Early ski buildings.

At the moment this page is a very incomplete draft under development. By the end of 2016 it should have a reasonable list of buildings constructed in most Australian ski resorts before about 1970. However if the ski lift directory is any guide, it may take five years of research before it lists almost every building.

This page aims to list ski related buildings in areas that have become resorts or once were ski resorts. Additions and corrections are very welcome, please send them to sisson dot dave at yahoo dot com dot au

For details of non ski related mountain huts see the KHA's excellent lists of mountain huts in all ski states.

Tasmania.

Ben Lomond

Carr Villa area

1932. Carr Villa (built by NTAC, extended 1933. Donated to Rover Scouts 1963 and then further extended.) 1933, Himminborg (400 m east of Carr Villa, built by Gilbert McKinley & Reg Hall). Donated to Launceston Scotch College in 1960s?).

Legges Tor area

1937. Summit Hut (also known as Monds Chalet and later as The Kremlin. Built by NTAC, extended 1940 and 1948 when it slept 31. Sold in 1971). 1938 Chateau Dumitchmill (named after owner builders Dumaresq, Mitchell & Mills. extended 1950. Film of its construction). 1950. McWigs (also a hybrid of owners names). 1951. Zermatt real estate ad. 1952. Big Rock ski storage hut. 1955. Ben Bullen (originally Championship Lodge). 1961. Ben Bothie.

Ben Lomond Village area.

1969. Foresters Ski Club (burnt 1990, rebuilt 1991). 1969. Currawong (Eryl Williams). 1969. Talaria Ski Club. 1970. Rumdoodle. 1970 Edelweiss. 1970. Frederick Smithies Lodge (N.T.A.C.) (extended 71 - 72) 1971. Kunama Ski Club (extended 1972). 1971 Jackson's Hole. 1972. Public shelter & ski patrol base. (aka Tin Shed, extended c. 1974.) 1974. Shusha. 1976. Ski Rentals building. 1978. Bag End. 1978. Bellenda. 1978. Birubi - St George Ski Club. 1978 Borrowdale. 1979? Toorbunna Ski Club. 1979 Northern Tasmanian Alpine Club (burnt 1996, rebuilt 1997). 1985 Creek Inn Tavern, now Ben Lomond Alpine Hotel. (6 flats added 1987, hostel added 1993). 1991 new Foresters Ski Club. 1994, Legges Tor Public Shelter. 1994 Felix Hut (Race Hut). 1997. new N.T.A.C. 1997. Rovers Ski Club.

More on Ben Lomond history. David M. Harvey. The Ben Lomond Story. The author, 2000.

30 Second run named by in November 1931 when a party including Fred Smithies skied on a late spring snowdrift near Legges Tor with the descent of the drift taking exactly half a minute.

Mt Mawson and Mt Field area

1908 circa, First hut at Lake Fenton. Used by skiers from 1921, possibly earlier. By 1928 there were five huts. All but one were moved to Lake Dobson in 1940

1927. Twilight Tarn Hut built by Ski Club of Tasmania. Australia's first building owned by a ski club. 1936. Lake Newdgate Hut (S.C.T.)

1940. Old University Hut. First hut at current ski area. 1945. Hobart Walking Club lodge at Lake Dobson. 1946. Alpine Club at Eagle Tarn. 1949. Wellington Ski Club. 1950-ish Ski Club of Tasmania at Lake Dobson, 1950s Lake Dobson Public Shelter1957 circa Refuge Hut on Golden Stairs next to Cumming Ski Tow.

1963. Sitzmark Lodge. Used for ski hire, kiosk, first aid and as a public shelter.. The top floor of the building was also used for accommodation by kiosk staff, ski patrol and park staff in winter.   (Condemned 1998 and finally demolished 2013, replaced by unheated shipping container.) Mid 1960s. Mawson, Oldina and new University lodges built on ski slopes. Mid 1970s. Rodway Shelter Hut, Ticket and Belt issue Hut.

Road reached Lake Dobson in summer 1937-38. (ANZ SY 38 p131)

Victoria.

Mt Donna Buang

1920s Summit hut. 1930 Melbourne Walking Club lodge (burnt 1939). 1933 Shelter hut at base of Main Run (probably burnt 1939)  1934 University Ski Club lodge (moved to Buller 1950) 1934 Ski Club of Victoria lodge (collapsed 1970s) 1936? Rover Scout Hut (fate unknown). 1930s. Kiosks at summit and 10 Mile Turntable, first aid huts at ditto, Eric Gravbrot Johnson's ski hire hut. 10 Mile toilet block. c.1975 Doorless summit shelter. c.1975 10 Mile Turntable shelter (demolished 2016). 1980s? Summit toilet block.

A comprehensive history Donna Buang: the forgotten ski resort is online. Chapter 5? covers buildings on the mountain.

Mt Feathertop

1906 Shelter Shed (demolished 1912). 1912 Feathertop Hut (collapsed 1980). 1925 Feathertop Bungalow guesthouse (burnt 1939). 1929 Razorback Hut (burnt 1939). 1965 MUMC Memorial Hut. 1969 (Old) Federation Hut (burnt 2003). 2004 (New) Federation Hut

Horn Hut, Buffalo Plateau circa 1924. Photo Kath Magill.

Horn Hut, Buffalo Plateau circa 1924. Photo Kath Magill.

A comprehensive history of Mt Feathertop and its buildings is at http://www.australianmountains.com/feathertop/ 

Mt Wills

1950-ish. Tallangatta Ski Club's Woolybutt Lodge. 1952. Tallangatta Ski Club Snowgum Hut near summit. 19XX Fire observers cabin. 19XX new summit hut

Upper Murray

1950-ish. Lind Lodge on Six Mile Plateau. UMSC lodge on Blowfly Ridge.

Mt Buffalo

Manfield Chalet and two or three other tourist accommodation business.

'A jolly trip to the Horn Hut with the Geelong boys.' 1930. Kath Magill.

'A jolly trip to the Horn Hut with the Geelong boys.' 1930. Kath Magill.

1911 Buffalo Chalet. Multiple extensions including doubling height f front facade circa 1939. Abandoned 2007, mostly still standing in 2016, but entry deemed unsafe.

1920s Horn Hut. Still in use until at least 1949, probably much later.

Keown Hut at Dingo Dell.

1960s Polasek and Clarkes Tatra Inn (later Buffalo Lodge) burnt 2006. 

 

 

 

Skiers at Rundells Alpine Lodge at Flour Bag Plain in 1927. Photo Kath Magill.

Skiers at Rundells Alpine Lodge at Flour Bag Plain in 1927. Photo Kath Magill.

Mt Hotham area

Early ski accommodation in the Hotham area

1863 St Bernard Hospice Mk 1. (aka Mother Morell's). c.1882 Mother Johnson's (Brandy Creek, abandoned late 1890's). 1884 St Bernard Hospice Mk. 2 (aka Sailor Bill Boustead's). 

1921 Rundell's Alpine Lodge (Flour Bag Plain, rebuilt 1921 & burnt 1928). 1925 Hotham Heights Mk 1 (burnt 1939, walls used as a garage frame until 1970s). 1925 St Bernard Hospice Mk 3 (renovated and partly rebuilt 1925, burnt 1939). 1930s 'Private cabin' near Rene's Lookout (burnt 1939). 

Rundells Alpine Lodge Easter 1928, shortly before it burnt down. Photo Kath Magill.

Rundells Alpine Lodge Easter 1928, shortly before it burnt down. Photo Kath Magill.

1939 Hotham Heights Mk 2. (extended 1956, burnt 1.00 - 2.00 am, 30 September 1976). 1946 Alpine Club of Victoria, 1946. Wangaratta Ski Club (at Mt St Bernard). 1947 Edelweiss Ski Club. 1947. Cosray Hut (aka CSIR Hut?). 1949 University Ski Club. Joyce Brockhoff Memorial Cabin. 

1950 Boondoo Ski Club (one source say 1952). 1951 Drift Chalet. 1952.  1953 Murray Valley Ski Club (at Diamantina). Ski Club of East Gippsland Hut, extended 1957, 1959 & 1971. Demolished 1988 Renamed 'Annexe' after SCEG Lodge built in 1961. 1954. Seth Ski Club was planning to build on Loch Spur, but that didn't eventuate.

In 1955 'The Hotham area has six club lodges, two commercial chalets and a commercial ski tow. The accommodation available at the chalets is approximately 70 to 80 and that amongst the club lodges approximately 70. The road from Harrietville is snow plowed at least to St. Bernard normally throughout the season and on the Omeo side as far as Wire Plain for the major part of the season.' (SH 8/55 p19)

1960 - 1969

1961. Ski Club of East Gippsland Lodge, extended 1983, 1988.

1969. McMillan Ski Club. Extended c.1972, 1980, 1999.

1970 - 1979

1976. Asgaard Alpine Club.

1970s?. Burrumbeep Ski Club

1970s?. Kalyna Ski Club.

1970s?. Tantani. Along with Asgaard ue to be demolished for new development.

In addition to these lodges and hotels, there have been numerous cattleman's, miners, tourist and road patrol huts.

Hotham ski run names.

The Orchard. This run has moved. When Brockhoff Hut was built in 1949, it was described as being 'at The Orchard'

Pink Hamberg. Named after 1930s skiers Mr Lou Pink and Mrs Hamberg, it was their favourite run and they may have pioneered skiing on it. 

Lunch at Blowhard Hut. Kings Birthday Weekend (1946?). Photo Kath Magill.

Lunch at Blowhard Hut. Kings Birthday Weekend (1946?). Photo Kath Magill.

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.

Gillian Salmon. The king of Hotham: my father. Lindsay Salmon - the Drift Chalet - Mount Hotham. Gillian Magnabosco, 2013.

Dinner Plain

1986. Dinner Plain Hotel. Opened 8 June 1986.

1986. Fords Lodge. Now High Plains

1986. Belltrees. 147 Geebung Road

1986. Jackie Johnson. 156 & 165 Big Muster Drive

1986. Hinnomunjie. Next to pub.

1986. Rivendell. 146 Geebung Road

1986. Wattle Circle (Chamonix). 1671 Drybone Lane

Cope Hut 1930. Cath Magill.

Cope Hut 1930. Cath Magill.

Bogong High Plains

Dedicated ski huts only.

 

1929. Cope Hut.

1940. Rover Chalet.

1946-ish. Johnstons Hut, Mt Nelse. Built 1925 by graziers, sold to Telemark Ski Club c.1946 and converted to ski hut. Merged with Ski Club of East Gippsland 1966. Burnt 17 May 1976, rebuilding to same plan complete 30 May 1976.

 

Falls Creek

Early buildings at Falls Creek. This list is very incomplete and is still a bit rough. In addition to hydro buildings and mountain cattlemen's huts, the following lodges were built in the early decades of Falls Creek:

1940 Bogong Ski Club at Rocky Valley (burnt 1944). 1946 SEC Cottage (St Elmo-Beveridge's hut.) sold and removed to Toonalook at end of 1953. 1947 -c.1973?, Skyline Lodge 1947-1973, S.C.V 1947-1948 (relocated to become Red Hut), Bogong Ski Club 1948, St Elmo-Beveridge's house 1948, Albury Ski Club 1949 (burnt 1959, rebuilt 1960), Myrtleford Ski Club. 1949, Red Hut aka Spion Kopje Lodge (½ way b/w Howmans & Falls) (burnt in 2003 wildfires). 

