Bookings

Accommodation Availability and Bookings Status Enquiries

Phone (02) 6295 6634 or fax (02) 6295 1791 or mail to

The RAN Ski Club

PO Box 3484,

Manuka ACT 2603

Please Note – Accommodation Bookings and enquiries cannot be made by email as the Webmaster is remote from the Club’s Canberra office, with no access to records. Please phone the office if you have a query. And please do not send credit card details to this email address as it is not secure.

Accommodation bookings can only be made by Members. We can’t take bookings from non-members. Please see the Booking Conditions below for rates.

Click here to download 2019 Booking Form

 

Accommodation Rates and Seasons for 2019 (dates are inclusive)

Click 2019 Accommodation Rates to see rates and the periods they apply. With the approval of the appropriate Lodge Vice President, Summer Rates will apply whenever there is insufficient snow for skiing. As a basic rule Winter rates will apply when the lifts are operating. 

 

RAN Ski Club Online Booking System (Club System) 

As we mentioned in the December Newsletters and email Bulletins, we are in the process of implementing an online booking system called Club System, which was developed specifically for Ski clubs, and takes account of our unique operating requirements, eg allocating beds, not rooms.

Each Ordinary and Associate Member has received an email with their temporary login password.generated by Club System. Detailed log on instructions were sent out to members email addresses by our electronic bulletin system in March 2018 and are on the members’ page.

At this stage, we will only be using Club System for online bookings at Perisher until we are able to check that all requirements are met – which we have not been able to do without live data. We had problems last year because some of our settings were incompatible with Club System and the financial reports did not provide the information we needed in an ‘easy to access’ format. We are working with the System Developer to resolve these issues.

While we are not using Club System for bookings at Thredbo and Buller this year, it’s important that members log in and check their personal information as we plan to decommission our old system later in the year, and before renewals for 2020 are sent in Jan 20. If your info is not up to date at that stage, you could miss out on important information and renewal invoices.

Click here for the User Instructions for Club System

Booking Rules for 2019

Accommodation Booking Policies and Fees

Contact for Bookings

Accommodation bookings shall be made through the Club Booking officer as described on the Club website. Short notice accommodation bookings during the winter ski season may be made direct with the resident Lodge manager as described below.

Accommodation Rates

Current accommodation rates and the periods they apply are determined at the Annual Budget Board meeting and are published in the Club’s website at http://www.ranskiclub.com.au/Home/Bookings.html

and on the reverse of the booking form. With the approval of the appropriate Lodge Vice President, Summer Rates will apply whenever there is insufficient snow for skiing. As a basic rule Winter rates will apply when the ski lifts are operating.

Booking Periods

The standard booking periods are:

Weekly:

Seven Nights – Sunday PM to Sunday AM
Five Nights    – Sunday PM to Friday AM

Weekends: Two Nights -Friday PM to Sunday AM

Making a Booking

Only currently financial members may make accommodation bookings.

The Club’s approved Booking Form is to be used for all accommodation requests.   

  • Separate forms and separate payment are required for each booking period.
  • For bookings at Perisher in 2019, the online system (Club System) may be used in lieu (not for Work Party Priority bookings).

The Booking Form must show the name of each person requiring accommodation and the ages and gender of all persons must be shown. The Bookings and Administration Officer is authorised to return any incorrect application which could delay the processing of your request. Booking Opening Dates are shown in the following table:

Booking Bands

Booking Band  

Dates

Applies to
Band 1 1 March-15 March Bookings for weekends, 5 day and 7 day for members with work party priorities open. All WP Priorities will be handled off line
Band 2 16 March- 31Mar Bookings for 5 and 7 day bookings for members without a work party priority open.
Band 3 1 April – 15 April Weekend bookings for members without a work party priority open
Band 4 16 April – 31 May Weekend, 5 and 7 day bookings for guests open
Band 5 1 June Bookings for non-standard periods (ie not full week)

Bookings will be processed on a first come first served basis within these time frames. Members with priorities may only exercise those priorities before 16 March. Only standard bookings will be taken during booking bands 1 – 4 as detailed above. Bookings for non-standard periods will not be taken before 1 June.

However, every effort will be made to satisfy members’ requests while endeavouring to achieve maximum utilisation of the lodges. To maintain an equitable allocation of accommodation, applications for bookings of more than 7 days will be considered as multiple bookings and thus treated as separate applications.

