North Perisher Rope Tow & Hut
The North Perisher Rope Tow and Hut was very popular with skiers and ski instructors until it was gradually displaced by the construction of the SunDeck Hotel and its two T-Bar ski tows in about 1960.
The Tow Hut contained a snack-bar that provided food and hot drinks for skiers. It also provided “school-camp” style overnight accommodation. As a young teacher, I was one of the teacher escorts for Barker College’s one-week duration “learn to ski” camps in the Perisher Valley in September of 1959 and again in 1960.
Looking at the Perisher Tow Hut photo, it is hard to imagine that the building provided overnight accommodation for not only the lift staff of 3 to 4 persons, but also for up to 15 members of a school or youth group. There was an upstairs area with about 15 mattresses on the floor for the guests. The tow hut was quite warm and cosy due to the warmth generated by the operation of the diesel tow engine at day and from the kitchen at all hours.
Competent skiers could ski from the top of the North Perisher rope tow over to the rope tow at Cooma Hut (then located on the current site of the mid-station of the four-seater chair) or west to Guthega and its rope tow on the Tate East Ridge. On several occasions, I accompanied a few of the senior students on ski tours to both sites. On one trip from North Perisher to Tate East Ridge, we were joined by a “blue heeler” cattle dog, who stayed with us for the whole tour and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience, despite the dog’s tendency to sink into some of the snow drifts.