Dawn Ski Club 1950? (later Rocky Valley S.C.), Grande Coeur 1950? burnt 1961, Nissen Lodge 1952.

1955. St. Trinian's, Bowna, ?Snowdon Ski Club?

Holbrook Ski Club [NSW} was planning to build in 1955.

Mid and late 1950's buildings include: Snow Crystal (since demolished & rebuilt), Nelse <1958 (extended c.1964, demolished & rebuilt 198?), Gundamurri, St Trinians, Kiewa Valley S.C., T & T (Transport & Trading) store (2 x old SEC huts on Winterhaven site, extended many times in the last 60 years), Diana Lodge, Galleon (ex SEC building, aka Cooroona), Bowna S.C., Mulligatawny (burnt c. 1956, replaced by Limlimbu), Four Seasons, Snowhaven (on site of Freuauf Village), Frying Pan Inn 1958, Arundel 1959 (extended 1964 & 1976, renamed Julian's in 1971), Snowden (later renamed Rim Rock) 1959.

1953 11 lodges: Albury, Myrtleford, BogongHyman's, Nissen tow house, SCV Skyline, Kiewa Valley, Murray Valley, Galleon Ski Club, Dawn, Morona Towalla. Foundation ready for 1954 building Snowden Ski Club(SH 3/53 p.11)

1961 Wat Thai 1961, Falls Creek Home Units (later renamed Alcatraz),c.1961 Woomargama S.C. (aka The Roundhouse) 

Rocky Valley Staff Camp (used as ski accom c.1962 until demolished in 1965), Cumming's Ski Hire c.1962, (First) Australian Alpine Club (later Red Onion) 1963, Alpen Rose Flats c.1963, Ripparoo S.C. 1963, Pretty Valley (top floor was former mess building at Rocky Valley hydro camp) c.1963, Runaway Lodge c.1964, Molonys ski hire at base of Gully 1964, Lions Club snack bar (on site of St Elmo's first hut) c.1964, Karingal Flats 1964, Geelong S.C. 1964, Koki c.1965, Avondale (later Feathertop) mid 60's, Pfefferkorn c.1965, Southern Cross Flats 1966, Spargo's (later Halley's) c.1966, The Man 1967 (extended 1978), Kilimanjaro Flats c.1967, Carey Alpine Club c.1967, CSIR S.C. c.1967, Naarilla Flats c.1967, Rainbow Club c.1967, Hukarere (later Alpha) c.1967.

1970's. Haus Innsbruck (called Karelia from '72) 1971, Attunga 1971, Les Chalet flats 1973, (New) Australian Alpine Club c.1972, Vikings S.C., early 1970's, (First) Falls Creek School 1972, The Hub shops 1978, Cedarwood c.1979.

1996. Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club day lodge at Windy Corner.

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

Lovick's cattlemens hut on Burnt Hut Spur. c.1919 - c.1925.

Lovick's cattlemens hut on Burnt Hut Spur. c.1919 - c.1925.

Mt Buller area.

Early buildings at Buller.

Dates are the first winter of occupation, but a few dates may be a year out. The list is not complete. Italic text indicates a link to a lodge's website.

Mansfield Progress Association Hut on Burnt Hut Spur. 1925 - 1933.

Mansfield Progress Association Hut on Burnt Hut Spur. 1925 - 1933.

1880s Klingsporn's Hut on Horse Hill, c.1919 Lovick's Hut on Burnt Hut Spur (burnt early 1925, but one source says 1932), 1925 Mansfield Progress Association Hut on Burnt Hut Spur. Burnt summer 1933, 1929 Horse Hill bark hut used as construction base for Chalet, 1929 Buller Chalet (Horse Hill, extended 1932 and 1939. Had 67 beds. Burnt 1942), 1930 Cow Camp Hut, located on what became Site 11 of the 1949 village subdivision. (extended 1946, burnt 1951), 1934 SCV Hut Boggy Creek, (extended 1947, near base of present Grimus chairlift, still standing but little used in 1954), 1934 Koffler's Hut (near current Koffler's cafe),

Cow Camp Hut stood on the site of the Kooroora Hotel from 1930 to 1951.  J.S . Wilkinson

Cow Camp Hut stood on the site of the Kooroora Hotel from 1930 to 1951.  J.S . Wilkinson

1941 First summit fire observers hut (replaced 1969), 1943  Hut on Chalet site. (built by either Alan McCubbin or the Junior Ski Club?) 1946+ There were also quite a few unauthorised huts and caravans hidden in the scrub in the late 1940's. Details are understandably vague, at least one hut was disguised with war-surplus camouflage nets. One built in time for the 1946 season was Bogville, Bull Lodge and Ullr were other illegal lodges of the time, as was Hushers Hut located near the old Chalet site. One of the wheeled vehicles was named Calf Caravan. 1946 CSIR S. C. (One Tree Hill. Extended 1955, demolished & replaced at present location 1985), Bull Lodge S.C. (Next to site later occupied by Cedar. Bullt illegally, dismantled 1948, club disbanded 1951.) 1947 Ivor Whittacker Lodge (S.C.V. Extended 1949, 1953 & 1959, rebuilt 1967 - 1973. Original building demolished 1972), YHA (aka 'Shiver Shanty' replaced at new location 1952), Circa 1948 Dump Inn (renamed Welcome Inn in 1954, burnt 28 Nov 1955) 1949 Apira (formerly Australian Postal Institute. Extended 1959, 1969, 1983), Chamois S.C., Harding S. C. (M.U.SKI Club from 1961 rebuilt 199?), Moose S.C. (burnt 11/6/55, apparently rebuilt for 1956), Omega S.C., SCV cabins (one was burnt in 1950),

'Junior Ski Club has made extensive additions to its lodge at the Old Chalet site.' Note in SH 8/55 p3

The SCV Boggy Creek cabin built in 1934. This was the equal second ski club lodge in Victoria after the University Ski Club cabin on Mt Donna Buang.

The SCV Boggy Creek cabin built in 1934. This was the equal second ski club lodge in Victoria after the University Ski Club cabin on Mt Donna Buang.

1950 Australian Women's S.C (extended 1957), Buller S.C. (burnt 1952 (report Ski Horizon Aug 52), site to Chetwynd), Gray Rocks S.C., Junior S.C. of Australia (extended 1952), Lazy Eight (to Southern Cross in 1952), University S.C. (cabin moved from Mt Donna Buang, replaced in 1983), Ullr S.C.(rebuilt in 1986), Yurredla S.C. (rebuilt 1979), 1951 Alpine Club of Victoria, Belmore, BMW S.C. (extended 1966 & 1985), Dandenong S.C., Melbourne Walking Club (one source says 1949. Rebuilt in 1992), Monsanto, Morgan Pattern Social Club, 1952 Benmore, Bull Run Canteen, Gliss (extended 1965), Reindeer, Southern Cross demolished and rebuilt date uncertain, YHA (replaced 1948 shanty), 1953 Cedar (finished just before ski season, burnt early July), Kandahar (extended 1960 replaced 1986), Firn, Kooroora (burnt 1961 rebuilt 1965),1954 Cedar (rebuilt), Geelong, Timberline (replaced in 1986), Twenty Five Club (burnt September 1955, apparently rebuilt for 1956) 

The c.1929 bark hut used as a base for building the Buller Chalet.

The c.1929 bark hut used as a base for building the Buller Chalet.

1955 Breathtaker (Royal Aust Navy S.C. from 1956), Black Tulip, Chetwynd (a circular building on site of burnt Buller SC lodge), Elk, Mawson Skiing and Touring.Club. (rebuilt as apartments in 1995), SCV Euroa branch cabin, Welcome Lodge 'day lounge' at Breathtaker Point, sold to RAN Ski Club for 1956 season. (SH 5/55 p8, 11/55 p2) 1956 Akla, Bomborra (replaced 2000), Caribou, Double B (may have been built in 1954), Edelweiss, New Buller Lodge, Tyrol?, University S.C. (second lodge, next to their 1950 one, extended 1962 & rebuilt 1986, extended 2010), 1957 Hima, Igloo, Koomerang (rebuilt 1980. Scotch College), Matterhorn, OLOS S.C., University S. C. Lodge (next to cabin built in 1950), 1958 Arlberg House (burnt 1967. Rebuilt 1970), Mulligatawny, 1959 Cortina, Inca, Koffler's Cafe, Old Geelong Grammarians, Sorrento, Spark, St Albans, Wapiti,

The Buller Chalet in 1932.

The Buller Chalet in 1932.

1960 Icicles, Mt Buller Lodge, N'Everest (extended 1983), Pontresina / Engadin, SCV family unit 1, 1961 Aleko, Alpha, Bayerland, Benalla (extended 1983), Blizzard, Blue Eyes, Bracken (replaced 2000), Brighton, Candoux (Demolished and rebuilt as apartments in 2001. Club now operates from a unit in apartment block on original site), Cawarra, Down Hill Only, Duff's Ski Hire, Enzian, Etna, Four Winds, Howqua, Kida Hara, Macura, Mark II (rebuilt 1996), Nicholas, Perpetual Snow,Tatry, Planica, Port Phillip, Ringwood, Roos, Royal Childrens Hospital, St Christina, SCV family units 2 - 5 (site of 2 now occupied by Cobbler), Windy Corner, Wombats/Cuckoo, 1962 The Abom (extended 1968), Amber, Blitz, Delatite, Geebung (scheduled for sale and demolition in 2015), Heathcote Bus, Hoppers, Sundowner, Telemark, 1963 Anjarra, Auski, Holland, Iltis, Maganni, Mt Buller Home Units, St Bernards, 1964 ABV, Collegians, Coonamar, Currawong, Discobolus, Downhill, Firmow, Glacier, Lantern (later Duck Inn), Mansfield, Meki, Monash University, Neringa, Ski View, Snow Gum, White Star, Yokohama, 

The Buller Chalet in 1933, a year after extensions. From: Lynette Sheridan. Shes and skis: golden years of the Australian Women's Ski Club 1932 - 1982. AWSC, 1983. p. 32.

The Buller Chalet in 1933, a year after extensions. From: Lynette Sheridan. Shes and skis: golden years of the Australian Women's Ski Club 1932 - 1982. AWSC, 1983. p. 32.

1965 Alaska, Alkira (refurbished early 90's), Army (replaced 1988), Avalanche, Corio, Gonzaga, Kooroora (rebuilt after 1953 lodge burnt), Nomad, Nutcracker, Medical Centre (replaced 1995), Schuss S.C., Ski Lib, Snow Down, Terama1966 Australian Alpine Club (Patscherkofel, extended 1972, rebuilt 1988), Cristal, Hu'ski, Puringa, 1967 Jungfrau, Opal (extended 2005), 1968Resort management office, SCV family units, 1969 Bluff Flats, Cedar, Crosscut Flats, Primary School (replaced 1982), Summit fire lookout hut (replaced 1941 hut),

The Buller Chalet showing the 1939 additions.

The Buller Chalet showing the 1939 additions.

