10 September 2019

Thredbo 'fun police' ban toboggans...

| Tim Benson
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Not on: Thredbo says toboggans are a safety risk and will no longer be allowed in the resort area.

“Kosciuszko Thredbo (KT) are prohibiting the use of toboggans or any like sliding devices across the entire resort area,” the statement said. Is this an April Fools joke I thought to myself. Nope, for real, these ‘fun police’ have actually banned toboggans within their leasehold area (full policy below)***.

'Kosciuszko Thredbo (KT) are prohibiting the use of toboggans or any like sliding devices across the entire resort area'. Image from the Thredbo website.

Image from the Thredbo website.

Sometimes my wife says to me that ‘if I keep shaking my head it will fall off’, well I can tell you that, upon hearing this lunacy, along with a lot of solid face palms ‘it bloody well nearly did’.

Let me get this straight. At Thredbo you can ski down the mountain in the dark with lit flares but you can’t put your kid on a toboggan and let them experience a cheap and accessible activity in the snow.

And according to the official Thredbo website, images of skiers and snowboarders leaping of mountains and being upside down 40 feet in the air is OK but putting your kid on a toboggan and dragging them around or pushing them down a gentle slope is ‘dangerous’. Following are images that are on the official Thredbo website:

Image from the Thredbo website.

Image from the Thredbo website.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think the people above are showing exceptional skill and should be allowed to continue to do these amazing things. But they are, without a doubt done at considerable risk, and with an element of danger …

I must say, as skier, who is at Thredbo every weekend of the ski season, I have never been run into by someone on a toboggan. I have frequently been run into by out of control skiers and snowboarders and show offs on intermediate runs going a million miles an hour.

So, for the love of sanity, can someone reverse this massive public relations disaster in the making?

PS – Multiple calls were made to Kosciuszko Thredbo for more information and comment with no success. And to be honest I don’t blame them – who would want to have to defend this decision?

***Thredbo Tobogganing Policy

To maximise safety for guests, employees, and resort property, Thredbo prohibits the use of toboggans and other miscellaneous snow sliding equipment that is associated with “Snow Play” within our leasehold area.

Thredbo acknowledges it is a favourite winter pastime, however it can also be very dangerous. An observed trend of guests is taking toboggans and miscellaneous snow sliding equipment onto ski runs has increased the risk of:

  1. A collision with another sled, vehicle, skier or snowboarder;
  2. Loss of control of the equipment;
  3. Falling off of the equipment; and
  4. Collision with natural and man-made objects

This prohibition includes any area under the ownership or control of Thredbo. This policy applies to all members of the public, staff, sublessees and volunteers. No enquiries will be entertained from toboggan or miscellaneous snow sliding equipment users.

All staff play a role in the implementation of this policy and subsequent elimination of these risks to our guests.

What do you think of Kosciuszko Thredbo prohibiting the use of toboggans or any like sliding devices across the entire resort area?

*This article first appeared on RiotACT

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A friend recently visited from Europe and I asked him if he thought we lived in a ‘nanny state’ (after explaining this funny term).
his response? “You are second only to North Korea in the amount of things that are banned and the amount of signs everywhere telling you how not to behave!” Knowing a bit about some other heavily regimented regimes, I know he is joking, but you get the point …
No toboggans on Thredbo? Our visit cancelled.

Their lease, their rules. The bean counters call the shots. If it proves to be fiscally negative, then they will reverse their decision. Insurance premiums, litigation, additional grooming, equipment and patrolling must be taken into account. Watch this space.

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