International Poma is operational once again!
Earlier today Falls Creek Ski Lifts made the long awaited announcement that repairs have been completed and International Poma is once again open to the public. International's wheels have remained dormant for almost 2 weeks since derailing and damaging a significant length of cable - much longer than that kept in reserve. With replacement cable not available in Australia parts were urgently sent via air from Europe to facilitate repairs in a short timeframe. The cause of the derailing has been identified as most likely misuse of the lift by a user skiing or boarding off course around "the corner" section.
International Poma is arguably one of the nation's most popular lifts. Built in 1969, it was named for servicing an area where a F.I.S International ski race was held in 1960. This race incidentally required 1500m of vertical descent and required a bridge be built over the road to allow the race to descend down to Rocky Valley Creek. Originally the Poma could transport skiers at a cracking pace of 4.2m per second and even with its lesser speed today it can still transport skiers and boarders at a similar rate to some chairlifts. Featuring its own Facebook Group and a dedicated band of followers ("is Inter open yet?"), there are few lifts that cause such a buzz online as International.
With International now back on board skiers and boarders have much easier access to the black runs of the Maze and International area. Much credit must be given to the talented and dedicated team at Falls Creek Ski Lifts for their tireless work to get the old girl up and running again so quickly. Don't be shy, be sure to give them a thumbs up or a high five the next time you see a member of the lift maintenance crew!
Pic: Chris Hocking