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5 Day Snow Forecast
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71- 11 Nov 2014
70 - 21 Aug 2014
Issue 69 - 28 Jun 2014
Issue 68 - 15 Mar 2014
Issue 67 - 22 Sep 2013
Issue 66 - 12 July 2013
Issue 65 - 16 May 2013
Issue 64 - 20 March 2013
72 FRIDAY 11 APRIL 2015....
Welcome to Issue of 72 Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of
Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club, and the first
so as we head into darker nights, the
thoughts shift to winter pursuits (or all-year-round round
pursuits, but in warmer clothes)...the gear that
needs updating, the kids that need newer bigger gear, the
adults that want to update their current quiver...and thoughts
of those winter holidays at Ruapehu, the South Island, or if
we/you are lucky, at your local (we have been lucky to operate
in the July holidays the last 2 seasons)...
In this issue...
of the SMC
your winter gear here.
New season Icebreaker now in
Season Rental now
18 Ariki Street, New Plymouth
Fax (06) 7584152
4 Mustang Dve Bell Block
phone and fax
SMC acknowledges support given by NZ Community
Trust, towards our new Quad bike.
GOINGS ON’ Around the
Manganui Ski AreaNew Quad bike ordered
2014 AGM Review
Annual Report /Financial Statements
brief that Michelle Ellis raised:
• Term Deposit
Investments for SMC has increased from $10,644 to $35,000
$10,000 grants received in advance is recorded
sales are down on 2013,although hard to pinpoint without an
accurate POS system.
• Season pass sales remained on par
• November’s 3 days of operations resulted in
$3,500 roughly that will be included in the 2015 financial
• 2014 had 187 paid up subscriptions (Families,
• Thanks to the
Committee, we are now a well oiled committee, with the
inclusion of a few swiss components.
• Thanks to the paid
staff, Brooke, Caleb and Hope. Many
thanks to Brooke,
dropping his work at a minutes notice to ensure that we can
run the ski area.
• Due to favourable snow conditions in
2014, the club managed to operate through the July school
holidays, this resulted in some profitable weekdays for the
• This year we managed to hold the Taranaki Secondary
and Primary School’s skiing and snowboarding
The winner of each age group now receive a
trophy for their placing, these trophies are held by the
• With a few days in August and September keeping
the club members happy, we then came across a new club first,
Snowvember. November provided the punters with some amazing
conditions on the T-bar and top tow.
• The club
received a $10,000 grant from NZCT for a new/safer quad bike
to be used during the summer working bee season.
must go to the Frasers, they gifted the club a replacement
oven for the canteen midseason, as the previous one died.
A huge thanks must go to Todd Velvin - who continues
provide Level 2 Avalanche assessments for the club.
Election of Committee Members:
(Currently Jack Cran) Jack Cran
Secretary (Currently Morgan
Davies) Morgan Davies
Safety Services (Currently Jenni
Fletcher) Jenni Fletcher
Social Convenor (Currently Murray
Symons) Murray Symons
Padrutt) Christian Padrutt
Lower Lifts (Currently Mario
Padrutt) Mario Padrutt
Lodge Convenor (Currently Rob
Life Membership: Brian Velvin
• Provided years of Electrical trade
• A huge help with the recent T‐bar project.
Larger motivator behind the T‐Bar drive motor in 1985 and Top
Tow replacement in 1992.
thanks to Brian and his effort he has put into SMC over the
SMC President Rhys Williams congratulates Brian
Life Memberships: Iain &
• Merlene spent tireless years as the Lodge
Custodian and in the Canteen
• Iain and Merlene always
provide hours of assistance yearly in the running gear
preparations for the T-Bar
• Iain and Merlene have been
providing assistance to SMC for 29 years.
• Iain and
Merlene spent a huge amount of time on the implementation of
the Top Tow, an asset that all the Club enjoy.
• Lastly the
recent T‐bar project couldn’t have been done without Iain and
Iain & Merlene with Rhys
Wilsons have been an integral part= of theSMC operations over
the last 30 years.
SMC thank the couple for their energy
and effort put into the club.
David Thatcher Trophy: Christian & Mario
Background: Early president who managed to get the field
electrified and also built the first odge on the field.
award was envisioned that it would go to an outstanding club
member who had contributed to the club in a manner not
Mario and Christian; Rhys holds their David Thatcher
The brothers Christian and Mario Padrutt have been
fundamental in the maintenance and smooth operation of the
lower lifts and machinery for a number of years. Christian
must be the leader of the most working bees ever. He is
regularly logging 10 plus days pre season, with his
maintenance and t-bar mowing program.
