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Falls Creek

Thursday, September 11, 2003
Wait until you see the latest crave that is hitting our ski slopes!

Falls Creek is on the edge of the Bogong High Plains, overlooking the Kiewa Valley. It is the only alpine village in Australia where you can ski straight from your lodge to the lifts and from the slopes back to your lodge.

Skiing is spread over two areas, with 19 lifts and 451 hectares of skiable downhill runs. Some of Australia's best cross-country skiing is here and it is the only resort offering the latest snowsports, freestyle tubing and snow-biking.

Snow bikes are a modified mountain bike or BMX frame with small skis instead of wheels. The skis are designed to use the force of gravity to go down the snow-covered mountains.

Snow-biking began around 150 years ago in the European Alps when large and heavy wooden vehicles were used as practical winter transport. There is evidence of a similar vehicle in North America in the 1870s. In 1911 the Velegemel was patented in Switzerland, but not much was heard about them until the late 1940s.

In 1949, an Austrian ski manufacturer obtained a patent for his Sit-Ski. He made some innovative changes — he used real skis, added a suspension system and began using short foot skis. This resulted in a device capable of skidded turns and speed control and turned the vehicle from being purely practical into sporting equipment.

The proliferation of ski areas in the 1950s, '60s and '70s saw the sport growing rapidly in Europe. At one time there were 70 manufacturers.

Falls Creek offers snow-biking for people aged six and up on Wednesday and Saturday nights from 6.30pm until 9pm and for the circuit, riders don't need a lift pass.

Snowtubing sessions are in the snowtube park and really, there isn't much to it except riding down a slope on a tube. Freestyle tubing has steerable and stoppable mechanisms, is for people 15 years and over and requires no special skills. Families who can't ski or snowboard find they can have loads of fun in the snow on the tubes.

Location

The heart of the Victorian Alps

Cost

Falls Creek Sports hire snowtubes starting at $12 for half an hour. Freestyle tubes and snow bikes start at $12 a circuit. They run during the season from early June to early October.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Falls Creek Sports
Falls Creek Road
Falls Creek 3699
Ph: (03) 5758 3253 Fax: (03) 5758 3521
www.fallscreeksports.com.au
fcadmin@fallscreek.net


Qantas: 13 13 13

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