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Temporary Parks Facilities Under Pressure

By   /  15/08/2016  /  4 Comments

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Last weekend was a big one at the Mount Mawson Ski Field in Southern Tasmania. There was a good crowd of skiers and boarders keen to try out Tasmania’s retro rope tows – including interstate visitors who had flown in from Melbourne and Sydney especially for the Mawson experience. There were several school groups out for winter bushwalking trips, and a number of families with young children who had walked up to experience the snow, and try out tobogganing or tubing.

The weekend started out well with the STSA volunteers from the Oldina Ski Club digging out the snow drifts at the top of the Mawson tow to unbury the rope and get the lifts operating in time for the arrival of visitors. It was sunny with good snow coverage.

STSA Volunteers unbury the rope at the top of Mawson tow

STSA Volunteers unbury the rope at the top of Mawson tow

Unfortunately as is often the case in the Tasmanian mountains, black clouds quickly formed, and soon conditions had deteriorated to rain and strong winds. Children were soon dripping wet, and everyone was looking for shelter. This is when the inadequacies of the current temporary shelters provided by the Parks service became very problematic. There were school groups of young people unable to get into the shelter as it was too crowded, the vestibules of the shelters were full, and inside the shipping container provided for visitors it was standing room only.

Young bushwalkers standing in the rain outside the Parks shipping container

Young bushwalkers standing in the rain outside the Parks shipping container

Interstate visitors jostle for a lunch spot in the vestibule

Interstate visitors jostle for a lunch spot in the vestibule

Standing room only in the Mt Mawson temporary day shelter as children shelter from the rain.

Standing room only in the Mt Mawson temporary day shelter as children shelter from the rain.

This is a very unsatisfactory, and potentially dangerous situation where the only shelter provided for visitors to the Mount Mawson Ski Field (the entrance to the alpine areas of the Mt Field National Park) is an unheated shipping container. Let us hope that the line item in the 2016 Tasmanian Government Budget Papers for “Mt Mawson Day Shelter” turns into a real project this summer, so that families and tourists alike can take shelter from the Tasmanian weather next winter season.

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  • Published: 1 year ago on 15/08/2016
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  • Last Modified: August 15, 2016 @ 1:33 pm
  • Filed Under: MOUNTAIN NEWS

About the author

Peter Davis

President, Southern Tasmanian Ski Association

Peter is currently President of the STSA, and a member of the Oldina Ski Club. He has been coming to Mt Field for many years, and is an intermediate skier who can get down most black runs, but without much style.

4 Comments

  1. Andrew Koch says:

    I was also up at Mt Mawson on the weekend, is a beautiful place and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an amazing, wild, alpine experience.

    I agree the day shelter is totally inadequate for more than just a few people, and it was under stress when I was there! It would be more appropriate to have a shelter that catered for peoples needs better, and provided comfortable and functional protection for small groups and families.

    Let’s give our children opportunities to taste the wild outdoors without putting them at risk. I hope this is not just a dream.

  2. Antal Hanke says:

    Not a good look for those visitors from the Mainland!
    It would be great to have a permanent purpose-built shelter – hopefully very soon!

  3. Dave Sisson says:

    I was one of those interstate visitors who “flew in especially for the Mt Mawson experience” and while we knew that Sitzmark had been demolished, the lack of shelter was the only downside to an otherwise great time. The skiing was great and the towies and patrollers were the most pleasant I’ve ever met. I’ll be back!

    • Peter Davis says:

      Hi Dave,

      It was great to see you at Mt Mawson – a different skiing experience from other mainland resorts for sure! Let’s hope we see more interstate tourists making the pilgrimage to this unique ski field in the Tasmanian World Heritage Area.

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