"In the late 60’s a group of law students planned to build a ski hut on Mt Hotham. When the idea foundered the one remaining member, Barry Coates, approached his architectural friend John Grey. From this partnership a dozen people, including five architects, established Hangman’s Drop Ski Club.
They formed a co-operative to secure a lease on a block where the present club now stands and a loan of $10,000. To Service the loan members paid a membership levy of $100 per year. John Grey was selected as the Architect while the other architects in the group were required to sit on their hands and shut-up.
In the summer of 1968/9 a builder was employed to erect the structure and complete to roof and external cladding, while the members worked on the internal details and finishes.
In the 1960’s/70’s there was no power, gas or sewer on the mountain. Members dug the septic tank to the east of the dining room, a generator room of local rock was built, now the wood shed, which also helped to stabilise the structure. Many early nights during the work parties the whole structure swayed in the heavy winds. The hut was lit with gaslight from bottled gas and heated by an hydronic system relying on convection to move the hot water around the system. The hut was licenced for 8 beds which were accommodated in four bedrooms, two bunks to each bedroom. Each bunk was about 1.05 m wide which in those early days proved ample width to accommodate two people, and the loft areas above the showers provided space for the few children who were in the club in those early years. Rob Howden- Founding Member"
"We joined Hangman’s in 1972. In those days four work parties were required each year and you did not know from one trip to another which system would break down, whether the heating would work, whether water would suddenly decide to squirt out of a pipe, which came from nowhere, and went to somewhere. Pipes were added to, taken off, twisted into unknown directions, never to be seen again.
We will always remember those early happy days, the Zoo train, and screaming down from the summit on ice without really having a clue what to do next. To this day, when I walk into Hangman’s Drop, I have this strange feeling I have come home again. All the best, Barry and Marie Revill- Life Members"
The Build of 2006- Hangmans Drop Ski Club is very proud of its achievement of creating a modern 17 bed home from a very sturdy core of the original 1968 11 bed lodge, during the summer of 2006. This was achieved by "sweat-equity" by Lodge members(also known as 14 hour unpaid days over seven months, pre-planning and harnessing skills unknown), with some lucky breaks from the summer Hotham community, on a ridiculous shoestring budget, with no bank-loan guarantees, in one of Australia's harshest and more remote environments.