With the gradual
upgrade of our plant and machinery, hopefully his job has
Swiss nationals they are; they are always
at home in the thinner air of the mountains, and their local
Mt. Taranaki in particular.
Long term items to replace to
ease the maintenance would be the learners lift (with a low
maintenace replacement) and of course the
for a full copy of the 2014 AGM minutes, please refer
to our website SMC
Members info/AGM minutes page
New Quad bike delivered
Our new QUAD bike was delivered to the ski field on Jan
Thanks to Mario and Christian for their efforts.
Our old bike is now off the mountain and has been sold to a
loaded up at the bottom of the fox
The bike came with 2 helmets (complements of Taranaki Motor
Cycles Stratford) which we encourage users to wear.
over to its new home on the ski area
As we are
bound by OSH to provide a safe work area, even for volunteer
workers, your safety in operating SMC plant and machinery is
important to SMC.
lowered at the lodge end
The new bike is more
powerful and tricky initially to operate. We encourage users
to be briefed and trained by Mario or Christian before use (in
fact we will kick off a user register to keep a record of
competant users and those who have been trained, as well we
will display "authorised riders only" stickers on both the
Quad and Ski-doo).
Thanks again to NZCT.
Subs are being issued this month
Stellar work from Treasurer Michelle Ellis has seen the
membership database improved to the point where she can much
easier send out those annual subs to SMC members.
see them in the mail in April.
Damage to track and repairs
Doc have advised that the access track has been damaged
after large rainfall. Jack Cran has sourced a 12 tonne digger
to help fix the track.
The autumn working bees are very important to the strength
of the club, not only in getting the necessary maintenance
work done by members, but also to build club spirit.
will to publish every Thursday an email to members outlining
the upcoming weekends' working bee activities and who to
contact should you be willing. Your volunteer labour will be
2014 working bee: top tow shed weather
Remember, a working bee qualifier is now applied to
'discounted' member season passes. Working bees are required
to be completed by 31 May to qualify for the 'discounted'
season pass rate, otherwise full price season pass rate
applies. 1 member working bee still qualifies for 1 free
nights accommodation at SMC Lodge, or 1 free days skiing,
whichever you chose.
working bee: An-other and Dennis Cran on the access tow drive,
in the cloud
If you are keen in assisting in one
of the scheduled working bees, please contact the weekend
organisers as listed below. The working bee day is scheduled
for Sundays, depending on availablilty/weather.
2015 Working Bee Schedule
m 027 2700115
Repaint Warwick Brown
m 022 6819469
Repaint Warwick Brown
m 027 248 4085
Webcams setup and test,
Warwick Brown Basement
m 021 2736938
m 021 646110
Spring clean lodge
m 027 2232207
Removal of any dangerous
Ski Patrol prep/maintenance
Tidy up Patrol
Mario Padrutt Christian
m 027 2700115
General lower field clean up
m 027 2232207
Top Tow Safety Fence maintenance
Top Tow Safety
Learners Tow out
general lower field clean
Participation in scheduled working
bees gets you ability to purchase a discounted season pass, as
well as a working bee ticket. This ticket be exchanged for a
lift pass, or accommodation at the Manganui Lodge, should you
already hold an SMC season pass [working bee ticket is valid
till the opening day of the following season].
next funding and major project: the tbar drive
...and the refurbishment/replacement of the flying
back SMC club members.
Wow, what a
summer we have had, great time for outdoor BBQ's and loads of
beach time. The weather has turned for you and lets hope the
start to a good winter season soon. For me working overseas at
the moment in hot desert conditions with the only snow a 3
drive away at Dubai's mall indoor snow park (I think it is
400m long). When I get desperate I might give it a go.
The SMC working
bee schedule is posted above. We have a few small projects
this year, with next year second stage refurbishment to the
fox and bottom bull wheel to be done.
I would like to
thank David from TimberCo for supporting SMC with timber to be
used on the t-bar catcher replacement
Hopefully you could add your name, and help
contribute towards the maintenance of club facilities and take
advantage of the discounted season pass. We do understand
this doesn't suit all our members, so to those who can't make
working bees we appreciate payment of your subs to ensure the
financial stability of SMC.
