Rick Walkom – author of “Skiing Off the Roof”

Rick and book copy

Rick Walkom came from the Blayney district of NSW where his family were 4th generation graziers.  After university, it was expected he would return to the land.  Alas, like so many before and after him, Kosciuszko seduced him in 1975 and his life went off in an entirely different direction.  The ‘R.M’s’ became ‘moon boots’ and a life on a cattle property was no more.

Rick did not leave Charlotte Pass for over 14 years; working his way up through the usual ski-bum ranks from ‘lifty’ to ski patrol, to instructor, to lodge manager and eventually his share of the family property became a minority share in the Charlotte Pass company.  During his time there he absorbed the atmosphere of the Chalet and became intimate with its folklore and unique history.  ‘Skiing off the Roof’, encapsulates that story from when the first Chalet was built in 1930 up until 1980 when he organised a big 50th birthday bash to celebrate the occasion.  His book is about the thrills, spills, conquests and catastrophes of its famous inhabitants – the mountain stalwarts and alpine pioneers who helped establish this outpost of winter sport on the roof of Australia.  The book has now sold out of its fourth edition and a fifth is being prepared.

After Charlotte Pass, he moved to Pokolbin in the Hunter vineyards where he and a university colleague built the first Peppers Guest House.  He currently lives in Byron Bay.

Rick Walkom  –  April 2018