A collection of Reet Vallacks' photographs was passed to KHA in 2018.
Reet Vallack was a member of the inaugural Kosciusko Huts Association and a Life Member. Unfortunately Reet passed away in May 2020.
Originally named the Laurie Seaman Memorial Chalet, this hut was built in 1929 to commemorate Seaman who, with his skiing companion Evan Hayes, perished in a blizzard whilst returning from Mt Kosciuszko in the winter of 1928 and whose body was found sat leaning against a rock just to the rear of the hut.
Cross country with Ted Winter from Bett's Camp to Pretty Plain and finally to the Boardman's at Khancoban.
A 10 day adventure and after 60 years these are my memories:
Being a physical education student at Melbourne University with Fritz Duras (the German Doctor), our professor of Olympic skiing fame, we had just to learn to ski. So two 10 day schools were organised with Ted Winter our lecturer and mentor who knew every hut, hill and hollow on Kosciuszko, he explained to me how he funded his skiing trips to the Hotel Kosciuszko by trapping foxes with butter and strychnine poison. No wonder he was out so early on the snow and knew all the huts to peg out the skins and store them. The skins paid his hotel bill.
Graham Scully continues to talk to the people of the Snowy, and collect fascinating stories of the history of the area. Here is one of my favorites - the arrival of the first motor car in Cooma, 1905, compliments of Neville Locker:
Photo: Bill Ryall, Blacksmith. Courtesy of Graham Scully, 1990s
The photo you describe would be Bill Ryall (not Rial); he has been dead for a good few years but he was a regular at our Christmas functions, had a dry sense of humour, used to recite some poetry and tell a few jokes. He lived on the on the old family farm "Spring Plain" on the North side of the Snowy Mountains Highway about twelve km from Cooma towards Adaminaby. He was an interesting old fellow, known by the locals as the Sherriff as when out and about on the farm he always carried a .22 cal. revolver for shooting rabbits and he was a good shot too.
Tin Hut is one of two huts built by the NSW Tourist Bureau in 1925-6 to provide ski touring opportunities on the main range between Mt Twynam and Mt Jagungal. The hut’s location was chosen by Dr Herbert Schlink, who led the first party to ski ‘Kiandra to Kosciuszko’ in July 1927, coming via Tin Hut and taking just three days.
Two articles on early tourists to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko.
David Scott's article "Tourists on the Summit 1875 ? 1914" includes the history of Betts Camp, the Lakes' Shelters and the Kosciusko Road. Read the article here.
Pauline Downing published a shorter article the Snowy Times, Spring 2011. It covers 1975 to 1938, and includes some wonderful advertisments for the Kosciusko Hotel. Read the article here.
SKI-ING HOLIDAY ON MAIN RANGE, KOSCIUSKO, 1950
Written by Jack Wadie.
After a period of 11 years, I was to have a ski-ing trip. It was not to be a luxurious holiday at the chalet, but promised to be an interesting and very good ski-ing holiday.
I will relate our original plans:
ROUGH DIARY OF TRIP TO SNOWY RIVER, MT.KOSCIUSZKO ETC
PARTY: Harold.R.Hodges, Norman.Hodges, H.S.Freeman, S.G.Fish.
Written by Harold.R. Hodges. 1935
Edited by Gregory Powell. 2008