Perisher opened a week early and closed a week late, the snow came early and then disappeared for July, but from August onwards there was tons of it. Over a metre of snow fell from Thursday August 3 to Tuesday August 8th and there were several other dumps of 20-25 cm. The official snow depth at Spencer’s creek got above 2 metres which is unusual these days. The general assessment is that we’ve had the best season since the turn of the century. It’s seasons like this that remind us why we joined the club in the first place; a good time was definitely had by all members who were able to get to the lodge in 2017.
Perisher Range Resorts Governance
The NSW Government has been conducting, over the last several years, a review of the carrying capacity of the Alpine resorts. This may lead to the publication of a report, promised to be soon, which will set out ideas for the expansion, or otherwise, of on-mountain accommodation; for example, additional beds at Perisher. This follows from a very long and inconclusive master planning process (now seemingly abandoned) and the more recent governance review which failed to find a buyer for a Perisher resorts head lease. We await further developments.
New Leichardt Chair
Meanwhile, Perisher Blue, under the new Vail management, is getting on with things. As this edition of Snobounds was going to press they have announced a decision to convert the Leichardt T-bar to a quad chair. Their December 8 press release said: “…..replacing Leichhardt T-bar and Home Rope Tow the new quad chairlift will increase lifting capacity in the area by a huge 75%, giving guests more time to ski and board popular runs including The Cleft, Powder Ridge, Snowy Trails and the Leichhardt Terrain Park…….. new snow-making linking Happy Valley to the base of the new chairlift will provide Perisher skiers with another lift and run to enjoy under snow-making only conditions…” Work is scheduled for the 2018/19 summer, the new lift to be operational for the 2019 season.
SLOPES (The Ski Lodges Organisation of Perisher Smiggins and Guthega Inc.) is the acronym for the umbrella group that represents all of the 88 club lodges at Perisher, Smiggins, and Guthega. It is an important forum enabling the clubs to put a strong and united voice to Government and others, for example in the Governance review processes. SLOPES has achieved successes in the past in forestalling the imposition of onerous government regulations and has organised a bulk purchase of insurance which has reduced club insurance costs by up to 50%.
The SLOPES annual general meeting was held recently in Sydney and marked the 25th anniversary of the organisation. Our Committee Chairman, Tony Adams was re-elected as a member of the SLOPES Board. The SLOPES web site has recently been re-vamped and if you are interested its worth a look – https://slopes.org.au
A new window has been installed in the north wall of the lodge, to let a lot more light into the mezzanine. This marks the final stage of the new deck project and we all owe a huge vote of thanks to our maintenance officers Tony Slatyer and Geoff Chubb for steering this project through.
No new members since the last edition of Snobounds. Sue Shead has sold her share to Bernard Doube, who is now a double shareholder, and Richard Lamb has passed his share on to Fleur Lamb.
Procedures for new members to join the club
Members are reminded that, if they have friends who wish to join the club, then the procedure is relatively simple. The club secretary (Matthew Barnard) maintains registers of both prospective club share buyers and sellers. He provides buyers contact details to sellers who are then able to negotiate a deal between themselves. If a sale is agreed the secretary will manage the arrangements regarding the formal transfer of the share. New members should be nominated by two existing members and must be approved by the Board. Nominations should ordinarily not be made by a member proposing to sell their share to the nominee.
Members are reminded that our club was established in the 1960’s, an era where simple good manners and respectful behaviour were perhaps more valued than they are now. The smooth running of a crowded lodge nevertheless depends almost entirely on these attributes – good manners and respectful behaviour. Members are urged to keep this in mind, and ensure that their associates and guests are properly informed. Some of the more significant club rules are set out below as a reminder:
- Know what parts of the fridge, freezer and pantry are allocated to your room, and stick to your section. Clean it all out before you leave.
- Alcohol consumption leading to unruly behaviour is unacceptable.
- Radios and TV’s have always been banned, this now extends to videos on computers. Electronic devices may only be used with headphones. This includes in your room – as we all know the walls are thin. This also includes special occasions such as New Year’s Eve (unless your party has a whole of lodge booking)
- Know what your room duties are and do them diligently, and there is no need to stop there. The club runs on volunteers and we all need to treat it as if it is our own home. If you see something that needs cleaning up – clean it up.
