KNP Lockdown for LWE: Stay away folks, not even backcountry!

Bad news for all those planning to head up to the NSW Snowy Mountains and enjoy the snow or think about doing anything on or with it – like XC skiing, splitboarding, skinning, snowshoeing or just sliding with your kids on a toboggan.

Kosciuszko National Park will be shut down at the entry gates to all except local residents/workers with a valid reason to enter over the entire Long Weekend.

This is the Main Range/resorts area shut down map sent to local property owners this evening with details about the lockdown.

Road closures will be in place at Kosciuszko Road and the Alpine Way to restrict access over the long weekend. 

There is no recreation from Bullocks Flat to Dead Horse Gap. So no heading out back folks. Or making snowmen/ladies beside the road.

The email sent to property owners/managers says:

It will not be possible to visit the ski resort and alpine areas over the June long weekend (5 – 8 June 2020) for the purposes of recreation and leisure. This includes Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass. Accommodation and other services will not be open for public access until 22 June 2020.

Road closures will be in place at Kosciuszko Road and the Alpine Way to restrict access over the long weekend.  

During this period access for essential works to leased premises will be permitted for resident managers/caretakers, essential employees, lessees and trades persons with proof of purpose for access.. Access will be strictly limited to the specified lease area, there is no access permitted within the ski resort or alpine areas for the purpose of recreation.

It’s OK for kids to go to 2000+ child schools in the cities (like our grandkids do), but not make a snowman beside the road at Dead Horse Gap.

Obviously the resorts need to get ready for the season, having finally being given the OK to open from June 22.

But what danger there is in people accessing the snow for backcountry skiing/boarding, or simple snowplay, has not been specified. Especially the locals.

Forget snow person building this LWE in KNP – have to hope it snows in the Blue Mountains © Snow Action

Back country seems to have been simply left out of the equation/calculation when these decisions were taken.

Which is a shame – guess what, enthusiasts also book accommodation, spend money in local businesses and will help kick start the economy. Or would have as far as the LWE goes.

The #1 reason they are going back country in the first place, anytime, is to socially distance themselves from the crowds in resorts ..

No mention of back country at all was made in the NSW Govt Press Release on May 27 announcing the season could go ahead from June 22:

Mr Barilaro said to give ski resorts enough time to implement health and safety measures they will not open before Monday 22 June 2020, which means skiers and holidaymakers will not be able to visit ski resorts for the 6-8 June 2020 long weekend.

“The ski resorts will not be open over the June 2020 long weekend, so please arrange travel and accommodation from 22 June 2020 and onwards,” Mr Barilaro said. 

“We are welcoming every visitor to regional NSW with open arms and I will be celebrating by shouting a few beers, but it is more important than ever that we continue to be responsible and maintain good physical distancing while we are enjoying ourselves. 

Just how socially distanced are you out at Twin Humps? Or so many more places (some of which may actually be skiable come LWE?

Well, it could be worse – at least the snow isn’t in Queensland (or usually, yes Stanthorpe, we know you get a pow morning once every decade ..)

If you really want to get something in NSW better hope it snows big from the fronts through Sunday and Monday .. because as things stand from June 1st regional travel is AOK in NSW and the lockdown doesn’t kick in till 5th June ..

Or wait till the 9th.

For more on other areas –

Thredbo restrictions here

Vail resorts – Perisher, Falls, Hotham

For some Plan B when you are allowed in –

Twin Valleys rocks

The Main Range rules

Steve Leeder leaping into the social distance © Owain Price