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Ben Lomond National Park Ski Slope Plan 2010

The full version of the Ben Lomond National Park Ski Slope Plan 2010 can be downloaded as a PDF File (8100 Kb).

Executive Summary

The Ben Lomond Skifield Development Plan (PWS 1993) identifies a ‘Management Zone B - Primary downhill skiing area’ or ‘ski slope’ within the Ben Lomond National Park in north-east Tasmania (Map 1). The ski slopes are one hour from Launceston and just over 3 hours from Hobart by car. The slopes have traditionally formed part of an affordable family-oriented skifield. Although visitors now come for a variety of recreational, social and educational activities, skiing and snow boarding are still the main focus and visitation is overwhelmingly during the snow season. Most facilities and infrastructure on the ski slopes are centred on snow sports. Other winter activities include tobogganing, snow-play and socialising. However, the ski slope is accessible all year around and is also used for walking and nature appreciation.

The Draft Ski Slope Plan assesses current facilities, services, conditions and management regimes and guides phased improvements and the potential expansion of infrastructure, facilities and services for ‘winter’ and ‘non-winter’ recreation to meet changing demand and interests. This Ski Slope Plan promotes contemporary guidelines and methods used to successfully manage other Australian ski resorts. The Plan also reinforces the need for all development to be accompanied by conservation and rehabilitation measures, commensurate with impacts and the slope’s natural values.

The Ben Lomond ski slopes are relatively small and marginal, with resources for development and maintenance being limited. The slopes have limited gentle and smooth terrain suited to beginner, novice and low intermediate skiers and natural obstacles abound, further challenging skiers.

However, targeted slope grooming, snow farming, winter grooming or / and tow capacity increases will better allow for marginal conditions and improve skier enjoyment. Improvements for more reliable and enjoyable tobogganing, tubing, snow play and other winter recreation are supported. While technically feasible, further trialling, assessment and resourcing of targeted snow making is largely the responsibility of commercial interests. The Ski Slope Plan supports construction of an appropriate vehicle service route to major ski infrastructure, to avoid undesirable environmental impacts and reduce maintenance costs.

Maps in this Ski Slope Plan identify proposed locations of walking tracks, snow fences, tows, skiing runs, activity areas, services and service routes. Several location options are identified for a potential terrain park, tubing and tobogganing facilities. Tables indicate existing and proposed skill, tow and slope capacities. The tows could comfortably handle 300 - 700 patrons in 2009, depending on snow conditions.

There is currently limited directional or interpretive signage for summer visitors. However there is potential for an easy ‘dry shoe’ walk with interpretation to Legges Tor, the second highest peak in Tasmania. The characteristics of the area that appeal to ‘year round’ visitors should be conserved and enhanced, particularly the slope’s visual quality and heritage associated with the area’s skiing history (ie. Summit lodges).

The implementation of many supported ski slope improvements, heavily relies on resourcing by commercial operators and volunteer assistance. However, there are actions that will require a coordinated effort from all parties, including the managing authority (ie Parks and Wildlife Service) and community interest groups. An agreed yearly works schedule or plan should be developed by the relevant parties to maximise opportunities to fund and implement components of this plan in a timely and coordinated manner.