1970 Arlberg (extended 1974), The Avenue, Ivor Whittaker Lodge (SCV. Built in stages over the summers of 1967 - 1973), Pendergast ski patrol hut on Baldy, 1971 Mitre (rebuilt 199?), Twin Towers, 1972 ... 1973 Ajax (extended twice), Beehive Apartments, Snowflake, 1974 Pension Grimus, 1975 Entrance gatehouse at Mirimbah, 1976? Ski patrol base (aka The Chook Shed, replaced 1983), 1977 Preston, 1978 Merrijig, VSL, 1979 17 The Avenue, Eltham, Pol-ski, Star Alpine, Yurredla, The last four of these were all built on the 1950 Yurredla site),

Hut built around the ruined Chalet chimney, by either Alan McCubbin or the Junior Ski Club whose members provided much of the capital for the original Chalet. Mid 1940s. Photo N. Cleugh

Hut built around the ruined Chalet chimney, by either Alan McCubbin or the Junior Ski Club whose members provided much of the capital for the original Chalet. Mid 1940s. Photo N. Cleugh

1980 Koomerang (replaced 1957 building), 1981 Breathtaker, 1982 Aeski, Burwood, Molony's, Omski, Shaky Knees Flats, Primary School (replaced 1972 school, moved to La Trobe building c.1997), Summit, 1983 Alpine Retreat, Ski Patrol (replaced 1976 base), University S.C. Cabin (replaced 1950 Cabin) 1984 Medical Centre, 

1985 Cresta, CSIR (replaced former lodge at One Tree Hill), 1986 Kandahar (replaced 1953 building), Timberline (replaced 1954 lodge), Ullr (replaced 1950 lodge), University S.C. (replaced 1956 lodge) 1987 Club 25 (later Ace of Clubs), 1988 Apres, Army, Mt Buller Ski Lodge, Noorinya, Number 96, Patscherkofel, Spurs Cafe, 1989 Downhill, Chalet Apartments stage 1,

1990 ... 1991 ... 1992 Duck Inn (former Lantern Lodge), Melbourne Walking Club (replaced 1951 lodge), Winterbrook, 1993 Alpine Chapel, Black Forest, 1994 Chalet Apartments stage II, 

1995 Chalet Hotel, Mawson (replaced 1955 lodge), Medical Centre (replaced 1965 centre), Woolybutt, 1996 Christiana, CFA Station, Mark II (replaced 1961 lodge), Whistler, 1997 Elkhorn, La Trobe Uni building (alter R.M.B.), 1998 Bluff View, 1999 ...

The list is incomplete. Some buildings with unknown construction dates include: Police station, Snowflake Factory, Clocktower, Corviglia, Winterhaven, Ski School buildings, Chamois race hut, Tyrol Lodge.

Buller ski run names

Bourke Street. Named in either the 1930s or 40s due to the crowds resembling Bourke St in Melbourne. In 1952 Ski Horizon magazine referred to it as a 'skittle alley... where bodies are as hard to evade as dodgem cars'.

Bull Run. Named after the illegally built Bull Lodge that stood at what is now the western end of the village during the 1946 - 48 ski seasons. It overlooked the ski slope that was named after it.

Chamois Chute. Named after Chamois Ski Club which had a lodge that overlooked it. Chamois was founded in 1925 making it the second or third ski club in Victoria. 

Helicopter Flat. A RAAF Sikorsky helicopter landed there 'causing some surprise to skiers' in early July 1951 as part of a training flight to familiarise pilots with rugged country flying conditions. Ski Horizon suggested that 'it does give us a glimpse of future transport possibilities'. EDIT. However a 1950 map also marks Helicopter Flat at the base of Bourke Street, so perhaps this was an established landing point?

Fannys Finish. Next to the out of bounds Chutes on the West Ridge, Fannys runs south from the summit and is the steepest run at Buller. There are two theories on the origin of the name. The first is that it was named after Nathaniel 'Fanny' Strauss, a prominent skier of the 1930s and member of the University Ski Club. He joined the RAAF when the Second World War broke out and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader, but was killed in early 1945 when his Liberator bomber was shot down. This seems to have been the widely accepted origin of the name in the 1940s.

However Don Woods disputed this theory in the March 1950 edition of Ski Horizon and wrote 'the fanny in question... is situated at the southerly extremity of Ted Adamson, from whom I have the story... The Victorian championships of 1931, or thereabouts, were run on this course... Ted entered a section at a [great] speed such that no orthodox method of deceleration was practicable, and he was obliged to cross the finishing line in a most undignified attitude. Hence the name, coined on the spot by Tom Mitchell.'

Ted Adamson is remembered in his widely published photographs and while Fanny Strauss provided 500 pounds in his will to build the USC lodge at Hotham, his contribution to Victorian skiing is not widely known, so I prefer the Strauss theory of the origin of the run's name.

Lois Run. A now overgrown ski run between Chamois and Bull Run areas named by champion skier Tony Aslangul after his then fiancee, probably in the late 1940s.

Shaky Knees. Named by Kofler in the 1930s due to its then rough and ungroomed nature forcing skiers to negotiate expected bumps.

More on Buller history:

Jim Darby. Mt Buller: the story of a mountain. tSm Publishing, 2008.

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.

Harry Stephenson. Skiing the high plains: a history of the ski exploration of Victoria's alpine area. Graphic Books, 1982. Pages 198 - 219.

I. C. Dillon. Tracks of the morning: a Timbertop history text. Geelong Grammar School, 1989. Pages 323 - 357.

Magazines. Most ski magazines have covered the development of Buller, but two Victorian ski monthlies, Schuss and Ski Horizon were published during the formative years of the mountain.

Club histories. Club histories tend to focus on work parties, lodge construction and administration, but they also give a good idea of skiers experiences over the years.

Lynette Sheridan. University Ski Club 1929 - 1979. U.S.C, 1988. Chapter 9, pages 130 - 161.

Janis Lloyd. Skiing into history: 1924 - 1984. Ski Club of Victoria, 1986. Pages 93 - 197.

Ann Crawford. A proud achievement: 50 years of YHA on Mt Buller 1947 - 1997. YHA, 1997. 58 page booklet.

Mushroom Rocks hut  Mt Erica. Inside it was surprisingly big using space between boulders

Mushroom Rocks hut  Mt Erica. Inside it was surprisingly big using space between boulders

Mt Baw Baw

Mt Erica area. 1937. Rover Cabin at Mushroom Rocks, 193X SCV Mt Erica Division (later Baw Baw Ski Club) Hut at Mushrooms Rocks - Mt Erica. 19?? NBW Hut

Baw Baw village

1945. 

 

 

 

 

The 1945 hut built at what became Baw Baw village. Photo M Thomson.

The 1945 hut built at what became Baw Baw village. Photo M Thomson.

 

Victoria: Backcountry club lodges.

1940. Rover Chalet- Bogong High Plains.

19XX Lake Mountain.

19XX Tallangatta Ski Club - Mt Wills.

1951 Upper Murray Ski Club's Lind Lodge on Six Mile Plateau, sold to Forests Commision in 1968, still stands.

19XX Jamieson Ski Club - Mt Skene.

 

 

 

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

At this stage I'm not actively working on early NSW lodges, I will just add a few as I come across information on them when researching other subjects. I hope to compile at least a rough list by the end of 2016. Of course if someone is able to supply a list for an area, they will receive a credit and my thanks. D.S.

Charlotte Pass and the Main Range

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

Kiandra / Selwyn / Cabramurra area

Kianda 1955. Kiandra Pioneer, YHA, Peter Fountain's hiuse 'and others'. (SH 4/55 p9)

Norewegian staff cottages at Guthega were rented by several clubs for 1955 ski season including  SMA (Cooma) Ski Club and Canberra YMCA Ski Club. (SH 7/55 p3)

Perisher Valley / Guthega / Diggers Creek

 

Guthega. 1955. Snowy Mountains Authority Ski Club. 1956? Canberra YMCA Ski Club

Perisher 1955 included: Sydney Uni, Warrugang, Snow Revellers, Cooma, Kandahar, Telemark, Orana, CSIRO, Sydney Ski Club, Abbotsmiths Tow House 'which can accommodate quite a few'.  (SH 4/55 p9)

More on the history of the greater Perisher area:

Peter Southwell-Keely. Highway to heaven: a history of Perisher and the ski resorts along the Kosciuszko Road. Perisher Historical Society, 2013. Some of the information on early lifts conflicts with other sources.

- Appendix F, pp. 249 - 251 lists all club and commercial lodges built in the area (although it excludes staff accommodation, retail premises, etc.)

Thredbo

1957 Crackenback Ski Club, Thredbo Hotel.

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.

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Ski clubs in Victoria

While chasing up dates of early ski accommodation, I came across information on hundreds of early ski clubs, many of which no longer exist. What follows is just a draft of a page which will be moved to it's own page when I have compiled all the relevant information. However I've put it here for feedback before its completion and launch later in 2016. Please send any feedback to sisson.dave at yahoo dot com dot au.

 

While recreational skiing began in NSW before the First World war, it was a relatively rare activity in Victoria. Much of the credit for popularising the sport should go to Hilda Samsing, a nurse of Norwegian origin who served with Australian forces in the First World War. When she returned to Australia Samsing took over the lease of the Buffalo Chalet in 1919 and imported skis sourced from her homeland for winter guests to use. By the mid 1920s the number of people who had visited to Buffalo and enjoyed skiing or who had skied in NSW had grown to a critical mass and in the next decade over a dozen ski clubs were formed. (See the chronological listing at the end of this article.)

Many clubs went into hibernation for the duration of the war; their enthusiastic skiers tended to join the armed forces in disproportionate numbers and transport became difficult. Petrol rating became increasingly harsh and there were restrictions on rail travel including bans on civilians traveling on country trains on Sundays after Japan entered the war in 1941. However a number of clubs struggled on for the duration and bequests by skiers killed in the war allowed several clubs to finance lodges in the late 1940s.

What constitutes a club has varied over the years. In the 1920s there was no need to worry about incorporation, legal liability, etc and an informal group could organise a meeting and call itself a club. But as regulation increased and the definition of financial and personal liability was broadened by court decisions and by state parliament, the previously informal and carefree clubs needed to become more formal and bureaucratic. The Ski Club of Victoria had criticised other ski clubs for complying with this, but in 1944? they quietly became incorporated themselves. In 1948 the newly created Mt Buller Committee of Management decreed that a ski club needed to have at least 25 members to be recognised by them.

The post war ski boom and the availability of sites on ski hills for clubs to build led to an explosion of ski clubs in the late 1940s and 1950s, especially at Buller. Many of the new clubs were rather small and while some continue to prosper 70 years later, others failed after a few years. Harding and Bahnfrei Ski Clubs were important drivers in the post war development of Buller and Baw Baw respectively, but when key members of these clubs retired or moved interstate, those influential clubs folded after less than a decade of existence. Fires were not uncommon and when their lodges burnt down, some clubs were so dispirited that they lacked the drive to rebuild and were disbanded shortly afterwards.

