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Perisher tobogganers confused as lack of snow closes play area amid fears of Thredbo-type ban


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June 14, 2018 14:17:40

There is confusion surrounding the status of tobogganing at Australia’s largest ski resort at Perisher following an outright ban by the Thredbo resort.

In the past week, several people have left angry comments on the official Perisher Facebook page claiming they had been kicked out of the ‘snow play’ area called Tube Town where people have previously been able to toboggan.

“Closing play areas and not providing an alternative is extremely disappointing,” one commenter said.

Another said she had called to ask Perisher about tobogganing and was told the activity was not allowed.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council tourism and events manager Donna Smith said Mount Selwyn is the only official area that offers tobogganing this season.

“Perisher and Thredbo do not have tobogganing areas,” she said of the two key snow resort fields that fall within the council’s area.

“Because there is not enough natural snow Perisher is not taking care of a tobogganing area, so it’s certainly a safety issue.

“They are not promoting it as something they offer.

“As far as we know, that will remain for the rest of the ski season.”

Ms Smith said staff at the Cooma Visitor Centre had not been told of any outright ban on tobogganing at Perisher.

“I don’t know about the word ‘ban’,” she said.

“But at this stage they’ve got so many other activities they need to do — it’s a condition of moving a lot of people around the mountain — so at this stage they don’t offer it.”

Social media ‘confusion’

In late May, fellow New South Wales ski resort Thredbo banned tobogganing and associated ‘snow play’ anywhere on its property this winter season, describing the popular pastime as “very dangerous”.

It also sparked a backlash on social media.

As examples emerged of Perisher’s restrictions on tobogganing emerged, one commenter pointed out that a map of its slopes, available to download on the resort’s website, still indicated the pastime’s icon at Tube Town.

Several locals and people seemingly in snow-related industries strongly addressed the complaints by pointing out that tobogganing has never been allowed on Perisher’s ski slopes and only in the designated area of Tube Town.

Their responses to comments closely mirrored that of Perisher’s website, which states:

Tobogganing is currently not available at Perisher.

Toboggans are prohibited on all Perisher ski slopes and should only be undertaken at the designated toboggan slope located beside Perisher Valley Car Park on Pipers Ridge [Tube Town].

From time to time, the toboggan slope may be closed due to insufficient snow depth or inclement weather.

Perisher has not yet clarified to the ABC whether or not that will change once more snow falls, or if they will outright ban tobogganing, like Thredbo.

Toboggan ban ‘class warfare’

Denise Ferris, an Australian National University professor and photographer who has been taking photos of Perisher tobogganers for years, said there were elements of skiing-class warfare emerging in the commentary.

“Over the years I have seen tobogganers from all over the world who obviously don’t want to ski, can’t afford to ski and are not skiing,” she said.

She said the expense of creating artificial snow during light snowfall meant resorts had to recoup their costs.

“When a resort company creates artificial snow, of course that will never be shared,” she said.

“It can’t be open access because those resorts couldn’t afford it.

“A commercial company is putting up its borders. It’s the thin end of the wedge. You could read it as a class warfare.”

Topics:

winter-sports,

travel-and-tourism,

community-and-society,

tourism,

perisher-valley-2624,

thredbo-village-2625,

nsw



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