The question of exactly how bookings are managed and whether or not a computerised system would be advantageous is regularly raised in evening discussions around the fire at the lodge. Other lodges do have computerised systems and the committee has examined the possibility of us doing the same several times over the years. A review of the idea reveals just how complex a problem it is. Every individual booking must account for the following:
- Must be made by a member or associate over 18 years old
- Bookings made between Jan 1 and April 30 are limited to a maximum 28 bed nights per member per season
- Bookings may not be made before Jan 1
- Bookings must be in blocks of 5, 6 or 7 nights from Sunday; bookings for weekends only may be made from the beginning of snow season
- A member may have two (or more) shares entitling them to 56 (or more) bed nights
- Bed nights may be allocated to guests, a maximum of two guests per member or share
- Bed nights may be allocated to associates, associates who are not family members must be properly nominated at the start of the year.
- Associates are limited to three per member, except for family members who may be associates while less than 18 years of age or full time students. Blended families must be accounted for.
- There are nine rooms and a maximum of 24 beds, but
- Total occupancy may exceed 24 if some are under 5 years of age.
- There are 5, 3 and 2 bed rooms, some with divans. Depending on the make up of the party being booked in, many combination of rooms/beds/divans may be appropriate.
- Single persons may prefer to not share a room with another gender.
- Members must be fully financial (i.e. all dues paid up) for bookings to be accepted
- Payment rates differ for members, guests and associates and a booking is not confirmed until payment is received.
- Cancellations need to be managed and payment refunded only if the beds are re-booked, or partially refunded if the beds are partially re-booked
- A lodge host needs to be nominated, and aware of their nomination. This used to be a weekly appointment but now that we have 5 day and weekend bookings it is more complex. The host needs to be adequately experienced to take on the job.
Winter bookings are accepted from midnight on the preceding 31st of December and are allocated by the winter booking officer (Iris Bramley) on a “first come first served” basis, within members bed-night limits. The advent of email means that Iris now receives some booking requests concurrently. All requests received before midnight on 31 December are considered to be received concurrently at that time. In some cases (e.g. school holidays when demand for beds is high) there is a clash requiring an allocation of beds to be made between competing requests that have been received concurrently. In these cases, the competing requests are treated equally and the allocation is made by drawing lots, with no allowance for favouritism.
A system with this level of complexity really needs a human to be in charge. A computerised system would need pretty constant human oversight, which seems to be the case with other lodges that have computerised systems. So, so far, it seems sensible to stick with the system that we’ve got. Thanks to Iris and the pantheon of past, great, booking officers, it works pretty well. As a footnote it may be worth saying that some members may have noticed that some family parties in winter are large and seem to be exceeding their bed limit allocation – this is not the case. There is an increasing trend for members and families to purchase multiple shares to increase their bed-night allowance specifically so that they can have their skiing trips “en-masse”.
As is usual practice, work parties will be scheduled for some weekends in the February-May period. These provide great opportunities for members to contribute their time and skills to maintaining the lodge in tip top condition while also having quality time with other members.
To help defray the costs of attending, members are entitled to a credit on their account of $140 (calculated as 1/3 of the annual subscription cost rounded up to the nearest $10) for each attendance by themselves or their associate (subject to a maximum of two credits per membership per work party), and are also entitled to stay overnight at no cost. As an additional incentive, and to assist in recovery from the labours of the day and preparation for the next day, the Doorack Drinkers Club donates wine (cleanskins) for the enjoyment of attendees who are staying over on Saturday night.
If you may wish to be participate in work parties in 2018, please register your name with email@example.com. In January, Tony will inform all who have registered of the work party dates and of the arrangements for participating.
“The Club has an informal ‘ Back country Enjoyment Group’ for interested club members and associates seeking company for bush walking and ski touring in the mountains. Members of the Group are known as ‘SnowyBaggers’. If you wish to sign up as a Snowybagger and have not already done so, please email Tony Slatyer (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tony will then inform you of any upcoming events he is organising. Snowybaggers are also encouraged to invite other Snowbaggers to join them when they are planning a back country walking or skiing trip.
The Doorack Lift Challenge
2016 marked the first year of the now famous “Doorack Lift Challenge”. Members with a knowledge of the mountain, a good level of fitness and an excess of competitive spirit have taken it on with enthusiasm. The record for year one was set in August of 2016 by Harry Slatyer; his time of 1 hour 39 minutes and 6 seconds was widely considered to be unbeatable. But no! In 2017 along came a new member, Peter Aspro; a skier whose skill was only surpassed by his competitive mania.
On the 31st of August 2017, in what were admittedly perfect conditions with fine weather and tons of snow, as well as strong coaching input from everybody else in the lodge, Peter broke Harry’s record by 2 minutes and 21 seconds – a slim margin but enough to allow peter to claim the new title of “King of the Lifts”. All the results to date are set out in the table below; Will we see a new champion in 2018?