Smiggins Bowl

On Saturday 21st September, 33 participants and 4 volunteers braved a morning of lift closures, high wind, lightning and then pouring rain to represent Gunuma Lodge in the annual Smiggins Bowl competition versus other local lodges. Thank you to everyone who made it a great day despite the brutal weather conditions. All competitors finished with smiles and we managed a few medals too!

Grand Master – over 65 Division – Wal Sheehan –  this was a new category so hope to have lots more next year in the Grand Master division.

50 and Over – Michael Gartner, and guests Eric Tenthorey, David De Mamiel and Jacinta Tonner

Open – Brett Cuthbertson, Angela Beatty, Ayala Beatty, Daniel Zarew, Zoe Cuthbertson, Christine Palmer, Shaun De Plater, Mel Crossely, Vanessa Palmer, Daniel Zarew, Rachel De Mamiel.

Congratulations to Grace Crossley who came 2nd in the under 17 girls boarding, and Vanessa Palmer and Christine Palmer with a second and third in the womens X-country.

Juniors – Owen Hemsworth, Lilly Hemsworth, Thomas Palmer, Elisabeth Palmer, Sophie De Plater, Elliot De Plater, Mahli Bajaro, Kai Bajaro, Luka Zarew, Poppy-Lee Zarew, Sofie Gartner, Carla Tenthorey, Annie – Tonner-Dixon, Marcus De Mamiel, Clancy De Mamiel, and Grace Crossley.

X-Country – Vanessa and Christine Palmer braved the afternoon elements of rain, dust storms and wind!

Thank you to Rey, Anna, Aeryn and Rachel for standing out in the weather as volunteers. Photos thanks to Rachel. For more photos of the fun please visit our facebook page @GunumaLodgeSmigginHoles.

Wrap Up of Winter Season

Due to the excellent snow coverage this year, Perisher has extended the season with slopes open and lifts running until, and including, Sunday 13th October.

AGM Save the date: 4 December 2019

Evening of Wednesday 4 December at the Hockey Centre, Lyneham in Canberra is locked in. The agenda, calls for motions and nominations for Committee positions will be sent via email in due course.

Please consider joining the GUNUMA COMMITTEE – there are a number of vacancies and we need Members to nominate to join us!

Capital Works Future Direction

The Committee is working on the future direction of the Lodge.

As Peter Rodda (President) indicated at the 2018 AGM the Lodge is facing a couple of significant challenges. This article is to explain these and give an update of progress.

Fire Compliance

The back ground has its source in the Fire Audit completed in 2006 by Parks and Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).

“The inspection of Gunuma Ski Lodge at Smiggin Holes, which was carried out by James Alexander and Associates P/L (JAA) on behalf of Parks and Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has revealed a number of Building Code of Australia (BCA), maintenance and lease related non-compliances matters.” (Part A Report Gunuma Ski Lodge – Smiggin Holes., 2006).

This report was provided to NSW Planning to use for monitoring of the implementation of recommendations. Subsequent committees have been addressing these issues over time. The 2017/18 Committee came to the final major hurdle, which is encompassed in the following:

The major occupant safety issue of BCA non-compliance identified within the building relates to fire separation between the Sole Occupancy Units (SOU’s) or bedrooms, and the combustibility of the pine cladding throughout the lodge. The existing walls separating SOU’s and corridors appear to be 13 mm fire rated plasterboard lined internally with pine cladding. These walls would provide some resistance to fire, however it is unlikely that they would achieve the required FRL of 60/60/60. The pine cladding would char creating large amounts of smoke and / or contribute to the propagation of the fire. However it is recommended that a fire engineer or grade 1 accredited certifier assess the fire compartmentation achieved by the current construction, the impact of smoke on egress and the rate of fire propagation, and potentially develop an alternate solution. The use of intumescent paint may be part of the solution. Alternatively it is recommended that the lining in these SOU’s be upgraded to achieve the DTS level of fire resistance. (Part A Report Gunuma Ski Lodge – Smiggin Holes., 2006).

Following a series of meetings with NSW Planning and discussions regarding possible solution, the 2018 Committee engaged James Alexander, the Fire Engineer to undertake a Fire Safety Upgrade Strategy to assist the Committee by producing authoritative advice and recommend solutions for consideration.

