A Different Winter
To the Perisher XC Community –
You will have been looking for and receiving a number of messages from the Resorts, Interschools, Snow Australia, NPWS and others. These recent communications have started to give us an idea of what the winter ahead will look like. There are still a lot of information gaps to fill, but we are getting there.
I can share with you some additional information we have right now, but there are still things that we don’t know.
We know – it is planned that the Perisher XC trails will be groomed for use, if there is adequate snow, commencing on June 22. Access to Perisher for XC skiers is likely to be via a trip-intention form completed on-line with NPWS. We don’t know the details yet, but it will come clear in time. Access to the Perisher Resort will be via allocated tickets for lift skiing – this will be limited to a much-reduced number. Access via the Skitube will be controlled – we don’t know yet how this affects XC skiers without a lift pass. The Nordic Shelter may be open sometime in June (depending on snow and permissions) but will likely be limited to toilet access only, in the initial stages, with reviews to widening access as NSW government restrictions and controls change.
We are currently running the NSWACT XC Term 2 XC Remote Training Program. Kids are training and learning. We fully intend to run a further XC Training Program during the winter period, but at this moment we do not know what that program will look like. We are pleased that so many kids are keeping fit and motivated – we are well aware of the challenge that presents in the current circumstances. Please keep up the good work. We will do our best to provide support and have fun along the way.
We don’t know if winter XC competition and activities will occur. At the moment, the 2020 National XC Race Calendar has been withdrawn and will be reconsidered as we get more information about restrictions and controls from the governments of NSW and Victoria. There are many concerns, i.e. the welfare of volunteers XC event organisers in NSW and Victoria, many of whom are in the “at risk” age categories. This is only one of the many circumstances that will be considered when decisions about XC events are made for both NSW and Victoria.
We (Snow Australia NSWACT XC) will be meeting next week to discuss events and training opportunities but we can only make decisions based on the NSW Government guidelines we have at the present time. We are preparing COVID management plans for training and the Nordic Shelter to be submitted to Snow Australia for approval. Plans for events and activities may follow. We do not have a relevant statement from the NSW Chief Medical Officer that it is OK to hold competitive sporting events. We may receive the opposite – that it is not OK. That is the current situation in Victoria.
The State Interschools event cannot be run this year in Thredbo for so many reasons, and Thredbo has made that decision. The cancellation of the State Interschools XC event in August is understandable. It is not a stand-alone Interschools event, even though it is held in Perisher. We might well see decisions similar to Thredbo’s made in Perisher for the same reasons. And keep in mind that National Interschools is not yet cancelled – maybe a very small rabbit of some description can be pulled out of the hat…...
PXC, NSWACT XC Committees and other volunteers have been working hard to make sure that the trails, Nordic Shelter and programs can be ready and safe for the winter. There has been physical work, which is mostly fun, and preparation of COVID plans, risk management, etc., which is less fun but interesting nevertheless.
XC is lucky. If we have snow, we will have a winter. We will ski on groomed trails and in a beautiful environment. We hope to have the Nordic Shelter at the heart of it, even if it is in a limited role. It will be up to the XC Community to manage how they experience this very different winter. We are usually pretty good at lateral thinking and making the best of things!
We will keep you informed as we move along this unknown pathway.
31 May 2020