Members may only have 5 live bookings at any one time, regardless of whether they are weekend or longer periods. Where members seek Bookings for more than 28 days in each lodge per season, the first 28 days (up to 5 bookings) will be processed as above, and the remainder will not be processed until the beginning of the season (i.e. June Long Weekend).

Further, persons booked for the maximum continuous stay (28 days) must be absent from the lodge for a minimum of two days before being eligible for a further stay. Note, under NSW and Victorian Public Health Regulations, the maximum continuous stay at any lodge is 28 days.

Priorities

If there is insufficient accommodation to meet the demands of advanced bookings, the following priorities will apply to the allocation of accommodation: 

  • Priority 1 Members in sea postings and members who have participated in work parties.
  • Priority 2 members in shore establishments with fixed leave periods
  • Priority 3 Other Ordinary and Associate members
  • Priority 1 & 2 bookings can only be made before 16 March

Children

There are no restrictions on accommodation of children at Thredbo and Mt Buller lodges. Because of the remoteness of Perisher lodge, for safety reasons, children under four years of age cannot be accommodated in the Perisher Valley Lodge in winter.

Accommodation will be charged at Member or Guest rates dependent upon the classification of the child (i.e. whether the child has a family membership). There is no special rate for children – They are either a member or a guest.

Confirmation of Bookings

The Booking Officer will confirm bookings as soon as all details are finalised and payment has been received. Should the requested accommodation not be available, the Booking Officer will contact the member to offer alternatives.

Credit Cards

The Club accepts MasterCard and Visa cards only and PayPal payments for online bookings. Should ‘over-card limit’ response require the Booking Officer to request a cheque be sent by the Member, the requested booking will not be held should others have requested the same period.

Family Member Bookings

Family Members 18 years and over may stay in the lodges without their related Ordinary or Associate Member. Family Members under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult member (ie a Member aged 18 or over).

Last-minute Bookings

Lodge Managers control accommodation from the time the booking sheets are finalised, normally Thursday of the prior week. Accommodation charges for these bookings are to be paid direct to the Manager, by cash, cheque or Credit Card authorisation on arrival, or prior to extending if already staying in a lodge. Once made, these bookings are subject to cancellation and alteration fees which will be charged to the member’s account and will need to be cleared before future bookings will be accepted. Phone numbers for the Lodge Managers are:

  •  Mt Buller: 03 5777 6363
  • Perisher: 02 6457 5151
  • Thredbo: 02 6457 6305

Payment for Bookings

Full payment must be made by either an Ordinary, Honorary Life, Associate or Temporary Member at the time of booking. Offline bookings can be paid using MasterCard or Visa facilities, or the Member’s crossed cheque made payable to The R.A.N. Ski Club. Online bookings can only be made using PayPal facilities.

Payment by credit card can only be accepted with the Member’s written authorisation or by telephone, and must include the card’s expiry date.

Single Members/Guests

Members making a booking in winter for one person who is not prepared to share a room will be required to pay for all the beds in the room at the applicable rate. Adult single members and guests will not be forced to share with someone of the opposite sex or a child but may be required to share with a person of the same sex and age category (ie adult or child).

Special Parties

Members wishing to take special parties to the lodges (eg Adventurous Training) are to forward their requests to the Booking Officer for consideration by the Directors. The Booking Officer will advise the outcome of the request.

Telephone Bookings

Booking enquiries may be made by phone at any time (see paragraph on hours of contact), however accommodation will normally only be reserved if a written application is made (it may be faxed). However, telephone bookings will be accepted in the two weeks prior to the required booking date if MasterCard or Visa telephone authorisation is given to the Booking Officer at the time of booking.

Summer Bookings

Members and their guests may use any of the three Club lodges during summer. Requests for summer bookings, including Christmas, open after the October long weekend.

Summer Bookings for all lodges are handled by the Booking Officer and requests should be made to (02) 6295 6634. 

Mt Buller and Perisher lodges are only available in summer on ‘Whole of Lodge’ basis. At least one of the members present must be certified by the appropriate Lodge VP to operate the lodge.

Thredbo is open with a resident Manager for designated periods such as Christmas and New Year, Jazz Festival weekends as determined by VP Perisher Lodge. Otherwise the lodge is available on ‘Whole of Lodge’ basis provided at least one of the members present has been certified by VP Thredbo to operate the lodge.

Whole Lodge Bookings

Members may book to have exclusive use of a lodge for a period at special discount prices.