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Origins

Ski clubs were established by many groups:

  • Some were based in a particular town or suburb which was reflected in the club name.
  • Others were founded by employees of a particular company (API, Bogong, CSIR, ICI, etc),
  • Many clubs were established by former students of a school or university. Some are now open to all while others are still restricted to ex students
  • A few clubs were religiously based. AJAX (Associated Judean Athletic Club) for Jews and OLOS (Our Lady Of the Snows) for Roman Catholics
  • Others were breakaways from existing clubs. (Chamois, Alpine Club of Victoria, Omega, Patscherkofel).
  • A number of clubs were created by groups of European migrants from Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.
  • A few clubs are gender based such as the Australian Women's Ski Club. Outside Victoria, the Alpine Club of Southern Tasmania was male only
  • A surprising number of ski clubs were started by former Rover Scouts who wished to continue skiing after the Rover cut off age of 25 (Spark, )
  • At least one club was started by a family and their friends and named after the core family. (Harding Ski Club)
  • Not surprisingly, some clubs simply describe their founders as 'a group of friends'. (Nutcracker.)
  • The reason for the creation of some clubs is lost and others are simply hard to categorise. Even some clubs that still exist are unsure of their origins as none of the original members left a record of the reasons for the clubs foundation and its early years.
  • There were also a few fake clubs. Because it was usually easier for clubs to get a site to build on than it was for private individuals or businesses, some 'clubs' were established, simply to get a site in a ski village. The founders signed up their non skiing friends (and in one case a dog) to the membership list in order to get sufficient members to be considered a club worthy of being granted a building site. Wat Thai Ski Club is one case, apparently the late Keith Hyland wanted his own holiday house at Falls Creek, so he signed up family and friends to form a 'club'. He was in the business of importing feathers from Thailand to fill doonas, pillows and jackets, so he designed the house in a Thai style.

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Golden years

The three decades from the end of the Second World War were the golden years for ski clubs, a strong sense of community at the time meant there was a willingness to join work parties and share accommodation with other members.

...

But from the mid 1970s there was an increasing demand for privacy and all inclusive accommodation with ensuite bathrooms and without bunk beds, cleaning rosters and shared rooms. The outcome of this changing taste was fourfold:

  • An increase in the construction of flats, which were fairly rare at ski fields until the 1970s.
  • Clubs renovated and improved their lodges in response to the demand for a higher standard of amenities and accommodation. In some lodges smaller bedrooms were converted into ensuite bathrooms for adjoining rooms.
  • Many clubs appointed resident managers to eliminate cleaning duties for guests.
  • Some earlier clubs whose founders were now elderly and which had not been successful in succession planning, gave up and folded when faced with the need to fund renovations and increasingly high 'bed taxes' from resort management. 

From the 1970s some newly formed clubs bought an existing lodge or a flat in a new development rather than go to the bother of building themselves. (Banool, Langrenn, etc.) Other clubs faced with an ageing and declining membership or a difficult to maintain lodge sold their sites to developers and took a flat in the new complex as part payment for the site.

However while quite a few clubs died when the founding members retired from skiing, many more continued to thrive. It is difficult to define what made the difference, but having a comfortable lodge, good succession planing and sound finances are three obvious contributors to the survival of clubs.

  • Many of the founding members of post war ski clubs retained control of club committees into late middle age, without involving a younger generation to recruit friends and introduce new ideas. When the founders became too old to ski, there was often no one to keep the club going.
  • As living standards improved, so did expectations for holiday accommodation. Sharing rooms with relative strangers, communal bathrooms and guest cleaning duties became increasingly unpopular. Some clubs rebuilt on a more modern plan, others adapted their dormitories to become more like hotel rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Most surviving clubs now have an on site lodge manager to do cleaning and maintenance work. Often these managers have jobs elsewhere on the mountain and receive free accommodation in return for managing a lodge
  • Some clubs developed a club spirit that crossed between generations and groups of friends, so that everyone felt involved. This is a fairly difficult thing to achieve and clubs that didn't pull it off were more likely to fail.
  • Finances. increasing cost of maintaining ageing buildings, the cost of renovating them to the higher standard of accommodation that people had begun to insist on and rapidly escalating rates and fees from resort management. Well managed and cashed up clubs could ride out these costs without imposing punishingly high fees on their members.
  • Then there is luck. Many former ski clubs did most things right, but were still unable to pull it all together to survive in an increasingly expensive and bureaucratic environment.

While many ski clubs prospered, new clubs were being founded less frequently and the building of lodges reduced from the 1980s. Bundarra at Hotham and the Australian Alpine Club at Dinner Plain were among the last newly created clubs to build. AFAIK no newly established clubs have built lodges in Victoria for over 30 years. (The last in Australia may have been Tasmanian Rovers Ski Club, founded in 1991, which built a 60 bed lodge at Ben Lomond in 1996.)

While new construction almost ceased at Baw Baw, it continued at the three larger resorts, but it was almost exclusively flats, houses, hotels or clubs rebuilding on their original sites. Every year real estate agents have a few listings for old ski club lodges, usually with the suggestion that the site is 'suitable for redevelopment'.

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One of the ski club cabins built at Mt Donna Buang in 1934. Photo Kath Magill

One of the ski club cabins built at Mt Donna Buang in 1934. Photo Kath Magill

Building styles

In the 1920's accommodation on the skifields was available at commercial lodges at six locations: Mt Buffalo, Mt Feathertop, Mt St Bernard, Mt Hotham, Flour Bag Plain (near Dinner Plain) and Mt Buller. The first club lodges (or cabins as they were often called) were built in the 1930s by four clubs at Mt Donna Buang and by the SCV at Boggy Creek on Mt Buller.

Unlike the larger commercial establishments, the early club cabins were fairly small and utilitarian. Essentially they had a main room with a fireplace, bunk beds against the walls, with a small separate kitchen and sometimes an extra sleeping area in the attic. There was a long drop dunny in a small shed and if the occupants wanted a shower, hot water was tipped into a canvas bag with a shower head attached, which was hung off a tree outside. Standing in a tin dish, the water could be tipped into the bag again if a longer shower was required. By the 1940s most cabins boasted a small tin tub which could be used as a cramped bath.

The original Moose Ski Club lodge of post war austerity box style. Built 1949, burnt 11 Nov 1955,

The original Moose Ski Club lodge of post war austerity box style. Built 1949, burnt 11 Nov 1955,

These early club owned cabins made very few concessions to privacy and the architecture was more utilitarian than stylish. They were simply a shelter in bad weather and a place for skiers to eat and sleep. Pre Second World War commercial lodges were mostly a step up from the club cabins, they were mostly larger and more comfortable and while a few places had twin share rooms, multi share rooms were still standard and ensuite bathrooms were unheard of. In the mid 1940s as the Second World War came to an end, club owned cabins of the same basic style were erected at Baw Baw and the CSIR cabin at Buller.

The next step was made by post war club lodges who took their lead from the pre war commercial lodges. In the mid to late 1940s new lodges of a higher standard than the old cabins on Donna and Buller were built by Alpine and University clubs at Hotham, Wangratta at Mt St Bernard, Albury at Falls Creek and the Ski Club of Victoria at Buller. Communal areas and bedrooms were separated, although the rooms still had a dormitory feel to them with six or eight people in bunk beds in each room. For the most part, toilets remained outdoor long drops. Limited attempts were made at aesthetic appeal, but strict post war rationing of building material mostly limited this to stone walls or distinctive paint schemes.

From the 1950s lodge standards continued to rise gradually, bedrooms began to put in a separate wing of the building to shield them from noise in the kitchen and lounge areas. Where larger dormitories had been fairly standard, four or six people per room became the norm. Later ensuite bathrooms appeared [which was the first? Possibly AAC Falls Creek c1972?] although many club lodges built in the 1980s still had bathrooms shared by several rooms.

1HP Ski Club at Mt Hotham.

1HP Ski Club at Mt Hotham.

From the 50s rationing of building materials eased there was a move away from the 'utilitarian box' approach to ski lodge design and some attempts were made at architectural style. A-frame buildings were popular from the mid 1950s into the 1960s and many survive. Other notable examples of attempts at a distinct architectural style are 1HP Ski Club built in 1973 at Hotham and the concrete semi-brutalist Xxxx Ski Club erected at Buller in 196X. But for the most part ski lodges were built in the fashionable architectural styles that prevailed for large buildings at the time, although none of the hundreds of post war lodges were built in the cream brick veneer style that was popular for suburban houses of that era.

A distinct Australian mountain style appeared in the mid 1980s when an effort was made to establish a uniform style of architecture in the newly established town at Dinner Plain. The town was built on the nearest freehold land to Hotham by a syndicate that included the architect Peter McIntyre. It was claimed to be the first new town built in Victoria since the gold rush. While that was not accurate (exceptions include new Tallangatta, Eildon, Rawson and most towns in the Mallee including Mildura), it is true that right from the start, DP was planned with an eye to both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

 

 

Regulations were enforced as to what style of buildings could be erected and what building materials could be used. While only one club lodge was built at Dinner Plain, the DP style caught on elsewhere and while some have harshly described it as twee, it remains popular in the snow country across mainland Australia over 30 years after it was introduced.

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Many clubs have lodges on several mountains. Typically they are all run by the same club administration, with members having equal rights to stay at all lodges (ACV, CSIR, USC and several others).

Two exceptions are the Australian Alpine Club where each lodge is autonomous although members of other projects have limited rights to stay at other affiliates. This autonomy has led to three lodges (Patcherkofel at Buller, Roslyn at Thredbo and Iiiawong near Guthega) severing their ties to the AAC. Another instance of lodge autonomy is the  Rover Scout lodges at Baw Baw, Mt Erica and on the Bogong High Plains where each is run by a separate 'crew', although each crew is ultimately answerable to Scouts Australia, so they they are not entirely independent.

Rather than build a second lodge on another mountain, at least one ski club (Chorki) opted to cater for their members in all seasons by buying a large house at a beach resort.

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Leases and land tenure. The St Bernard Hospice, a miners hotel which was also arguably Victoria's first ski lodge was built in 1863 and the land was made freehold in 1884. It received a new lease of life when it was renovated for skiers in 1925. Another old mining hotel on freehold that was utilised by skiers was Rundells Alpine Lodge at Flour Bag Plain. The first accommodation in the high country specifically built for tourists was the Buffalo Chalet built by the state government in 1911 and leased to a number of operators. With the growth of interest in skiing, Bill Spargo utilised the newly constructed road builders cottage at Hotham Heights for ski accommodation in 1925.

In the same year The Feathertop Bungalow Ltd built their commercial ski lodge on a miners right in order to circumvent the slow bureaucratic pace of obtaining a conventional lease on Crown land. While this pioneering enterprise was commercially successful, it was clearly not a mining business and after two ski seasons they were forced off the site and had to sell their profitable guesthouse to the government owned railways for just 8% of what it cost to build. This precedent was at the front of the minds of all those who built at the ski fields for the next half century and very little construction occurred without every legal formality being strictly observed. There were a few notable exceptions such the illegal squatter village at Buller from 1946 to 1949 and the Jamieson Ski Club hut on Mt Skene built in the 1970's. [Confirm that JSC tenure was dodgy.] So in 1929 the new Buller Chalet Ltd made sure they had formalised a long lease before they built their commercial ski lodge.