Our newly funded
quad bike (in Taranaki colours) is now up on the field ready
to be used for our working bee's. Thank you NZCT.
goal is to run an efficient and financially sound club so
members and the public can enjoy the best our little ski-field
has to offer. You can help any time by supporting the staff
and /or volunteering when the field is open - just make
contact with the ski field staff on the day. It all helps!
WHAT THE SMC
COMMITTEE IS UP TO
The SMC committee is working on:
- Lodge entry/security system review
- POS system investigation for next season
- 3-year major funding - tbar drive station and goods
lifts towers renewal
- website/enewsletter revamp underway
- top tow maintenance - new night pulleys/ re wire of
safety system/further weatherproof of top tow shed
- lower lifts maintenance - wire rope NDT
- mowing - 1 more day required (3 done so far)
- tbar supports - grouting
- subs issue
- primo wireless test for internet upgrade
All Committee meeting minutes are posted on our
website; check out our SMC
Members Info/Club Documents page to see what we are up
Mr Outdoors loses battle for survival
7 2015 - Taranaki Daily News
Rob Needs is
closing his store Kiwi Outdoors, which has been open since the
Rob Needs' shop is filled with tents, billies, pocket
knives and merino outerwear, but the most valuable inventory
is inside his head.
Trouble is, he can't sell it.
is part-owner of Kiwi Outdoors, a New Plymouth institution
that would turn 80 next year if it weren't shutting its doors
Located in the centre of town, he's the local
go-to for any information related to the mountain, whether
it's the Taranaki Daily News calling for a snow report or
visitors directed to him by DOC for advice on huts and trails
in the national park.
He jokes if he put "Outdoors
Consultant" at the end of his name he'd make a
Needs loves the Taranaki outdoors.
vicariously through other people's hikes for the last 17 1/2
He's up at 7am driving people to the North Egmont
Visitors' Centre with his shuttle service and often works
11-hour days, frequently spending half an hour with a customer
only to have them thank him and head home to buy the item
Despite this, he wishes he could keep doing it, but
he needs to provide for his family and at the moment he's
barely scraping by.
Needs is the sort of guy who won't
struggle to find work, but you can understand his
His is the same story you hear all too often these
days: the local owner-operator retailer struggling to compete
with big firms, soaring rent prices in the CBD and the rise of
buying online, resulting in a steady decline in
"If I had to put any one reason it's probably
corporate outdoors stores. [In New Plymouth] we're up against
But those big corporates don't deal in
local knowledge - it doesn't serve their purpose and that's
why Needs still gets foot traffic.
"We give away a lot of
information because we're experts," Needs explains.
local and central government information providers often refer
people to him and he can't charge for it.
"Where will I buy
hut tickets?" was the first question from a friend on hearing
of the store's imminent closing.
Another person asked who
would mend his tent poles and another where he'd hire ski
Such dinky, unprofitable ventures demonstrate how
Needs' business has morphed to fill the niches left open by
retail giants that have dominated camping equipment with cheap
stock, pushing the little guys out.
They're services valued
by the community but they don't fill Needs' pockets.
partnership manager Darryn Ratana says Needs' face-to-face
interaction with visitors and knack for sending them off with
a smile on their face has been a boon for the department,
whose office is tucked away in Rimu St, not handy to the
"Losing that type of knowledge and ability to interact
with visitors is a huge loss," Ratana says.
He says DOC
could not regulate who went to the summit or what they did
there, so having guides like Needs with cultural sensitivity
who could educate people on how to conduct themselves in the
national park was vital.
Needs' business partner, Allen
Pool's grandfather, started the business as an army clothing
store in 1936 and Pool began working there at age 16.
business evolved in the 1970s from army gear to tramping
equipment, all New Zealand-made, Pool recalls.
the fantastic days of retailing."
People used to travel
from Wellington to visit the store, which had a reputation as
the best outdoors outlet in New Zealand, he says.
says the death of the store now is no fault of Needs', who has
worked harder than they ever did, for less.
everything he could do possible to keep it going.
doesn't like to think how many times he's been a showroom for
"You kind of hope people are
He'll spend 20 minutes talking to them and they
say they'll be back that afternoon, then return with their
iPad and ask him to match a price online.
"Sometimes I do
it because any sale is better than no sale."
He wonders if
the store's closing will make people reflect on the social
cost of not spending locally.