The draft of this report has been considered by the Committee and the minor issues are being addressed as part of the off-season preparations. The major issue outlined above has the implications of removing all the internal wall cladding in every room and the ceiling in the dining / common rooms, and re-sheeting with compliant Fire Resistant Plasterboard. The Fire Engineered option that the Committee believes will be significantly cheaper, retaining the character of the Lodge and quicker to achieve is to install a Fire Sprinkler System meeting the Australian Standard. Several lodges have already adopted this approach.

The Committee has chosen to investigate this avenue as it will future proof the Lodge and solve several other issues. To this end, the Lodge has engaged a Specialist Consultant to develop a design that meets all requirements so that it can obtain quotes to assess the cost effectiveness of the solution.

The membership will continue to be advised of progress and the cost of the work. It is anticipated work will occur in the 2019/2020 building season.

Electrical Switchboard

The next major challenge the Lodge is facing is as a result of our Lease, which requires Lodges to undertake a Electrical Inspection every 10 years and complete a number of reports.

The current Switchboard located in the Boot room is of an age that its reliability is questionable and some components are no longer available. We need to install Residual Current Devices to comply with the relevant code and obtain electrical certification. Several options have been considered as well as issues with the location.

The current plan is to replace the dated switchboard with a modern switchboard that complies with the code. We are also looking at additional capacity to cope with the demand for power points and other appliances. The other related issue is the current location in a cupboard in a wet area which cannot be secured. Specification, standards and design work continue. It is hoped that this work will be done in the 2019/2020 Building Season.

Southern Bathroom Renovation

The last project is the renovation of the Southern Wing Bathroom. This is the most complex of the tasks at present with multiple trades involved and the opportunity to combine these with Work Parties. The Committee has been seeking feedback on the Northern Bathrooms so that any issues/suggestions can be addressed in the Southern Bathroom Project. The committee is considering trialling Thermally Broken Aluminium Framed Windows to replace the wooden painted windows. It the trial is a success they may be considered to replace windows across the Lodge as appropriate. This will reduce the ongoing maintenance and painting bill for these windows.

At his stage we have a Specification under development. Construction date hasn’t been confirmed yet, however it is likely to be during the 2019/2020 building season and subject to available funds following the completion of the fire sprinkler system and electrical switchboard works. There is still time for any suggestions – please send via email to

This is the current state of play on these Projects. The Committee is continuing to address other Minor Works and Maintenance Issues. When we have further updates these will come out.

Greening Australia Initiative

Since 2013, Greening Australia have delivered a volunteer weed control program in conjunction with NSW NPWS in the alpine areas of Kosciusko National Park.

The program initially focused on surveying the walking tracks and service roads that provide the most common routes for dispersal of weeds in the alpine areas. Since this time volunteers have been undertaking weed control (using chemicals) often along the main range trail and summit road and surveying for Mouse Ear Hawk Weed in the Strzelecki catchment. 

Greening Australia will be continuing the program for the 2019-20 season taking a couple of teams of volunteers up every month. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in participating as volunteers, please contact Ben Hanrahan, Senior Project Officer on 0491 221 157.

Important reminders regarding Summer access

Security is everyone’s responsibility. Members please note that, as a precaution, the front and back door entry code is changed regularly. Check your booking confirmation for the current combination.

For those enjoying the national park and Gunuma during summer please be aware that you may be the only occupants. When you leave the lodge may remain empty for some time.
Upon departing please check the following:

  • Bedrooms – turn the heater down to 10 C, close all windows and lower the blinds.
  • Common areas; dining room, lounge room, kids play room, adult games room, sauna, ski room and ski boots / drying room – close all windows, turn the heaters down or switch them OFF at the power point. Close any open / ajar doors at the same time – check air lock’s up and down stairs.
  • Turn all lights OFF all areas inside the lodge.
  • Key Lock door combination from inside on both FRONT and Back Doors – check if it is ON.
  • Check all bathrooms for any leaking showers or taps.
  • Remove all rubbish from the lodge and take it to Perisher waste disposal centre. There are no collections during the off-season.

Please treat the lodge as you would your own home. It only takes a few minutes and saves excessive electricity bills; minimises the risk of theft, fire and rodent infestation, as well as ensuring the lodge is ready for the next visitors. Thank you!