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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

the boot heels with cable bindings. Sue either forgot or for some reason omitted to lock hers. Such omission leads to a drastic reduction in control (I've been assured) and the resulting crash ended in Sue breaking her leg. While Sue was being made as comfortable as possible, two of the group skied into Falls Creek for assistance, which was rendered in the form of an SEC snow cat and crew. The party (less Sue) wasn't finally regrouped in Wilky until about 11.00 p.m. that night.

Alan Bennett's visits to Wilky were private trips with a few friends. The first 'official' programmed Club trip into Wilky was in 1963. The group had to take its provisions in to the lodge, as have all subsequent winter parties, before winter snows closed the road to Falls Creek. In 1964 Wilky had two official winter parties and one in 1965. The High Plains in winter were very quiet in those years.

Not all Club visitors to Wilky during winter have been bipeds. In the early seventies Merv Scott was regularly accompanied by his dog, Fly. Sometimes they made the trip in moonlight. It's not recorded what Fly thought of all this but she must have enjoyed it, perhaps it was the self-sufficiency of it all. She used to haul her own food in on a small sled.

One particular weekend trip to Mt Feathertop on 31 July 1965 was pivotal in awakening Club members to the delights of touring on langlauf rather than alpine equipment. The trip was to be a ski-tour from the old Diamantina Hut near the start of the Razorback to Mt Feathertop and return. At the same time as the tourers were making their way northward along the Razorback, a second Club group was setting off from Harrietville to walk up the Bungalow Spur to Feathertop. The two groups should have met at the site of the present Federation Hut at the intersection of the Bungalow Spur and Razorback tracks. The majority of the ski-tourers were on alpine skis fitted with the ubiquitous touring bindings and the weight and difficulty of using these combined to slow the party - so much so that they did not meet up with the walkers. There was, however, one exception among the group: a visitor on langlauf skis that he had brought with him from Canada. The party was so impressed with the relative ease and mobility of the langlaufs that John Brownlie and John Bach immediately set about determining how to get hold of such skis.

As they soon found out, langlauf equipment was just not available through ski shops in Australia. At that time John Bach's father was starting up what is now the Alpine Ski Shop in Hardware Lane. Alpine's order for the 1966 season's equipment included a few sets of langlauf skis; more were ordered for the following season.

It was also necessary to import poles, bindings and boots. The bindings