Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bogong Rover Chalet

The Ski House of the Day is the Bogong Rover Chalet in Victoria, Australia. The chalet, in the Bogong High Plains, is owned and operated by the Rover Section of the Victoria Branch of the Scouts of Australia.  This organization is dedicated to fun and adventure while serving the community, so there's a communal atmosphere where everyone staying in the chalet pitches in to make things work.

The Bogong Rover Chalet is a place where the Rovers Scouts learn the skills of back-country skiing, ski-touring and learn the day-to-day operation of a ski chalet.  Getting there requires an 11 km trek on they caution visitors that if you can't carry it in your pack, don't bring it:

The chalet has dormitory style rooms that can accommodate up to 35 people (they bring their own sleeping bags), it has showers, and the kitchen has a grouping of picnic tables for mealtime. The chalet uses solar, gas, wood and runs its own generator for power, but has no mobile phone reception in the chalet itself, and has no tv, fact, they discourage any electronics at all saying that "ipods are you'll need to make your own fun."  And to help make your own fun, there's a guitar and a "didgeridoo" to play in the chalet (didgeridoo...?).

The Bogong Rover Chalet claims to have the only privately owned ski tow in Australia:

In the late 1930's charitable donations funded the chalet project...and when the chalet was built in 1940, it was the only ski lodge in the entire area (ski resorts in the area were developed years later).  Over the decades that followed, improvements have included the addition of a ski room, a new kitchen in 1953 that involved pushing a huge cast iron stove into the chalet from Rocky Valley on greased poles, an environmentally friendly waste system, a kitchen renovation in 2000, and more.  Surely each of these improvements benefited not only the chalet and future users of it, but also benefited the young people who, through their service, made them happen.

There's an external emergency shelter in the chalet as well...which is a good thing since the area has an average annual snowfall of about 4 meters of snow:

I admire the existence of this chalet because it is a symbol of what can be accomplished through the goal of service to others...a ski house that was built and still exists because of a dedication to skiing, adventure, serving the community!  And the Bogong Rover Chalet still serves its original purpose...the education of young people in a fellowship of open-air and service.

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