Article Index

This seventh installment of the AAC's ski heritage photos takes the reader back about fifty years to the TWENTY year period from the late 1930's through to the mid 1950's, during which unprecedented expansion of skiing facilities occurred in Victoria. Photo No.1 shows the usual method of reaching Mt. Hotham in the 1940's. Horses conveyed skiers from Harrietville, up the Bon Accord Spur to the snow line, where skis were put on and used for the remainder of the journey to the Hotham Heights Chalet. Rucksacks were conveyed over the snow by horse-drawn sled. Many changes have occurred since then, including the establishment of ski tows and we tell you about Australia's first two ski tows (Mt. Buffalo had the first).

This seventh installment also looks at the reasons for the lack of development of Mt Bogong (Victoria's highest) – whilst other Victorian resorts expanded, with the construction of ski tows and many new buildings on the snow, each containing from ten to about sixty beds. In March 1951, Malcolm McColl was able to write in the Ski Year Book (SYB), that 22 club lodges would be operating at Mt. Buller that year. He reported that several club and commercial lodges had also been built at Hotham (Drift Chalet, University, Alpine) and Falls Creek (Albury, Bogong, Skyline, Commercial). Club lodges were also built at Mt. BawBaw, Mt. Saint Bernard and Mt. Wills. The long-established Victorian ski field at Donna Buang suffered several winters with minimal snow cover after which its skiing facilities were progressively removed.