Sunday, June 28, 2015

Corin Forest

The world is warming up. Whether you like it or not (and the Australian government sadly has a lot of climate change ‘sceptics’) there appears to be unequivocal evidence that human impact on climate is causing the planet to warm up. Sadly we live in a country which has a love affair with coal and so people in power here are not likely to wake up to the impacts of CO2 and burning fossil fuels until we are all living in bubbles and our beautiful earth is uninhabitable. If you've got any doubts please watching 'Chasing Ice' a film which really should be a wake-up call for governments around the world.

Forecasts suggest that Australia won’t have any viable snow fields remaining by 2020. I do hope these forecasts are overly pessimistic and I can look back on this post in five years time and laugh. I doubt it though.

Every year the kids and I head out for some snow fun. Usually we go to the nearby snowy mountains – Mount Selwyn is a popular spot about 2½ hours drive south of Canberra. All of the snow fields have ‘snow cams’ where you can judge the amount of snow – they’re usually updated every 10 minutes or so. Right now if you look at Mount Selwyn’s ‘snow cam’ – you mostly see grassy banks. It makes sad viewing, especially as the ‘ski season’ opened three or four weeks ago. Here's a picture of the slopes a few minutes ago.

Mount Selwyn's ski slope, but of course climate change is imaginary

In Corin Forest, just outside of Canberra an entrepreneur has seized on this and set up a toboggan area on a shadowy slope. It’s man-made snow and he’s got three large snow makers. I’m a bit dubious about the long term prospects of this even as water becomes scarcer and more expensive, but for now it provided a shorter (45 minute) drive to having fun on the snow (albeit man made snow)

Corin is well laid out – a nice lodge with a big fire where you can melt marshmallows and only a short walk from the carpark to the slope.

The kids were shocked at first (we’d only been to snow fields before, so to find a green wooded car park with just a small square of snow high up on the hill surprised them at first). They had fun though and there was an area set aside where you could make snowmen and have snowball fights so it was well organised.

We went with one of Audrey’s friends and the three kids enjoyed tearing down the slopes on our toboggans. It might be our only trip this year as it seems a bit futile to take a drive to the ‘proper’ snow fields to find ourselves on a grassy bank, perhaps we might go in a month or so to look at the spring flowers.

Audrey on the slopes

enough snow to make a snowman

The nearby (beautiful) Gibraltar falls

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