Australia's first ski club cabin was built by the Ski Club of Tasmania at Twilight Tarn in 1927 and the 1930's saw the first club cabins in Victoria. From 1930 to 1936 at least four clubs built accommodation on Mt Donna Buang, the nearest ski field to Melbourne and the first true ski resort in Australia. The cabins were built on 'Permissive Occupancy' leases, a somewhat shaky form of tenure where clubs paid a nominal fee to lease their land (typically 1 pound per year at Donna), but in return had no security and could in theory be evicted at short notice with no compensation. While PO's were far from ideal, it was the only type of lease that was easily obtainable at places where ski clubs wished to build, so they continued to be a feature of Victorian ski fields for over 50 years. While no ski clubs were ever thrown off their PO leases without many years notice, the possibility that they might be meant that banks would not issue loans secured by club lodges resulting in difficulties for clubs wishing to fund extensions or new lodges on other mountains.

[Scan the ACV PO lease in Bennett p. 32.]

Paragraph on ACV, USC and early tenure at Hotham, probs with their POs.

One of the strange circumstances that seems unbelievable today is that ski clubs ith leases of Crown land on different mountains had to negotiate with different bureaucratic agencies according to accidents of history as to which bureaucracy was in charge of the land. As it was in a former mining area, Mt Hotham was administered by the Lands Department, Falls Creek adjoined a hydro electric scheme so clubs had to deal with the State Electricity Commission, a government owned company that had a monopoly of electricty generation, distribution and retail over the whole state. Buller, Baw Baw and Donna Buang were in timber harvesting areas, so the Forests Commission was in charge of the land they occupied. Each of these authorities had its own regulations and idiosyncrasies and clubs that lodges on different mountains soon learnt that a totally different approach was required with each one.

The burden of dealing with disinterested bureaucrats was eased by the creation of leaseholders associations and local resort management boards, but club histories and personal memoirs covering the period from the 1950s to the 1970s are full of frustration at dealing with what the writers saw as inflexible bureaucracy.

Para on Introduction of longer leases.

The Land Conservation Council was a government body established to review the use of Crown land. From the 1970s to the 1990s it produced a series of reports covering different regions of Victoria. In 1978? the draft report for the Alpine Area was released and it recommended the formal separation of alpine resorts from adjoining Crown land and that the resorts be administered by an Alpine Resorts Commission. The state government accepted the recommendation and the ARC was established in 198X. Many people at the time saw this as a great innovation, but the ARC became an unwieldy bureaucracy in it's own right. It occupied a suite of offices in Melbourne as well as having staff at each resort. Of course all these new costs had to be paid for.

Clubs and businesses who were used to low leases fees and handshake agreements with the local bosses of their former land managers, with the advent of the ARC were shocked at the huge increases in lease fees and the need to dot every 'i' and cross every 't' in accordance with correct bureaucratic practice. Many had to employ accountants and lawyers for the first time.

More on this, quote one of Julian's eloquent rants.

With the demise of the ARC, each resort got it's own management board (RMB) and is responsible for administering itself. While the members of the RMB are appointed by the state government rather than elected by local ski clubs and businesses, they are definitely more answerable to local stakeholders than the old ARC was. However the complaints of unduly high fees continue, whether those complaints are valid depends on who you talk to.

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Of all the resorts, Mt Buller seems to have had the most trouble with leases. The reluctance of the Forests Commission to grant leases after the 90? bed Buller Chalet burnt down in 1943? led to an illegal squatter village developing as soon as the war finished with huts and caravans hidden  in the scrub. While these were condemned as soon as a proper subdivision had been made in the summer of 1948 - 49, even some clubs with legal tenure such as YHA's Shiver Shanty and CSIR were informed that they would have to move.

Paragraph on the 1980s PO controversy at Buller. "In 1982-83 Omega, Monsanto, Ullr, Melbourne Walking Club and Chamois were advised that Permissive Occupancy rights on the mountain would be terminated."

Paragraph on the move to more secure leases, initially under old form of management, then by RMB's. A little on the difficulties clubs had with inflexible Vogon like bureaucrats insisting they comply with inappropriate or absurd building regulations designed for non snowy areas  like those requiring exit doors open outwards (unsafe as they could be blocked by snow) and bathroom windows requiring vents (leading to snow blowing into bathrooms).

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Nordic Ski Clubs. As nordic clubs tend not to own buildings, they have been much more fluid. Clubs have appeared and disappeared years later leaving no trace of their existence. Even clubs that are decades old can be dissolved as shown by the demise of Mt Bullfight Ski Club in 2014. So while this list attempts to include all nordic ski clubs, it is inevitable that a few have been excluded. Please email any additions or corrections.

1990 to today.

Redevelopment of sites.

Little new land available to subdivide ... why? bureaucratic lethargy, greenies and/or lack of real demand?

In recent decades very little new land has been released for development at ski resorts, a few blocks in Snow Gums Lane at Falls Creek, new summit road at Buller, Hotplate Drive at Hotham, the present development of the underutilised RMB site at Hotham, but very few clubs built on these new sites.

Partly as skiing had become a mature industry, growth had slowed and there was little unfilled demand for accommodation on the ski fields. Another reason was that it was becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to expand the built area, even a small block was subject to expensive environmental impact surveys, the days when a club could just turn up and select where they wanted to build like the  SCV did at Hotham and the did at Buller in 1947 were long gone. Then there were utilities, in the 1940s huts were lit with kerosene lamps or the wealthier ones had a generator. In 1946 when the SCV wanted the road extended to the site of their proposed lodge on Buller, they got a member who was a nearby logging contractor to build it on an alignment of his choosing in a few hours with his bulldozer. By contrast in recent  a properly built road has to be made at vast expense and electricity and gas connections are required. All this costs big money and volunteer labour can't be used.

One major change to the way clubs are run is the hosting of commercial guests at most clubs, this has provided additional income when costs imposed by resort management boards rose at a rate much faster than inflation and at a time when the membership of many clubs was aging and not being replaced by new younger members, ensured that club lodges would be close to full when there was good snow.

But this development changed the experience at clubs that accepted outside guests, instead of being a tight knot group where everyone was either a member of a guest of a member, the experience was closer to a hotel at any resort where guests would meet strangers they would never see again. However the upside is that many regular guests at club lodges enjoyed the experience and decided to become members themselves.

Higher 'rates' and overhead costs,building codes

The first generation of club lodges built in the decade after the second world war were mostly built by members and not subject to strict building regulations, although at Buller the ?local committee? insisted that sites be kept tidy. Many of these lodges burnt down, Albury, Moose, etc plus the Buller one that burnt down the first weekend it was occupied,)

As the ski villages developed they were subject to varying levels of administration. Before the war Donna Buang was the only proper resort with club cabins, but te xxx, established in 1934 was mainly concerned with public amenities and ski runs. With the decline of Donna, the four resorts that developed after the war were overseen by different government departments, Buller and Baw were on Forests Commission land, as a former mining area Hotham was on territory controlled by the Lands Department and Falls Creek was built near the Kiewa Hydro Scheme, so it was under the charge of the State Electricity Commission, the government owned monopoly electricity company. A fifth ski resort, Mt Buffalo was on land owned by a fourth bureaucracy National parks, although no club lodges were built there.

These agencies each developed their own approach to the ski villages on their land, but generally if clubs and businesses behaved, they had a fairly hands off approach. Thus charges and fees were low, but so were amenities. Most early clubs had their own electric generators and septic tanks and the unsealed village roads were largely maintained by those who used them.

Over the decades resorts began to supply services and fees increased, but they were not so high as to be a problem to most clubs.

However everything changed in the early 1980s. It was obvious to anyone observing the ski fields that it was absurd that five tourist resorts should be overseen by four different government agencies. None of which had the slightest interest in tourism.

So what happens to the buildings that were owned by former ski clubs? Many of the older club lodges have a prime position, they were the first buildings in what developed into a town. Many of these have been demolished and replaced with multistory developments, often with shops, cafes or a bar at ground level with several stories of flats built above. Others were bought by lift companies and utilised as staff accommodation, examples are spiral stairs and Dolomite at Hotham. Older unrenovated lodges such as Geebung at Mt Buller were offered as development sites with barely a mention of an existing building. Perhaps the best outcome is that newly formed clubs buy the old clubs lodge, modernise it and continue using it as a club lodge.

Paragraphs on: 

The unique experience of club life. Both living in the lodges and administration, membership, etc.

LCC reccomendations.

ARC disaster.

Independent RMBs government appointed rather than elected by stakeholders.

Building codes, mostly sensible, if expensive (sych as fire regs), but some quite mad such as exit doors required to open outwaards and bathroom windows thing.

Extra expenses, reasons for them.

JNB's eloquent rant.

Expensive plans, in particular the 2012? report that decided that most buildings at Baw Baw were sub standard and that the struggling resort should be largely demolished and rebuilt. This report was paid for from funds paid for by the stakeholders.

Ski club peak bodies

North East District Ski Association. No discussion of ski clubs in Victoria can overlook NEDSA. Established in 1937, it was the first peak body working for the interests of member clubs in Victoria and gave its member clubs a level of influence beyond the region. Apart from lobbying for the interests of skiers in the region, NEDSA ran inter club races and was instrumental in establishing the Federation of Victoria Ski Clubs in 1947. After the establishment of FOVSC (and the incorporation of that body into the Victorian Ski Association in 1955), the influence of NEDSA gradually waned, although it continued to run inter club races until it was disbanded in 1971 with it's assets being donated to ?Falls Creek Race squad? (or similar).

NEDSA membership. Albury, Beechworth, Benalla, Bogong, Myrtleford, Upper Murray, Wagga, Wangratta and a few others. (?Tallangatta?) It had 20 member clubs circa 1960.

Federation of Victorian Ski Clubs and Victorian Ski Association (later Victorian Snowsports Association).

In the 1920s the Ski Club of Victoria was by far the biggest club (and the oldest if the revived Bright Alpine Club is discounted) and it took upon itself the role of advocating for all skiers in Victoria. With the growth of skiing in the 1930s and the creation of dozens of new ski clubs, the preeminence of the SCV began to be questioned and a proposal to create a ?Victorian Ski Council? was floated as early as ?1933?. However the SCV continued to describe itself as "the ski club" and other clubs began to view the SCV as advocating for its own interests rather than those of other clubs or the skiing community as a whole. One of many instances was the SCV opposing the building of a new ski run in 1936 at Donna Buang (Victoria's busiest ski resort at the time) apparently because the decision to cut the run was made by a committee of interested parties rather than the SCV alone.

From 1930 most clubs had paid an 'association' fee to the SCV, but a perception of increasing arrogance led to the University Ski Club and Wangaratta Ski Club to disaffiliate in 1938, Warburton in 1939, with other clubs serving ties at about the same time. Clubs close to the snowfields also felt that their interests were being ignored, leading them to establish the North East District Ski Association (NEDSA) in 193X.

Tensions continued to grow until the Black Friday fires of January 1939 burnt ski lodges on four mountains, when attention was diverted to recovering from the catastrophe. With the outbreak of the Second World War seven months later, the issue was put on hold for the duration. However following the bumper 1946 ski season, a view developed that rather than toning down it's perceived pre war arrogance, the SCV was acting in an increasingly bullying and out of touch manner. This led to the leading ski clubs of the time creating the Federation of Victorian Ski Clubs (FOVSC) as a peak body for clubs and inviting all other clubs to join. Not surprisingly the SCV refused and they responded with an 11 page declaration of war in their club magazine.