Without him in town offering
expert advice and safe gear to climbers, will accidents on the
mountain increase? Who will provide merchandise for local
school prizegiving ceremonies, or charity giveaways?
the future can tell.
Rob's Mountain Shuttle; a unique service to Mt.
Taranaki and to Ruapehu in the winter
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
In the immediate future he needs a new job but he's also
got plans to monetise that precious outdoors knowledge with a
He's been discussing it with DOC
and Venture Taranaki and hopes to have Top Guides up and
running next summer season.
With oil and gas and dairying
taking a downturn, Taranaki needed to diversify its economy by
using its unique assets, Needs says.
"Nobody can steal Mt
Taranaki. Nobody can steal our coastline.
"We need to focus
on a visitor industry people can't take away from
One way he aims to achieve
this is by establishing the Pouakai Crossing as a recognised
visitor attraction for the region, a project that had its
first Venture Taranaki team meeting on Thursday.
Plymouth MP Jonathan Young is right behind the
If billed as the sister walk to
the Tongariro Crossing, which attracts 80,000 visitors
annually, three-quarters from overseas, the Pouakai Crossing
could attract thousands, Young says.
To this end, he says Needs' local
knowledge is critical.
"What we will need is private
sector operators like Rob who are experts in their field, who
also understand the challenges and ensure it's a world-class
Young says Needs' cultural awareness is important to
respect the taonga of the province's iwi. "Taranaki has a very
interest story to tell."
Antony Rhodes, of Venture
Taranaki, says Needs' retail knowledge will be a loss, but his
expertise in a guiding role will help to maximise Taranaki's
"People coming into the region who don't know the
mountain, the trails, the culture, the legend, that local
knowledge is vital in giving a good visitor
Needs' lasting wish is testament to his
devotion to ensuring people's enjoyment of the
"If the legacy of Kiwi Outdoors is that Pouakai
Crossing becomes a visitor attraction and the economic impact
is the community has a more vibrant visitor industry, I'll be
happy," he says.
ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX MEDIA
With our spending habits changing rapidly over the last
5 years, with the percentage of online purchases ever on the
increase, traditional retailing has got tough. All we can do
is discretionally support those local businesses who rely on
It is funny how purse strings relax when
on-line bargains are to be had; not too disimilar to the
holiday dollar spending spree...trouble is, neither benefit
The impact to local schools, multi-sport
events and the like will soom be felt without Rob's support
and sponsorship; a void that will be hard to
Manganui Ski Area named one of Taranaki's Top 10
Things to do 2015!
So travel/attractions website Experience Oz + NZ
put together yearly polls on the Top Things to Do lists for all of Australia
and New Zealand's major regions, and Manganui
Ski Area was voted, just like in 2014, to the list for
And we even have a 2015 badge touting Manganui Ski Area
as a winner!
this from the website article...
New Zealand's Taranaki region on the west tip of NZ's North
Island – and its main settlement of New Plymouth – are a
showcase of greenery, alpine beauty and historical
significance all wrapped up into a single highly enjoyable
package that presents those visiting with a wide array of
things to see and do. Simply put, if you're the type that
enjoys natural spectacles and taking in true, untouched
landscape of the country you're visiting on your trips, then
few other regions in New Zealand can provide what you're
looking for quite like this area.
Dominated by the stunning, almost perpetually snow-covered
peak of Mount Taranaki itself, Taranaki offers an experience
as diverse as it is visually impressive – exploring its inner
reaches provides one of the best examples of NZ back-country
and national park, while heading towards the coastline unfolds
a myriad of rugged beaches that are renowned as much for their
dramatic landscapes as they are their quality surf breaks. Top
it all off with a healthy dose of both Maori and European
history and some charming specialist local attractions, and
Taranaki presents a cavalcade of things for the prospective
visitor from locally and abroad alike to see and do.
If you're planning to visit this ruggedly scenic part of
New Zealand, here's our list of recommendations for the top
things to do in Taranaki, NZ:
10. Fun Ho! Toy Museum
The majority of holidays we take are all about relaxing and
unwinding, however if you've got kids in tow it's something
that can become increasingly difficult to do without having
something to keep them occupied. It's a good thing then, that
Taranaki is home to one of the most enjoyable attractions for
younger kids in the country – the Fun Ho! Toy Museum in the
town of Inglewood, around 15 minutes drive to the south-east
of New Plymouth. Featuring a showcase of over 3,000 toys from
a brand that is famed throughout New Zealand, it's an
impressive gallery of high-quality handmade kids' toys from
the past, with models on display dating as far back as 1935
that make the mass-manufactured plastic toys of today look
incredibly disposable in comparison...
