Remembering the Mt. Perisher Double Chair: A Brief History

Mt Perisher Double Chair c 1965

2 May 2024

The Mt. Perisher Double Chair was Perisher’s first ever chairlift, a two-seater, fixed-grip chairlift that first opened to skiers in 1961. Before it was decommissioned in early 2024, the iconic ‘Mt. P Double’ dutifully carried 6 decades-worth of skiers (and later snowboarders) up Mt. Perisher.

Prior to the construction of the Mt. P Double, the areas which now form Perisher Ski Resort were serviced by a handful of T-Bars and rope tows.

According to Perisher Historical Society, the construction of the Mt. P Double was ‘Spurred on by the appetite for longer runs and the interest to open up new skiing areas on the Perisher Range’[1]. The Chair’s construction represented a major step forward in Australian skiing.

In the winter of 1960, potential ski areas in the lee of Mt. Perisher and Back Perisher Mountain were surveyed to identify the degree of skiing difficulty and snow depth. It was Mt. Perisher which received the go ahead to build the two-seater chairlift which would go on to service the area for over 60 seasons.  

Did you know?

The lack of access road to the construction site resulted in a flying-fox being built to cart materials from Kosciusko Road to the Chairlift’s base station.

An excerpt from John Davis’ memoir titled ‘A History of the Early Development of Perisher-Smiggins’ describes the construction of the Lift by ‘bare hands’: ‘All the time the workers were running up the slope carrying all sorts of loads, running not walking. The Perisher locals were transfixed by their fitness and progress’.

After tackling early season snowfalls, torrential downpours, and gale force winds all while building by hand, the ‘Mile Long Chairlift’ was completed in time for the 1961 snow season. Lift operations commenced on 9 June, opening up new terrain and possibilities to skiers of all levels.

Did you know?

The Mt. Perisher Double Chair briefly operated a mid-station before it was removed. According to Perisher Historical Society, the Lift’s mid station was installed due to concerns that the final drop would be too steep for most skiers.

In 2016, one year after Vail Resort’s acquisition of Perisher and after 55 seasons of loyal service, the Mt. P Double’s original chairs were replaced. The Lift’s original chairs were stored and kept by Perisher, awaiting the day their legacy could live on in the homes of Perisher enthusiasts.   

We are thrilled to provide our guests with the chance to own an iconic piece of Perisher history with the auctioning of the Mt. Perisher Double's original chairs in Perisher Valley on Saturday 8 June 2024

An online, silent auction will take place from Sunday 9 June 2024 for those unable to attend the live auction in Perisher Valley.  


The Mt. Perisher Double Chair is a symbol of the enduring appeal of snowsports and the spirit of adventure that draws people to Perisher season after season. 

You can learn more about the rich history of Perisher Valley and its surrounds by visiting Perisher Historical Society

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[1] Perisher Historical Society Newsletter, Issue 6 Winter 2011