Whole of lodge bookings can only be made in summer and a set price will apply regardless of the number of people or the mix of members and guests. At least one of the persons must be a member who is deemed competent by the Lodge VP and they must ensure compliance with the rules for the use of lodges in summer. Whole of lodge bookings may not be available in popular periods (eg Christmas, Jazz Festival weekend) where other members may wish to use the lodge.

The rates applicable for having exclusive use of a lodge during summer are published in the Club’s website.

Cancellations

The Club’s cancellations policy is as follows:

  • Cancel with more than 42 days’ notice – Full refund. 
  • Cancel with 14 to 42 days’ notice – 50% refund.
  • Cancel with less than 14 days’ notice – No refund.

Members wishing to cancel a booking are to advise the Bookings and Administration Officer in writing. Requests for refunds will be processed by the Bookings and Administration Officer as they are received.

In exceptional circumstances, the Board of Directors may approve a full refund for bookings cancelled with less than 42 days’ notice. Exceptional circumstances are defined as those of a compassionate nature only e.g. hospitalisation, injury, illness or death, where the reasons for the cancellation could not have been foreseen and/or are outside the member’s control. Members seeking a full refund on exceptional or compassionate grounds are to submit documentary evidence with their request e.g. a doctor’s certificate.

Changes in work and family commitments are not considered exceptional or compassionate circumstances. Members are encouraged to consider taking out travel insurance to protect themselves against these types of events.

Transfers

Bookings are not transferrable from one period to another i.e. booking dates cannot be altered. Members unable to fulfil a booking at one time but able to fulfil it later are to cancel the first booking and re-book at the later time.

All transfers of bookings from one member to another for the same period must be handled by the Club’s Bookings and Administration Officer. Members are not to transfer bookings between themselves. Such transfers may be rejected by the Club’s Bookings and Administration Officer where there is a waiting list or where the proposed change cannot be accommodated because of bedding allocation limitations.

Updated Jan 19

 

 

Recent Posts

Vasaloppet China 2019 – an Experience

by Martin Linsley

What follows is written to entertain, report, advise and hopefully stimulate your interest in the Vasaloppet China – one of the 20 international loppet long-distance ski races (that include Australia’s own Kangaroo Hoppet race) organised around the world.

Dave Michael, my long-time skiing buddy, and I are both ex-Navy, and are ever grateful that we were introduced to cross-country skiing and racing by the Service. After retirement we pursued the goal of becoming World Loppet Masters, a goal that requires completing 12 loppet races in 12 different countries. After achieving this we haven’t stopped. The Vasaloppet China was our sixteenth loppet event.

A major motivation for our entering loppet races is the need to develop and/or maintain enough fitness, fitness that is also good for health and quality of life. On this occasion, being sufficiently fit was a challenge, for summer’s heat discouraged outdoor activity. Had we done enough for the Chinese loppet? Had we overindulged over Christmas and New Year?

After a day or two of nervous anticipation and adrenalin accumulation Dave and I met at Sydney airport on 2 January, and we flew for 14.5 hrs first to Guangzhou (near Hong Kong) and then Changchun (the capital of China’s north eastern Jilin province, due north of Korea, with a 7 million + population). Wearing only a shirt was OK for Sydney’s 20-30° C, but alighting from the plane at Changchun at near midnight the temperature was about -18° C. Thankfully, we didn’t have to spend long outside.

Dave and I had paid for a package that covered the race and some sightseeing. It was offered by Nordic Ways, a small and specialised Norwegian company that operates through the Vasaloppet China organisation. Benefits of the package soon became apparent. We were met at the airport by a ‘race volunteer’ who drove us in his Honda Odyssey to the five-star Sheraton hotel where most of the international skiers (about 150) were staying.  At the hotel, the owner/manager of Nordic Ways met us and we were soon settling-in to our room.

Next morning we enjoyed a splendid buffet breakfast, with a large choice of mostly Chinese food spread over four buffets. By 1100 we were in our ski gear and boarding a coach that would take the Nordic Ways skiers to the nearby race location. The weather was normal for the area: clear, windless and cold (about -16C). There was practically no natural snow and, as anticipated, we found the race start/finish area and course (a 25 km loop) relied on man-made snow. Being consistently too cold to melt, the snow was good for skiing: dry, fast and firm. Tracks were being set, because the race was restricted to classical technique skiing.

The Chinese organisers work wonders to make their loppet event world class. A splendid feature is the massive ice sculptures adjacent to the start/finish area. This isn’t only for the race: the venue is a nature/recreation park centred on a lake, so in winter it’s a playground for the locals. Small motor vehicles can be hired for sliding on the frozen lake, short horse-sleigh or a dog sled rides are an option, as is hiring inflated truck tyre tubes for the frozen slopes.

