10 June 2022

Winter wonderlands open as extra police hit the slopes

| Claire Fenwicke
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Family of three snow tobogganing

Corin Forest Mountain Resort has plenty of snow and family fun on offer. Photo: ACT Government.

Itching to make the most of heavy snowfalls? You don’t have to travel far to make a snow angel or go skiing.

Canberra’s cold temperatures and high elevations mean there’s snow a-plenty to enjoy in our backyard.

Corin Forest Mountain Resort opens its doors on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, offering tobogganing, snowman building and the chance to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time.

Corin Forest marketing manager Ashleigh Harrow said the resort was blanketed in snow on the first day of winter.

“The early snowfalls have been incredibly exciting,” she said.

“Our snowmaking team have been turning on the snow guns to make snow at every opportunity to create a special experience for our guests this year.”

The site is a favourite with young families, with plenty of snow play opportunities on offer.

“For those looking to learn a new skill, we have skiing and snowboarding lessons for anyone over the age of four on our gentle, beginner-friendly ski hill,” Ms Harrow said.

READ ALSO Heavy snowfalls cause Kosciuszko National Park closures as resorts gear up for bumper weekend

ACT Parks hiking trails also offer the opportunity to walk through snow-covered trees throughout the winter months.

Namadgi National Park is home to both Square Rock and Mt Tennant, which are high enough to enjoy dustings of snow throughout winter.

Pack your hiking boots, extra food and water and warm gear, as Square Rock is a 9.4 km hike from 1268 Corin Road at Paddys River, while Mt Tennant is a 14.4 km hike once you park at Namadgi Visitors Centre.

Another walking option is Camels Hump at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, which can be accessed via a 12.6 km hike once you park at Mountain Creek Car Park. Note the road to get there is unsealed.

Travellers are reminded to check with Parks ACT before heading out, as closures to some parks and reserves – including Namadgi National Park and campgrounds – can occur at short notice.

Extra police will be deployed to the Snowy Mountains as part of Operation Snow Safe. Photo: NSW Police.

Meanwhile heavy snowfalls over the past two weeks have built expectations of big crowds heading to the slopes for the start of the official snow season.

It also marks the start of Operation Snow Safe, with extra police deployed in the region throughout the season targeting road safety, anti-social behaviour and personal safety.

Southern Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter APM said their priority was to keep people safe on the slopes, roads, licensed venues and across the alpine region.

“Those heading to the snow should drive to the conditions and exercise appropriate caution,” he cautioned.

“Snowfield conditions can be more difficult to navigate so we’d like to remind everyone to prioritise safety on your journey – pay close attention to the roads, don’t get distracted and slow down.

“Our officers will do all they can to keep you safe to and from the snowfields, and regardless of whether you’re driving, riding, a passenger or a pedestrian, we urge you to help us achieve this.”

READ ALSO Ready for the snow season: an opportunity to live the Australian alpine lifestyle

Local police efforts will be bolstered by additional resources from various teams, including general duties, traffic and highway patrol, Southern Region enforcement squad, licensing police and other specialist officers such as trained alpine operators.

Monaro Police District Commander Superintendent John Klepczarek APM said community safety was the top priority.

“The population of our snowfields and surrounding towns increases exponentially during winter,” he said.

“After two years of lockdowns and disruptions, we are expecting a huge season this year and we want to make sure everyone has a great time – but not at the expense of the safety of others.”

The start of the snow season coincides with the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, with double demerits in place across NSW and the ACT from today (Friday 10 June) until 11:59 pm on Monday (13 June).

NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole urges everyone to take extra care on the roads this snow season.

“The recent cold snap has ensured a great start to the season and we know it’s going to be a busy time on the roads,” he said.

“It’s important we remember to plan ahead and allow additional travel time because getting to your destination safely is everyone’s responsibility.”

Hikers visiting the region are reminded to ensure their personal safety by submitting a Trip Intention Form, hiring a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) before heading out into the national park and researching snow safety tips.

The Centre for Road Safety has information on driving in snowfield conditions and the Snowy Region Visitor Centre, while more information on our national parks is available for hikers.

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