The FOVSC and its constituent clubs appear to have been remarkably polite in the battles that followed, always acknowledging the SCV as a a large and important club, but denying it was entitled to any particular rights that were not due to other clubs. Slowly the FOVSC influence expanded. It started Ski Horizon, a successful monthly magazine, it took over production of the Victorian section of the Australian Ski Yearbook, took over the local affiliation to the Ski Club of Great Britain (something that was especially prized by the SCV) and created a separate ski racing body to entitle members of FOVSC clubs to compete outside the state, as the SCV refused to acknowledge them if they were not linked with the SCV.

The post war ski boom vastly increased the number of skiers and the number of ski clubs, making the SCV's stance that it was "the" ski club increasingly absurd. However the committee of that club slowly changed and new members were less hostile to other clubs. From 1952 they agreed to meet with the FOVSC's "Olive Branch Committee". Faced with the inevitable, the SCV began to moderate its position, but in an attempt to "save face" they insisted on several concessions including a new name for the peak body if they were to join and that publication of Ski Horizon, which they perceived as a competitor to their own club magazine Schuss, should cease. After further negotiations the Victorian Ski Association was formed in July 1955 and the last issue of Ski Horizon was published in December of that year.

This dispute lasted for over two decades and consumed an enormous amount of energy that could have been more usefully directed elsewhere, but with the issue resolved, ski clubs in Victoria went on to become highly successful over the next 30 years.

It should be noted that today the Ski Club of Victoria is one of the most pleasant and active clubs on Mt Buller and with the exception of a few controversial claims made in their club history published in 198X, there have been no significant provocations or clashes with other ski clubs for over 60 years.

[The above section is very rough. it will be expanded and extensively revised,]

Para on late VSA history.

Today the nearest think to a peak body or lobby group for skiing is Ski and Snowboard Australia which oversees racing.

[insert somewhere] However these divisions were mostly at office bearer level and leading figures in clubs that were members of the FOVSC such as Don Bennett (ACV) and Warrand Begg (USC) remained members of the SCV during the decade of more or less open hostility

Club histories

Links to club histories have been included if there is one on their website. Other club histories or reminiscences (short or long) can be hosted for free on their own page on this site. Please send them to *****

This very rough draft will be improved and extended, it should be in it's final form by the end of 2016.

The list does not include school or university ski groups that call themselves clubs, but operate entirely within the institutional structure. It also excludes private groups of friends that may own a house or flat together and call themselves a club, but which are not incorporated and do not behave like a club.

Links to club websites are shown in blue. In a few cases where the club maintains a low profile and does not have a website, the link is to a Facebook page.

List of Victorian ski clubs by date

Links to club website are in blue. A < sign after the date indicates the club may have been established a little earlier.

Several school 'ski clubs' from the 1930s to the 1980s have not been included on this list as it appears they were simply informal groups run at the whim of a single teacher and not really clubs by any realistic definition of 'club'.

At this early stage it is likely the list below is incomplete. Please send any corrections or extra information to sisson.dave at yahoo dot com dot au

Pre 1940

1888.  Bright Alpine Club. Re-invigorated as Bright Ski Club circa 1927 and lasted until WWII. 'Reformed' in 1954. Now defunct
1924.  Ski Club of Victoria. Built at Donna Buang 1934, Buller 194X, Hotham 197X and bought lodge at Falls. All now sold or abandoned except Buller
1925.  Chamois Ski Club. Founded by SCV president and office bearers after apparent internal club dispute. Originally named Chamois Club of Aust
1926.  Omeo Ski Club. Name changed to Ski Club of East Gippsland in 1952 to attract members from a wider area. Short club history on website
1927.  Mt Buffalo Alpine Club. Now defunct
1928< Melbourne Walking Club. Despite the name, the club were very active skiers from late 20s and built lodges at Donna Buang & Buller
1929.  University Ski Club. Built lodges at Donna Buang, Hotham, Buller. Bought lodge at Falls Creek
1930.  Wangaratta Ski Club. A very active club from the 1930s. Built a lodge at Mt St Bernard in 1946.
1931.  Warburton Ski Club. Appears to have folded in the early 1950s when Donna Buang ceased to be a ski resort.
1932. Australian Women's Ski Club. Victorian Branch (Buller)
1934. Edelweiss Ski Club. Founded July 1934. Built the second club lodge on Hotham in 1947. Club still exists but keeps a low profile.
1934. Melbourne University Ski Club. (The University Ski Club split in 1934 to allow a Melb Uni student only club to contest "intervarsity" races.)
1934 circa. Junior Ski Club of Australia. Despite the name, this was an adult club. It had some of Victoria's best skiers as members, many had shares in
                   Buller Chalet. Was in 'comparative dormancy' in early 1950s, revived 1954 - ?. Now defunct
1934< Rover Scouts. Developed into several ski oriented 'crews' including Alpine Crew (Bogong High Plains) & Captain Hurley(?) Crew (Mt Erica)
1935. Albury Ski Club. While Albury is in NSW, the club draws members from both sides of the border and built its lodge at Falls Creek.
1937< 58th Battalion Benalla Ski Club. Named after a First World War unit. Appears not to have been revived post WWII, but Benalla S.C. formed 1958
1938. Myrtleford Ski Club. Built at Falls Creek in 194X. Website has brief history.

1940 - 1949.

1940. Bogong Ski Club. Falls Creek. Formed by Kiewa hydro employees. Website has a detailed club history.

1944. Alpine Club of Victoria. Built lodges at Hotham (194x) and Buller (195x).

1945. CSIR Ski Club. Built first club lodge on Buller in 1946, built at Falls Creek in 1962 and bought Drift Chalet at Hotham in 1973. Historical timeline.

1946. Bull Lodge Ski Club. Built unauthorised 4 bed lodge at Buller in 1946 (demolished 1948), were instrumental in pushing for Buller subdivision
          and in establishing FOVSC. Club dissolved in 1951 when key committee members transferred overseas.
1946. Skyline Ski Club. Another club formed by mostly Kiewa hydro employees. Falls Creek lodge occupied 1948. Now defunct

1947? YHA Snow Committee. (Buller) YHA started as keen volunteer group, members left for other clubs as it slowly evolved into a discount hotel chain
1947. Australian Postal Institute Ski Club, Name changed to Apira Ski Club in 1980s. Buller lodge ready 1949. Website has a club history. Download it!
1947. Monsanto Ski Club, later M Ski Club. Buller lodge built 1949
1947. Tallangatta and District Ski Club. Mt Wills. The club declined in the late 50s and was reformed in the late 1960s, appears to still exist

1948. Mansfield Division of SCV, founded, later became Mansfield Ski Cub. Dissolved October 1957.
1948. Omega Ski Club. Built Buller lodge 1948. Website has some history and background on the relocation of the lodge in 1985.
1948. Timberline Ski Club. Buller, website has very
1948. Ullr Ski Club. Buller lodge built late 40s by pre war skiers. Club dissolved and lodge sold to Rino Grollo in 1981. Lodge demolished & rebuilt 1986

1949. Benmore Ski Club. Buller, built summer 1951 - 52
1949. Yurredla Ski Club. Buller lodge occupied 1950 and rebuilt 1979. Formed by Brighton Rover Scouts.

1940s. Bahnfrei Ski Club. Very active club on Baw Baw, but disbanded in 1953 after key members moved out of Gippsland.
1940s. Beechworth Ski Club. "inactive" by 1953
1940s. Boondoo. (Hotham) Originally Western District Ski Club but name changed before 1949.
1940s. Howqua Ski Club. Inactive by 1953
1940s. Lazy Eight Ski Club. Inactive by 1953
1940s. Moose Ski Club. The "Meese" were one of the most energetic, high profile and flamboyant clubs on Buller until their lodge was burnt 6/1955
1940s. Rongbuk Ski Club. Inactive by 1953
1940s. Tanjil Ski Club.
1940s. Telemark Ski Club. Owned Johnson's Hut. Merged with Ski Club of East Gippsland in 1966. Not associated with todays Telemark Nordic Ski Club

1950 - 1959

1950. BMW Ski Club. Brighton Mountain Wanderers. Lodge finished 51.. Were major players on Buller, but had friends in SCV and never joined FOVSC
1950? Mawson Skiing and Touring Club. Buller lodge 1955. Formed by St Kilda Rovers. Club dissolved and sold lodge 1994. Mawson flats now on site

1951. Gliss Ski Club. Buller. Formed by employees of the Government Aircraft Factory. Website has a brief history.
1951. Upper Murray Ski Club..Corryong area membership, Built Lind Lodge at Six Mile Plateau beyond Nariel in 1951, sold 1968 to Forests Commission.
1951 or earlier. Reindeer Ski Club. (Buller, built summer 1951 -52

The stated membership of some very high profile clubs is surprisingly low, so these figures may not be that accurate.  This list is from shortly after the VSA was newly formed and about 30 mostly smaller clubs or country clubs that were affiliated with NEDSA were not members at this stage. From Australian Ski Yearbook 1957, p. 57.

The stated membership of some very high profile clubs is surprisingly low, so these figures may not be that accurate.  This list is from shortly after the VSA was newly formed and about 30 mostly smaller clubs or country clubs that were affiliated with NEDSA were not members at this stage. From Australian Ski Yearbook 1957, p. 57.

1952 or earlier. Cedar Ski Club (Buller)
1952 or earlier. Woollybutt Ski Club (Buller). Was "in recess by 1953"
1952 or earlier. General Motors Holdens Ski Club. (Buller)
1952 or earlier. Dandenong Ski Club. Buller
1952 or earlier. Buller Ski Club.
1952 or earlier. Harding Ski Club.
1952 or earlier. Tali Ski Club.

1954 or earlier. Belmore. Buller. (as distinct from Benmore) Did this exist?
1954 or earlier. RAAF. Buller.
1954 or earlier. Army. Buller.
1954 or earlier. Gray Rocks. Buller.
1954 or earlier. Southern Cross. Buller.
1954 or earlier. Timberline. Buller.

1952. Kiewa Valley Ski Club. (Falls Creek)

1953. Geelong Ski Club. Buller.
1953. RAN Ski Club. For serving and ex navy. Buller, later Perisher & Thredbo. Website has a brief history. 
1953 or earlier. Southern Cross Ski Club. Buller.
1953. Mt Buller Ski Jumping Club.

1954. Double B Ski Club. Stands for Buller Bachelors. Claims to be the first A frame lodge in Australia. Website has a short history.

1955. Castlemaine Division of SCV. Disolved early 60s when many of its members became foundation members of Falls Creek AAC.

1956. AKLA Ski Club. Buller lodge finished 5 months by June 56.
1956. ICI Ski Club, now Icicles Ski Club. Buller. Website has a history page.
1956. OLOS Ski Club. Our Lady Of the Snows. Not surprisingly a club for Roman Catholics. Buller lodge 1957, Hotham flat 1981

1957. Koomerang Ski Club. Buller, then Thredbo, Falls, Hotham. Incorporated the informal Scotch College Ski Club.

1958. Benalla Ski Club. Buller.
1958. Ringwood Ski Club. Buller lodge built not long after formation, rebuilt 2006.
1958. Spark Ski Club. Buller. Established by former Malvern Rover Scouts.