Being concerned with saving energy, and somewhat uncertain about the grip wax on our skis, Dave and I spent just over an hour on our skis before returning to the hotel. This was enough, because the race course was being prepared and only a small section of it was accessible to skiers. We noted that at the start the course was wide enough for just four cut tracks. Three to four hundred metres along the course the snow-covered area narrowed to about three metres wide, allowing for two just classic tracks with just enough room for a third skier between them. (More on this later.) We learnt that the course meanders around the park following (sealed?) roadways and tracks. There’s a good mix of slightly undulating gradient (with no Aussie-standard steep grades) and flat areas, including a couple passing over frozen lakes.

Thursday afternoon Dave and I took our skis to a couple of young semi-professional Swedish guys who were waxing/preparing skis for the race in the hotel’s basement carpark. We needed them, as we don’t have the waxes for very cold temperatures and hadn’t brought waxing equipment. The Swedes were preparing 45 pairs of skis that afternoon and charged $80. We were later satisfied for the expensive aid, our skis gripped well for ‘the kick’ and glided well when needed.

By then we’d learned that four other Aussies were in Changchun for the race: a family of three from Sydney (Phil Cole, wife and daughter Alexandra) that presently reside in Hong Kong, and a younger guy from Melbourne.

Friday 4 Jan was race day. Nervous energy was at a high level. The ‘internationals’ from the Sheraton arrived at the course early, the hotel being just a 15-minute drive away. There were ‘rough and ready’ changing facilities in tents for ‘ordinary’ folk, but as we found ourselves closer to a small, heated building designated for elite international teams, we assumed an air of ‘belonging’ and walked past the security staff before establishing ourselves in a corner.

Further evidence of the efforts taken to make the China loppet world class was the pre-race entertainment – the best we’ve experienced anywhere. There would have been over 100 drummers, dancers and musicians performing for twenty minutes in front of the ice sculptures. It was a welcome distraction from the efforts ahead.

Conditions were good for skiing. Clear, windless and the air temperature for the 1000 start about -15C;  relatively warm for Changchun.

From her experience with the race in 2017 Marg Hayes had warned us about the start, and arrangements for it hadn’t changed. About 90 elite skiers lined-up at the front of the field (50:50 Chinese and other nations). Behind them were the remaining skiers in the 50 km race (around 100), and behind us were the near 300 folk entered for the 25 km distance. With there being just four tracks cut for all racers, and with many skiers squeezed between those tracks, the mass of competitors extended over 100 metres. This would have been less of a problem if the start of each group had been separated by a few minutes, but no … the gun fired and everyone started together. Consequently, our group of skiers was overrun by the 25 km ‘speedsters’ and the impetuous youths (anyone under 50?) who weren’t interested in pacing themselves and who felt the need to sprint to the front. Unsurprisingly, there were several falls, people pile-ups and a couple of broken poles. Dave and I, skiing separately, ‘went slow with the flow’, trying to avoid trouble.

The greatest issue became evident about 1.4 km into the race where, at the top of a long gentle rise, the course’s steepest descent on the narrow  track occurred. Many of the ‘speedsters’ and ‘youths’ hadn’t learned how to control cross country skis downhill, and these individuals fell, totally blocking the narrow track. Seeing the human debris, the skiers behind stopped at the top of the hill where an official tried to martial an orderly queue and progression by shouting and blowing a whistle. Dave and I ignored him, squeezed through the waiting, hesitant folk and easily negotiated the slope to continue the race.

As normal for a loppet, refreshment stations were located every 7-8 km, providing a choice of liquids and something to eat (bananas, bread, or a Cocopop-type bar). Being concerned about running-out of energy, I refuelled at all of them.

I progressed satisfactorily until completing 20.5 km. It was then that the leading bunch of 5-6 elite skiers caught me (they had completed 45.5 km). Being so close to their finish these athletes were close to sprinting at more than double my speed. The restricted course wasn’t conducive to a bunch of skiers overtaking an ‘old fella’ who was pottering along in one of the two tracks. A ski appeared between me and my planted pole, causing the elite skier to trip, fall, and bring down two others. I then fell over the three of them.

