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Learning the Ropes

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Beautiful autumn weather provided perfect conditions for the second day of STSA’s March working bee at Mt Mawson. A good turn out of enthusiastic volunteers meant that good progress was made on replacing the damaged Uni rope tow – thanks to all those who answered the call out for assistance.

Master splicer Julian Oakes lead the splicing party, with Steph Zeliadt, Jacob Virtue and Sebastian Rainer all learning the complexities of the end-for-end splices needed to provide a continuous rope.

Julian Oakes demonstrating splicing technique to Sebastian Rainer, Jacob Virtue and Steph Zeliadt

The next task was transporting the rope to the Uni slope, and then having a large number of people, pulling, untangling and sorting the rope to get it through all the pulleys and to the top of the mountain and back. With lots of willing helpers the work progressed well, and three new coils of rope were used to replace the full Uni rope. One splice remains to join the two ends and complete the job.

A human chain to carry the rope to the Uni slope

Volunteers busy preparing the rope for hauling up the hill

It didn’t always go well – avoiding a rat’s nest!

Rod Stolorz and Matt Levis carrying the old rope bundles for removing from the mountain

In between the rope work, volunteers commenced the work involved in replacing badly degraded snow fencing on the traverse across from Mawson to Uni tows. It was a big work out carrying the heavy sleepers up to the worksite, as well as carrying out old damages beams and slats. At the end of the day one frame had been completed ready for slatting at the next working bee.

Partially demolished snow fence at the top of the Uni Run

Karen Davis takes a breather after helping carry new snow fence timber

On Monday Craig Larsson, Sebastian Rainer and Liz Koolhof continued on with some repair and painting work on the Rodway tow hut. Liz tells us the fagus is already starting to turn on the Tarn Shelf!

Overall it was a great working bee over the weekend, with a great community spirit shown which characterises the Mt Mawson Ski Field. It is also a great relief to get a new rope onto the Uni tow before the snow arrives. A bit thanks to everyone who helped – the ski field is looking great!

Fagus colouring up on Tarn Shelf – Monday 22 March 2021

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  • Published: 2 years ago on March 23, 2021
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  • Last Modified: March 23, 2021 @ 10:41 am
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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.

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