australian ski heritage story contained photos of the construction of the Lake Albina Lodge, but did not explain how permission had been obtained to build it in a prime position overlooking the lake. The story, as told by ski identity Bob Arnott, was published in the December 1950 issue of "Ski Horizon", whilst Don Richardson wrote his account in the "1951 Australian Ski Year Book" printed in May 1951.
They wrote how keen skiers had sought a hut close to the western faces of Kosciuszko for a number of years and how the Ski Council of NSW had advocated the building of a Memorial Hut in the vicinity some years earlier, whilst its Safety Sub-committee had, in May 1950, urged the Kosciuszko State Park Trust to provide such a hut for its safety values.
The Ski Tourers Association was formed at a well-attended meeting held on 10th November 1950. Charles Anton was elected President, Margaret Anton was elected Secretary, and Robert Ward was elected Treasurer. Ken Breakspear and Dudley Ward were the elected Vice-Presidents. The STA Committee consisted of an enthusiastic group of Kosciusko main range skiers drawn from eight different NSW clubs and the STA membership included a significant Victorian contingent.