This crash probably affected the race podium positions, as less than 15 seconds separated the first ten race finishers. It certainly affected my result as, when I was able to return to a vertical position, one of my poles was broken in half. I therefore continued, greatly handicapped by the use of only one pole, but with some compensation in the form of a jazzy pair of sunglasses that one of my fellow fallers had abandoned in the snow. Four and a half kilometres further I completed my first lap at the start/finish area and was able to borrow a pole (albeit 5 cm shorter than my remaining one).

Completing half the 50 km had taken me not far short of three hours to complete. This was concerning, as the course was to be closed after six hours. I was careful not to overextend though, my energy reserves were clearly limited. Steady sustained effort was necessary. Steadily the course-side distance markers counted down and my confidence in finishing increased. So too did my natural competitiveness, probably too much so, because I overtook several skiers in that second lap (including Phil Cole) and invested more energy than was wise. By the time I crossed the line in 5 hrs 33 minutes, placed 161, I was near ‘totally bushed’. Dave provided a great welcome and support for me there. (He had joined a few other folk in withdrawing from the race at the 25 km mark when they agreed that they wouldn’t meet the time limit). The race commentator also announced my achievement over the public address system, noting that I was the second Australian to finish, my year of birth, and that I was one of the oldest people skiing that day.

As Dave and I gathered our gear dusk was settling-in and the race infrastructure being dismantled. We caught the last coach back to the hotel, where I had my Worldloppet Passport stamped: a goal achieved.

For reference: a Chinese skier won the race in 2 hrs 23 mins and 27 secs, followed by another native lad and then skiers from France, Norway, Norway, Czech, and the USA. The leading female, from Sweden, finished in 2 hrs 32 min and 50 secs.

That evening Dave and I attended the China Vasaloppet prize-giving and banquet that was held at our hotel. It was a magnificent highlight of the event, incomparably better than experienced at other loppet events. The massive hall held tables that seated 440 folk including a few for VIPs such as the city’s deputy mayor. At the front was a stage with decorations that served as a background for a sequence of light and video shows that would have done Hollywood proud. Professional comperes mc’d the evening and introduced speakers, musicians, dancers (adult and children), acrobats and a short video of the day’s race. Meanwhile the guests indulged in a 15-dish meal with unlimited wine or beer. At our table Dave and I enjoyed the company of a Russian, a couple of Americans, and a small group of Estonians.

We slept well that night.

The Nordic Ways Travel Package offers three inclusive packages for the event, one with only travel to/from Beijing and entry to the race, and the others with short or long sight-seeing extensions. Dave and I opted for the short package that included a fast train ride to Beijing and two days of tours. We then followed our own plan with a train to Shanghai and two days sightseeing before our return to Australia on 12 January.

What overseas skiing adventures next for Dave and me? None are planned, but there are only four loppet races that we have yet to attend.

Advice for Australians attending the Vasaloppet China

 Unless you’re a recognized elite skier who’ll be at the front of the field for the start of the race, don’t be too competitive. Whilst event organization is of the highest standard, race management has had flaws (notably the mass start and limited width race course). Using the event as an excuse to visit and see something of China (and gain a stamp in your Worldloppet passport, of course).

Choose between paying for the Travel Package offered by the Vasaloppet Organisation or saving money by managing independently. For us the package worked well, making it easy for travel within China, accommodation, sightseeing and visa requirements. It also enabled us to socialise with fellow international skiers. Other Australians have managed the language and bureaucratic challenges associated with making their own arrangements. They saved money, but probably experienced greater stress and marginally less shared experience.

Prepare for the cold. Over Christmas the average temperature range in Changchun was -24 C to -18 C. This does mean that snow (mostly man-made) is near 100% guaranteed, and the weather is usually clear and calm. Either have appropriate waxes and equipment or use the professional service available pre-race.

Ideally skiers organise some on-snow practise before arriving at Changchun. The options for this aren’t good are likely to involve spending New Year and possibly Christmas in Japan (the best option?). Regardless, the same endurance fitness is required as for any other loppet race, so be prepared.

The trains and subways of the major cities are easy to use (well signposted) and efficient.

Engage with locals, who are as friendly and helpful as elsewhere. Many are keen to practise their English. Others like to use the Mandarin-English voice recognition and translation aps on their mobile phones to answer your questions.

Take your own energy/snack food from Australia. Finding equivalents in China can be difficult.

Pharmacies aren’t clearly and commonly available in China. Pack whatever could possibly be needed for the trip.

If you have any questions about Vasaloppet China that Dave and I might answer, contact me using email: linsleys@iinet.net.au.

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