9. Mikes Organic Brewery
Switching from attractions oriented towards kids to those a
favourite of adults, Mike's Organic Brewery is the destination
of choice in the Taranaki region for anyone who fancies a
tasty drop of the amber stuff. While it's currently run by a
man named Ron (who took over from founder Mike Johnson several
years ago), the name isn't important; what is important is the
quality of its various organic lagers, ales and pilsners are
some of the best from a boutique brewery in NZ's North Island.
The lineup at Mike's Organic Brewery have won several
awards – both domestically and internationally - and feature a
distinct German and Belgian influence with tastes that range
from malty, sweeter notes through to darker coffee-influenced
flavours. All of their beers are certified as organic – hence
the name – meaning that all ingredients are natural and simply
a result of nature at work...
8. Brooklands Zoo
Taranaki's natural offerings aren't just limited to
landscapes – those who are after a dose of animal
entertainment as well can visit the region's excellent
Brooklands Zoo, an outstanding attraction featuring animals
both domestic and exotic that also happens to be entirely FREE
to enter (although donations are appreciated). A true asset to
the New Plymouth district, both kids and adults alike can find
plenty to keep them occupied at Brooklands whether it be
admiring the creatures themselves, enjoying a quality coffee
or burning off some energy in the playground. Situated amongst
lovely parkland surrounds next to Pukekura (see further
below), the potential for enjoying time both at the zoo and
enjoying a walk nearby makes for an added layer of pleasantry,
While it's not a massive commercial attraction featuring
every animal under the sun like some zoos, the zoo is
obviously passionately taken care of and all of the animal
enclosures at Brooklands are kept in pristine condition – a
credit to the staff. In addition, the animals who call the zoo
home are diverse enough to provide a good cross-section of the
animal kingdom; during a visit, you'll encounter the likes of
monkeys, meerkats, otters, and many other critters including a
range of farm animals rounding out the offerings. There's also
an excellent walk-through bird enclosure that features a solid
display of all things avian. It's a great place to bring
smaller children who can get up close with the various species
and perhaps learn something along the way...
7. Te Popo Gardens
Taranaki is renowned throughout New Zealand for the quality
of its gardens – with New Plymouth, Kaponga and Hawera all
having their own standouts in this category - however one of
the most underrated examples is found in the Stratford area
around half an hour's drive south of New Plymouth. Te Popo
Gardens, a 34-acre blend of both woodland and forest with its
centrepiece being a beautiful five acre garden is a must-visit
for those who appreciate plant life of all kinds.
Te Popo, which means “Lullaby” in the native Maori tongue,
is peace and beauty incarnate, featuring expansive and
lovingly-maintained grounds by its dedicated hosts that's both
not to small and not too big; it's the ideal size to wander
around and simply be...
6. Puke Ariki Museum and Library
An essential stop for those wanting to gain a deeper look
at what has made Taranaki what it is today, knowledge,
heritage and history all combine at the Puke Ariki Museum and
Library in the heart of New Plymouth. What serves as a simple
visitor's information centre in most cities is expanded
greatly here into a fully-fledged cultural facility that
offers a comprehensive look at what makes Taranaki tick (and
for which it won an award back in 2003); it's the cultural
centrepiece of the town and a striking building in its own
right, with a creative architectural design that hints at the
stimulating offerings available inside.
Puke Ariki should serve as one of the first stops for
visitors to the Taranaki region in general, as it does a great
job of incorporating the likes of overall regional information
natural, European and Maori history with activities to keep
the kids entertained as well. History buffs will be in their
element here, as the museum has various exhibits which detail
Taranaki's past with several heritage collections that feature
objects of all kinds including photographs, documents, maps
and other relics both Maori and European alike which are all
very well curated and signed and give visitors a sense of its
The alpine scenery of the Taranaki
region isn't all just for show; if you're a fan of winter
sports and travelling during the colder months, Taranaki will
impress with the quality of its ski and snowboard
opportunities. While it might not be as widely known as larger
and more highly-promoted ski areas in New Zealand such as
those around Queenstown or Christchurch, Maunganui Ski Area at
Mt. Taranaki is no slouch itself; during the the months of
June to October the coverage is quite good and the fields tend
to be far less crowded than those of its larger cousins.
