Swinging Sixties Ski Life at Historic Mt Franklin

snow action team 19.11.2020

The ‘Swinging Sixties’ were the peak of ski life at Mt Franklin! How styly are the ladies in these shots?

And how lucky are the kids in them, like Mike Edmondson and his friends.

Swinging Sixties ski style at Mt Franklin, Canberra
Go girls, go! Mt Franklin 1965 © Pat Edmondson

No wonder Mike grew up to be a back country ski and bushwalking guru with an in-depth knowledge of Australia’s highest mountains few can match.

We are indebted to the Edmondsons, Mike kindly supplied these shots from the family archives, all shot on glass slides by his dad Pat in the 1960s.

Toddles skiing at Mt Franklin 1963
Start young ski better! 1963 toddler at Franklin © Pat Edmondson

That was 60 years ago, but happily Mike reports Pat Edmondson is still going strong at 94.

“He still XC skis to Charlottes return from Perisher and bushwalks, plays comp tennis, and helps organise working bees to huts we restore with IAC – Cascade Hut, Teddies Hut, Tin Mines and Carters Hut.” 

So forget fad diets and whatever else, get out into our high country year round and live better, live longer!

We love these shots that really capture the spirit of the times. Friendly, shared, self-reliant are a few words that spring to mind. Basic is another – sure, check the tow shots and the lodge, it was basic. But functional and affordable.

It’s a World away from today’s rush up with the kids to a mega resort and dump them in all-day programs. It looks like it was more fun then too. You must have lots of happy memories of skiing up at Franklin we asked Mike?

“Yes great memories. The club and family skiing built strong friendships and they were just such great fun days.”

Take a minute or two and scroll this gallery of classic shots from and © Pat Edmondson of those happy times.

See how skiing was at Mt Franklin in the the Brindabellas an hour outside of Canberra back in the early 1960s. The shots are from 1960 to 65. Pat’s love of photography also rubbed off on Mike, who has a great gallery of prints and books available.

PlayStations and iPads are great devices, but kids, this WAS living! It really is sad we have largely lost the Club ski field culture on the Australian mainland; it lives on in Tassie at Mawson.

For the best spring-summer-autumn mountain experiences check out Mike’s Australias Ten Highest Peaks walk trips – the program to complete all ten summits is over four days, walking approximately 70km. There are camping and lodge based options. You can join a group or organise your own private tour.

Then in winter you can look at snowcamping and a whole lot more with him.

This is the last for now in our series of Canberra ski features – sure it’s not quite Valle Nevado and the Andes behind Santiago, but Australia’s capital still does, and sure did, offer some pretty amazing experiences.

Mike (top) and Libby Edmondson, Franklin, 1960 © Pat Edmondson