1950s mid. OGGS Ski Club. Buller. For former students of Geelong Grammar School.

1950s late. Iltis Ski Club. Buller, lodge occupied 1962.

Others

"Clubs that have fallen by the wayside ... Mt Buller Eagles, Delatite, ..., ..., Downhillers, Paradise, Eureka, Youth League, White Star, Alpha, ..., ..., Woolybutt." (SH 9/53 p5)

55 Ski clubs in Victoria, not counting country or school divisions of the SCV. SH 12/53 p2

Active clubs at Buller Jan 54. Alpine, BMW, USC, Ullr, Harding, Moose, Yurredla, Reindeer, Southern Cross, GMH (name changed to Firn c.1953), Gliss, API, Benmore, Belmore, Chamois, AWSC, Cedar, Dandenong, Gray Rocks, Mawson, Melb Walking Club, Monsanto, Morgan Pattern, Omega, CSIR, Timberline, YHA, Kandahar, RAAF, SCV. (SH 1/54 p8)

1954 or earlier ...). Dawn (Falls Creek). Morona Towalla (aka Mulligatawny. Had building at Falls Creek)

Joined FOVSC in 1955. Morona Towalla (Mulligatawny), Twenty-Five, Elk Lodge

Membership of larger ski clubs in 1954 (approximate). (SH 7/54 p3)
SCV. 1600, USC 500, YHA Snow Committee 200, Albury 200,
'The total number of clubs in Victoria is more than 60 with total membership of about 4,000 - 5,000.'
[Around 30 Clubs were members of the Federation of Victorian Ski Clubs at the time. Notable non members were the SCV and some of the newer and smaller clubs.]

Dawn Falls Creek. Lodge moved to Windy Corner in 1986 to become SES HQ [JNB 196]

1960 - 1969

1960. Cawarra Ski Club. Buller.
1960. Tatry Ski Club. Buller.

1961. Mt Baw Baw Ski Club gained independence, formerly Baw Baw Div of SCV. 1st lodge at Baw Baw in 1945. Website history page & historic photos
1961. Lonsdale Ski Club. Has a lodge at Baw Baw

1962. Blue Eyes Ski Club. Buller. Established by the Latvian community. 
1962. Carey Alpine Club. Falls Creek. For former students of Carey Grammar. Website has brief history.
1962. Nutcracker Ski Club. Buller lodge occupied in 1965. Website has a club history.
1962. Royal Children's Hospital Ski Club, now RCH Alpine Club. Built at Buller mid 60's, rebuilt 81 - 84, Hotham early 70s. Website has short history

1963. ANARE Ski Club. Established by former members of Antarctic expeditions, lodge at Baw Baw. Has a published club history.
1963. Australian Alpine Club, Falls Creek. Original lodge built 1963 (Now Red Onion), lodge on new site built 1971.
1963. Collegians Ski Club. Built lodge at Buller in 1963. Established by former students of Wesley College.
1963. Coonamar Ski Club. Buller lodge occupied for 1964 season.
1963. McMillan Ski Club. Hotham. Website has a club history.
1963. Neringa Ski Club. Buller. Originally established by the Lithuanian community. Website has a brief history.
1963. Old Paradian’s Association Ski Club, now Opal Ski Club. Buller lodge built 1967, website has a brief history.
1963. Oldina Ski Club. Falls Creek lodge built 1965 and a flat at Buller in late 1970s. Website has a history page
1963. Australian Alpine Club, Patscherkofel. Buller lodge 1966, severed ties with AAC in 1980s and became the autonomous Patscherkofel Lodge
1963. Trapdoor Ski Club. Built Hotham lodge in 1965. Website has brief history.

1964. Alkira Ski Club. Buller lodge built 1965. Website has a brief history.
1964 or earlier. Mansfield Ski Club, now Mansfield Ski Lodge. Buller.
1964. Skilib Alpine Club. Lodge on Buller, flat at Falls Creek. Website has a few sentences of history.

1965. Corio Ski Club. (Buller)
1965. Du Nord Ski Club. Baw Baw
1965. Mt Bogong Club. Partly a ski club, partly a hut group. Maintains huts and skis on Victoria's highest peak. Not associated with Bogong Ski Club

1960s mid. Terama Ski Club. Buller. Website has a history page on the clubs foundation.

1966 or earlier. Schuss Ski Club. Lodges at Buller, Falls and Thredbo.
1966. Tivoli Ski Club. Falls Creek lodge finished 1968. Originally founded by German speaking migrants. Website has a short history.

1967. Wonthaggi Ski Club. Baw Baw lodge built 1967, club may be older. {Lodge may have reverted to resort after bad 2013 season?]

1968. Karnulurra Ski Club. Hotham lodge occupied 1969. Website has brief history.
1968. Ormond Ski Club. Hotham. 
1968. RVIB Ski Club, now VIBE Ski Club (for blind skiers). Had use of Baw Baw lodge 1977 - 2008. (May have been evicted by Vision Aust or RMB?)

1969. Swindlers Valley Ski Club. Website has a couple of lines of history.
1969. Wongungarra Alpine Ski Club. Hotham.

1960s prob. Banksia Ski Club.

1960s prob. Benbullen Ski Club. Baw Baw.

1960s prob. Bunerong Ski Club. Baw Baw

1960s prob. Coora Valley Ski Club. Baw Baw

1960s prob. Mulligatawny Skiers Association. Buller. [Unsure of relationship with 1950s Falls Creek club of similar name.]

1960s prob. Rob Gray Ski Club. Has a lodge at Baw Baw.

1970- 1979

1970. Bowna Ski Club, now Riverina Alpine Ski Club. Falls Creek.
1970. Marouka Ski Club. Hotham.

1971. Austen Alpine Club. Established by BHP employees. Hotham lodge occupied 1974. Website has a brief club history.

1972. Ajax Ski Club. Buller. Ajax stands for Associated Judean Athletic Clubs. Lodge finished for 1973 season, bought site from Matterhorn S.C.
1972. Asgaard Alpine Club. Hotham, website has amusing history. Prime site to be developed into Davenport Central which will include member lodge
1972. Australian Alpine Club, Anton Huette. Hotham, AAC lodges are autonomous but members have limited rights to stay at other affiliates
1972. Banool Ski Club. Club formed to buy Banool Lodge at Falls Creek.
1972. Langrenn Ski Club. Formed to buy a flat at Imaj in Falls Creek. Website has brief history.
1972. Telemark Nordic Ski Club. Based in Albury / Wodonga, originally Corryong. Not associated with Telemark S. C. which merged with SCEG in 1966

1973 or earlier. IHP Alpine Club. (I Horse Power.) 1973 Hotham lodge is for sale and run by Hotham Accom Services. 'After 40+ years,  members of 1HP would like to encourage a younger generation to enjoy the lodge into the future'.

1973. Anton Huette, Australian Alpine Club. Hotham. Self governing Hotham club affiliated with AAC. A page on the history of the lodge.

1974. Arrabri Ski Club. Hotham lodge occupied 1977. Website has a club history.
1974. Mogul Ski Club. Falls Creek, website has a brief history,

1976. AE Ski Club. Buller. Formed by employees of Applied Engineering. Website has brief history.
1976. Brush Ski Club. Built lodge at Hotham in 1977. 
1976. Merrijig Ski Club. Buller.

1977. Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club. Mt Beauty. Has a day lodge at Falls Creek. Website has a history page.
1977. Eiger Ski Club. Hotham lodge occupied 1980. Website has a short history.
1977. Mansfield Nordic Ski Club. Still operating in 2002

1978. Australian Disabled Skiers Federation, now Disabled Wintersport Australia.
1978. Eltham Ski Club. Buller.
1978. Everest Lodge. A ski club at Baw Baw.
1978. Melbourne Nordic Ski Club.
1978. Pol-Ski Club. Buller. Originally founded by members of the Polish community.
1978. Star Alpine Ski Club. Buller lodge.

1979. Ascom Alpine Club. Falls Creek. Occupies Ascom Ski Lodge built in 1963.

1970s? Burrumbeep Ski Club. (Hotham)

1970s? Kalyna Ski Club. (Hotham, founded by the Ukranian community)

1970s. Omski. Buller. Founded by Old Melbourne Gramarians. Bought Downhill SC lodge, rebuilt on same site in 1985. Website has very brief history.

1974. APEA Ski Club. Hotham lodge occupied 1976. Website has brief history.

1975 or earlier. Nindethana Ski Club. Hotham lodge occupied 1975.

mid 1970s. GAFIA Club. Baw Baw.

mid 1970s. Kongoola Ski Club. Hotham.

mid 70s. Preston Ski Club now Preston Alpine Lodge. Built Buller lodge in 1977.

1970s. Chorki Ski Club. Falls Creek. Established by a group of teachers, thus the club name. Website has a brief history.

1970s. Tallawarra Ski Club. Hotham.

1980 onwards

1980 or earlier. Aadrvark Alpine Club. Hotham lodge occupied 1981.

1980 or earlier. The Lodge Ski Club. Hotham.

1980. Asterix Ski Club. Hotham lodge finished 1982. Website has very brief history.
1980. Bembooka Ski Club. Hotham lodge finished 1981. A page on club history.
1980. Bundarra Ski Club. Hotham.

1981 or earlier. Eumarellah Ski Club. Hotham lodge finished in 1981.

1981 or earlier. Leeton Alpine Sports Club. Hotham lodge occupied 1981.

1983. Back of Baw Baw Nordic Ski Club. Also known as Team Gwinear, May have also been known as Baw Baw Nordic Ski Club.

mid 1980s. St George Alpine Club Hotham. Built lodge at Jindabyne NSW in 1970s, bought 6 bedroom area in Lawlers. Has separate Hotham members

1987. Australian Alpine Club, Dinner Plain. Self governing club affiliated with AAC. Possibly the last new club to build a lodge in Victoria.

1989. Downhill Ski Club. Buller. It is not clear if it is connected with the original Buller club of same name that appears to have died in 1950s.

1993. Nomad Ski Club. Buller. Took over existing lodge from previous owners.

No dates (as yet)

No date. Cosela Alpine Club. Falls Creek.

No date. Club Edski. Baw Baw.

No date. Euroa Ski Club. Presumably evolved from Euroa Division of SCV, whose lawyers were unsuccessful in getting the rights to their hut on SCV land at Buller circa 1970?

No date. John Gardiner Ski Club. Baw Baw.

No date. Gravbrot Ski Club. Hotham.

No date. Jalanga Ski Club. Hotham

No date. Jungfrau Ski Club. Buller.

No date. Langi-Taan Ski Club. Hotham

No date. Mitre Ski Club. Buller. Probably 1960s.

No date. Meki Ski Club. Buller lodge built 1960s.

No date. Ski Players. Hotham.

No date. Skali Ski Club. Has a lodge at Baw Baw, interior appears to be updated 1970s? construction.

No date. Tempest Ski Club. Has a 1960's looking lodge at Baw Baw.

No date. The Avenue Ski Club. Buller.

No date. Vagabond Ski Club. Hotham.

No date. Valhalla Ski Club. Hotham.

No date. VSL Ski Club. Buller.

No date. Wagga Alpine Ski Club. Falls Creek.

