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Getting Closer

By   /  June 28, 2018  /  5 Comments

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The new day shelter taking shape above the jeep trail at Mt Mawson Ski Field – June 2018

First tracks for season 2018 looking down at the building site


There’s a real buzz in the air at Mt Field National Park as STSA Volunteers continue to prepare the ski field for season 2018, and Vos Builders push on with construction of the new Mt Mawson visitors day shelter and ski facilities.  A good dump of snow on the weekend of 16th June posed some logistical difficulties for deliveries of materials, but work has continued to progress well on multiple fronts. A period of calm settled weather has allowed some key achievements to be made, including the all-important installation of the roof to the new buildings. This has allowed work to move forward on interior fit out and linings.

Discussions have commenced with the Government and Vos Builders to allow the Mt Mawson Ski Patrol to operate from the First Aid Room in the new building once ski-able snow arrives. Having a safe, dry and warm environment for Ski Patrol is a critical element of being able to operate the ski tows, and we are pleased that constructive discussions are being held about this important pre-requisite to allow Southern Tasmania’s only ski field to operate this winter.

STSA has also moved ahead with modernising the electricity system to supply the new ticket office and ski patrol room. Yesterday Peter Davis from STSA and Peter Burnett from Save on Solar Power took advantage of the mild, calm conditions to install a new 1 kW solar array on the roof of the Mawson Tow hut. Once the concrete slab has been installed in the basement of the new building the balance of the system, including batteries and electronics will be completed. This will enable 12 V lighting and 240 V power to be available to support the Mt Mawson Ski Patrol and STSA ski field operations.

Meanwhile out on the ski field volunteers have been trudging up and down the mountain in the snow completing final checks and preparations for this season’s ski season. On 20th June Ambrose Canning, Craig Larsson and Tim Metcalf successfully test-ran the Uni tow and adjusted all the pulleys to the correct height for commencing operations. This was needed as after last season’s snow fall all the pulleys ended up metres in the air due to the very large snow depths which still remained at the end of the 2017 season.

Today Ambrose Canning and Tim Metcalf repeated the process for the Mawson tow, and also successfully transported and installed a specially-fabricated extension piece on the infamous “Pole 10” of the Mawson tow. Pole 10 sits on the crest of the hill, and (up until today) was quite a bit shorter than other support poles on the Mawson rope tow. It is hoped that by having the ability to mount the pulleys higher on the pole that the rope can be kept up out of the snow more effectively. The aim is to avoid the lengthy “digging parties” needed to excavate the rope before operations can commence. These have become quite a feature of Mawson in recent seasons, and whilst they provide great photo opportunities and team work it would be better if the rope was not underneath the snow when we want to start skiing!

We will all continue to watch the weather and the building works with great interest, and will keep you informed as to when the season will officially get underway.

Tim Metcalf towing the heavy pole insert to the top of the Mawson tow

Pole extension in place

And just above the skifield – Karen Davis enjoys a stroll on the Mawson Plateau


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  • Published: 3 years ago on June 28, 2018
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  • Last Modified: June 28, 2018 @ 9:47 pm
  • Filed Under: MOUNTAIN NEWS

About the author

President, Southern Tasmanian Ski Association

Peter is currently President of the STSA, and a member of the Oldina Ski Club. He has been coming to Mt Field for many years, and is an intermediate skier who can get down most black runs, but without much style.


  1. Bishwa Oakes says:

    Excellent guys, it’ll be great to have a decent solar power supply. I liked the shot of Tim (aka the beast of burden), good job towing that pole up the hill Tim!

  2. Greg Peters says:

    Hi looking good thanks to STSA and friends great to see another building back for all to use and enjoy are you still going to call it Sitzmark probably should, Greg Peters.

  3. Bishwa Oakes says:

    Hey Greg, how are you going, nice to hear from you!

    So you reckon it should be Sitzmark 2. To be honest, it hadn’t even crossed my mind to name it, but that’s a great idea. Maybe there’s an opportunity to have a naming competition to promote it?

  4. Kelly says:

    Hi, looking at coming to mount mawson on saturday, is there much snow around for kids to play in?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Bishwa Oakes says:

      Hi Kelly, as of today, there’s barely any left up on top. That’s all about to change though with decent snow falls forecast from tomorrow through to Sunday. I’d keep an eye on our web cam and reports. I may be going up on Friday night, so I’ll try to do reports from the mountain if I can get a phone signal out.



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