Club History

1939 onwards...

 

The Beginning - 1939

The club was formed in 1939, from the local Latrobe Valley community and was called the “Mt Erica Division of the SCV (Ski Club of Victoria)”. It’s first “lodge” was under the Mushroom rocks near Mt Erica! Early 1944 the first development at Mt. Baw Baw “resort” commenced.

Following the disastrous 1939 fires the road through Tanjil Bren was extended to Neulyne’s Mill (where the ticket box is today).  This road was at an altitude of 1000m (3200 ft) and was still 3.2 km from the summit of Mt Baw Baw.

Not deterred, our pioneer ski club members blazed a trail from the end of this road to the current site of the lodge. Everything for the new hut had to be carried in by hand from the Mill. 

The first lodge under ‘Mushroom Rocks’ near Mt Erica
The first lodge under ‘Mushroom Rocks’ near Mt Erica
Excert from "History of Mt Baw Baw Ski Club Inc"

Post 1945

The Hut Circa 1945
The Hut Circa 1945
Carrying everything up the hill
Carrying everything up the hill

In 1944 work was begun to create a tin hut, at an altitude of 1400m, on the site of where our lodge is today.

All the materials to create the hut, which measured 9m x 4.3 m, were carried up the 3 km walking track, often in the snow.  These were tough work parties.  In some cases members left home at 3 a.m., worked all day and then and returned late in the evening.  Members carried in - corrugated iron for external walls, wood framing, canite internal lining, bunks made of cyclone fencing, horse hair that filled the mattresses, wood burning stove (in bits) and drums of liquid fuel.

When the snow came, and there was lots more snow back in 1945, the club members arrived in various ways - walking up and carrying up everything including their “home made” skis.  Today we simply drive up to the car-park and use the over-snow right to the door of the lodge - so we have it much easier! 

1955 - The First Ski Tow

A separate club was formed in 1955 with the aim to install a rope tow.  After the first season it was moved to the Painted Run and was operated by our club for many years. The motor, rope and fuel to run the tow was carried up the walking track. The rope ran over car wheels were attached to trees.

Skiers clung to the rope with gloved hands or using a metal “nutcracker” attached to a belt for the purpose. A T-Bar replaced the last rope tow in 1983/84.

Early in the 1960’s vehicle access was made possible, albeit the road was very rough.  This enabled a generator, water pump, fuel and gas to easily be brought in for more comfort.

Hut in the winter
Hut in the winter
Extentions to the Hut
Extentions to the Hut

Post 1960

Preparations commenced to survey Mt Baw Baw village sites and by April 1961 were extra 26 sites /lodges were planned.  Mr. Jim Balfour, MLA, led the first Mt Baw Baw Committee of Management.  The first skiers represented on this committee were from our club. They were Roy Hutchison and Lee Thaw.  At this time the ‘Mt Erica Division of the SCV’ named was changed to the ‘Mt Baw Baw Ski Club Inc.

Today

Thanks to the pioneering efforts of many in the 1930’s and with our member’s continued contribution over many years our club remains vibrant and is soon to reach it’s 70th year of operation.