No date. Woomargama Ski Club. Falls Creek. Their lodge was sold in 1986 and demolished to make way for Astra.

No date. Womburroo Ski Club. Has a flat in High Plains complex. No info but a member of FCAA

No info. Winterhaven Ski Club, shown on a Buller map, but nothing on Google or Facebook

No date. Mt Bullfight Ski Club. Former Alexandra based nordic ski club. 'Put into recession 2014'

No date. Lake Mountain Ski Club. Operating 2002, appears to be defunct.

No date. Howmans Gap Allstars Inc. A Falls Creek nordic ski club. Active pre 2002 to present.

No date. Pegasus Alpine Club. Hotham.

No date. Peninsula Ski Club. Hotham.

No date. Reynard Ramblers Nordic Ski Club Inc. No information so far, Presumably was active at the Long Plain / Mt Reynard area north of Licola.

No date. Shepparton Alpine Club. Hotham.

No date, Tantani. Hotham.

No date. Tinogra Ski Club. Hotham

No date. The Winter Group Cross Country Ski Club was quite active in the 1990s. Their former website is no longer live.

Were these lodges ever owned by proper clubs?

Buller resort map shows: Black Tulip, Caribou(x), Club 25, Cobbler, Cortina, Corviglia Ski Club, Currawong, Delatite, Elk, Firmow, Four Winds, Gonzaga, Howqua, Neverest, 

Falls Creek shows BSM Ski Club, Camber Ski Club

Hotham shows Dolomite Alpine Ski Club, apparently used as staff quarters

Tasmania

See the Victorian section for a more detailed description of ski clubs in general.

The development of ski clubs in Tasmania followed a similar trajectory to those in Victoria, although the smaller scale of the sport in Tasmania and occasionally marginal snow conditions meant there was a lot less politics. In recent decades the only major causes of friction have been on Ben Lomond relating to lift companies and over a commercial business.

In the 1920s two ski clubs were founded. Not surprisingly for Tasmania, one catered to the south and one to the north. The agreed demarcation line was the 42nd parallel. Members of these pioneering clubs did a great deal of ski exploration, working out the best places to ski and putting in basic infrastructure. The Hobart based Ski Club of Tasmania built Australia's first ski club hut at Twilight Tarn in 1927 while the Northern Tasmanian Alpine Club built ski huts at Ben Lomond in the 1930s and later began building the road that still services the mountain today. 

In 1932 they were joined by the mainly student based University Ski Club. The Hobart Walking Club were also enthusiastic skiers in the 1930s and while they are not technically a ski club, they were effectively one as they contributed to ski related work parties and raced against other ski clubs. These four clubs were joined by the Wellington Ski Club which soon abandoned the mountain on the edge of Hobart they took their name from, for the more reliable snow at Mt Mawson.

Later there were four major stimuli to the development of new clubs:

  • The end of the Second World War led to the expansion of skiing at Mt Mawson and the creation of a new ski field at Mt Rufus. Soon afterwards the  influx of central and northern European migrants from the late 1940s boosted membership of most clubs.
  • In 1966 the construction of the road up precipitous Jacobs Ladder to the Ben Lomond ski slopes led to the creation of today's village with several new clubs being established.
  • The construction of the 'Jeep Track' from Lake Dobson to the ski slopes in 1962 led to the formation of Mt Mawson and Oldina ski clubs who built high level lodges near the University Ski Club hut.
  • Management and sewage issues at Ben Lomond village created a pent up demand for building sites. Things were mostly resolved by 1976 and a number of ski clubs based on the mountain were established in following years.

Before the Jacobs Ladder road was built up Ben Lomond, several individuals built ski huts high on Legges Tor. A few of the smaller lodges in the present village were also built by individuals rather than clubs. While some of the owners described themselves as 'clubs', except for NTAC's Summit Hut, it appears that all of them were effectively privately owned and not run by clubs.

Peak bodies

Before the Second World War there was little need for a state coordinating body for skiing. The NTAC had a monopoly of club skiing in the north (except for the Rover Scouts) and in the south, other clubs were happy for the Ski Club of Tasmania to handle the bother of lobbying and organising races. Tasmania was mostly without the rancour that characterised Victorian ski club politics in the mid 20th century.

However it was decreed by skiers from the mainland that a state body was required if Tasmanians wished to participate in the Australian National Ski Federation and the races it organised. So after a little north-south sparring, a Tasmanian Ski Council was duly established in 1932 with three delegates from south of the 42nd parallel and three from the north. The creation of the ski council appears to have been mainly to comply with demands from interstate and over its life it had little to do with internal Tasmanian affairs.

The pre war demarcation line of the 42nd parallel included areas favoured by northern skiers like Ben Lomond, the Western Tiers and Cradle Mountain, but fortuitously it left the new post war ski area of Mt Rufus in the south. As most Rufus skiers tended to identify more with Hobart than Launceston, this assisted skiers at the new ski field to interact with other skiers in the south of the state. Around 1950 Rufus Ski Club built a couple of huts on their mountain with a view to installing tows, but the end of work on nearby Hydro projects left them with too few local members to proceed. In the early 1970s it again looked like Rufus might become the premier ski area in the state, but sadly nothing much happened except for a few studies.

Today most ski clubs work together to represent the two main ski fields and the websites for each peak body, the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association at Mt Mawson and the Ben Lomond Committee (formerly the Ben Lomond Ski Association) are also the main websites for each resort.

List of ski clubs in Tasmania

Unless noted, all clubs still exist. The links are to the club's website or to their Facebook page if they don't maintain a website. However some clubs prefer to keep a modest profile and have neither. 

At this early stage it is likely the list below is incomplete. Please send any corrections or extra information to sisson.dave at yahoo dot com dot au

1926. Ski Club of Tasmania. Built Australia's first ski club hut at Twilight Tarn in 1927, Lake Dobson lodge at Mt Mawson in 1950?

1929. Northern Tasmanian Alpine Club. Ben Lomond. Website has a short history.

1929. Hobart Walking Club active skiers almost from the start. Ski lodge at Lake Dobson on Mt Mawson built 1947 or earlier, extended 1950.

1932. Tasmanian University Ski Club. Built lodge on Mt Mawson circa 1940 (described as small in 1947), replaced c.1970. Club folded early this century

1937. Wellington Ski Club now Wellington Ski & Outdoor Club. Largest ski club in Tas in late 40s. Lodge on Lake Dobson, extended for 1955 season

1945. Alpine Club of Southern Tasmania. Initially male only. Eagle Tarn lodge at Mt Mawson built 1946.

1946. Rufus Ski Club. Folded 1955 after Butlers Gorge hydro scheme completed as there were too few members to continue, merged with Wellington

1963< Rover Scouts. Took over Carr Villa on Ben Lomond from NTAC in 1963. They were probably active skiers much earlier.

196x. Mt Mawson Ski Club. Has a lodge on Mt Mawson.

1965< Oldina Ski Club. Lodge on Mt Mawson occupied for 1965 ski season, completed by 1966 season.

1968< Foresters Ski Club. Ben Lomond lodge occupied 1969, burnt 1990, rebuilt 1991.

1968. Talaria Ski Club. Ben Lomond lodge occupied 1969. Original members were from southern Tasmania. Website has short history.

1970. Kunama Ski Club. Ben Lomond lodge occupied 1971. Was an offshoot of NTAC.

1977. Bag End Ski Club. Ben Lomond lodge occupied 1978. Club was originally Devonport based.

1977. Bellendena Ski Club. Has lodge on Ben Lomond. Club founders were from the north coast.

1977. Birubi - St. George Ski Club. Has lodge on Ben Lomond. It was formed as a merger of two ski clubs in order to get a site in Ben Lomond village

1977. Borrowdale Ski Club. AKA The Hutt. Has lodge on Ben Lomond.

1980 circa? Toorbunna Ski Club. Has lodge on Ben Lomond

1991. Rovers Ski Club. Formed by former Rover Scouts. Ben Lomond lodge opened 1997

200X. Snowboard club in the south, possibly Mawson based? This may have been an informal group rather than a club?

2014. UTas Ski Club. Student ski club, skis at Ben Lomond.

[5 clubs competed in 1939 Tas Interclubs. Harvey later states that 5 clubs in 1948 championships inc Rufus and Wellington.]

Add description of Ski Clubs in Tasmania from Ski Horizon Dec 1949 pp. 10-11.

At this stage the ski clubs page is only intended to cover Victoria and Tasmania, however I hope to extend it to include NSW in the future.

New South Wales

Despite the distance from Sydney to the snowfields, NSW was the first state where skiing became organised. Whereas Victoria had to wait until after the first world War for the sport to become popular, in NSW clubs were established before the war. ...

After the war inactive clubs were reactivated and skiing became increasingly popular, but the sport didn't experience the decade long post war boom that resulted in over 100 ski clubs Victoria by the mid 1950s. The reasons why NSW lagged behind at the time is partly to do with the longer distance from the state capital to the snow with slower roads of the time making getting there even more time consuming, but are more due to the shortage of accommodation at the NSW ski fields, specifically the inability of clubs to build their own lodges.

A major impetus to the formation of ski clubs was the opportunity to build club lodges. However unlike Victoria and Tasmania, which each had club lodges on their ski hills before the Second World War, NSW had to wait until the mid 1950s before it became possible for most clubs to build lodges. Despite this limitation and the much greater distance of the ski fields from the state capital, a surprising number of ski clubs were established in NSW before the mid 1950s. Once it became easier for clubs to build, the pattern followed that set by Victoria, albeit a decade later.

1870. Kiandra Pioneer Ski Club.

1909. Kosciusko Alpine Club.

1920. Ski Club of Australia.

Pre war. Kosciusko Alpine Club. Ski Club of Australia. Sydney Ski Club (Was this originally named the Millions Club?). Sydney University Ski Club. Sydney University Women's Ski Club. Public Service Ski Club {name changed to Summit Ski Club in ?1938?). Kosciusko Snow Revellers' Club. Albury Ski Club. Northern Ski Club. Cooma Ski Club. Adaminaby Ski Club. Country Ski Club. N.R.M.A. Ski Club.

Mid 1930s. SCA, KAC, Kiandra Pioneers Ski Club, Millions Ski Club, RACA Ski Club (Royal Automobile Club of Australia), Public Service Ski Club, Sydney University Ski Club. [Cross 160]

1938. Torch-Bearer Ski Club. (Originally for Shore old boys)

1953. Talbingo Ski Club

Pre 1954. Cabramurra Ski Club. International Ski Club.

1954 membership of Southern Districts Ski Federation of NSW. Berridale, Canberra Alpine, Cooma, Kiandra, Snowy River, S.M.A., Selmer Norwegian Sports Club, Talbingo, YMCA Canberra.

A.C.T.

Pre war. Canberra Alpine Club.

South Australia

1952. Adelaide University Ski Club (appears to have folded in 1953, but active in 54), South Australian Ski Club.

Western Australia

1955 or earlier. Mt Barker Ski Club (allegedly skied on the Porongorup Mountains near Albany, however this may have been a joke.) (SH 8/55 p20)

Sources checked to date

Ski Horizon. All issues.

Schuss.

Aust (& NZ) Ski Yearbook

SCV yearbooks

Books: 

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