Although the majority of its
offerings are targeted at the advanced skier, the ski fields
of Manganui feature a blend of beginner to intermediate runs
on the main slopes with more advanced options available upon
further travel, so skiers and families of all ability levels
will be able to find an option that best suits them
Manganui with its winter coat on; July
The ski area is located on the slopes
of iconic Mt. Taranaki itself, and is reached via a fairly
short walk along a sealed road through Beech forest and
features four lifts as well as a flying fox that can be used
to transport ski equipment further up. The facility is unique
in that it is run entirely on a volunteer basis by the
Stratford Mountain Club and is thus far less commercialised
than other NZ ski areas, and its location offers some truly
amazing views out over a gorge and the rest of the scenic
Egmont National Park in which it lies...
4. Tawhiti Museum
“Not what you're
thinking” is probably the best way to catch your eye when you
see another museum on the list, as Nigel Ogle's Tawhiti Museum
in Taranaki's Hawera is anything but the standard “fossils and
relics” museum experience. Ogle, his wife and their
collaborators have done their best to detail the history of
New Zealand via ridiculously-realistic replicas of actual
scenes, both life-size and miniature that look about as close
to real life as humanly possible.
It's not close to your typical wax museum in this regard
either, as figures aren't simply standing alone – they're
depicted actively participating in that period of New
Zealand's history, both European and Maori alike, which helps
to add a sense of life to the exhibition and put various
scenes and daily routines of the past into better context.
The museum's range of galleries are divided up according to
theme, with each featuring a blend of minatures and life-size
recreations; the detail that has gone into the mini models is
simply incredible, and faithful depictions of the likes of
European settlers exploring the land, native warriors at march
and farm workers plying their trade are all given an equal
amount of love and attention. All of the displays you'll see
during your visit to Tawhiti Museum have been created on-site,
incorporating techniques that involve wax moulds and casting
to help give them their lifelike qualities – and these, in
turn are set amongst dioramas with backdrops of a variety of
sceneries that look just as realistic as the figures standing
amongst them. The scenes on display are very well curated,
with plaques outlining their historic relevance and making it
easier for those visiting from abroad to gain a sense of their
significance to New Zealand's history...
3. Pukekura Park
This oasis in the heart of the city of New Plymouth is an
unexpected gem often encountered for the first time by those
visiting the area, featuring one of the best blends of green
and alpine scenery in a single panorama that can be found in
any city of NZ.
Another of New Zealand's recognised Gardens of National
Significance, the park spreads out over a wide 52 hectare area
and features a myriad of plants from both NZ and abroad
intermingled wonderfully with various walking trails, bridges
and waterways which round out the experience perfectly to
create one of the premier botanic gardens in the country.
A true slice of peaceful paradise in the middle of the
city, there's both plenty going on in Pukekura Park while
simultaneously offering a ton of open space for visitors to
enjoy as well. What is a hub of activity filled with the likes
of live musicians, fire dancers and acrobatic displays during
both night time and its annual Festival of Lights gives way to
a serene combination of flowers, ferns and waterfalls that
remains highly uncommercialised despite its central location.
The grounds of Pukekura Park are kept in tip-top condition all
year round – a nod to the efforts of local city authorities –
and this immaculate level of maintenance extends to all areas
of the park, form its glasshouse-enclosed Chinese garden to
its lush fernery and numerous displays of blooming flowers of
2. New Plymouth Coastal Walkway
Taranaki's coastline is one of the key natural features
that helps define its character, and there's no better
showcase open to the public than New Plymouth's Coastal
Walkway that allows visitors to experience the sights and
sounds firsthand. Only recently completed, this 11km-long
seaside path spans almost the entirety of the city and gives
walkers and cyclists the chance to take in the spectacle of
the ocean while paying a visit to plenty of the main
attractions of the city along the way. Shops, beaches, cafes,
restaurants, farmland, lagoons and architectural feats are all
covered during the course of the walkway, with the only limit
to what's encountered being the amounts of time and energy
you're willing to invest in exploring its many offerings.
The Coastal Walkway is easily accessible and provides a
great combination of fresh air and sightseeing, stretching
from the waterfront and giving scenic views of the coast and
its various ports – on a clear day, you'll even be able to see
Mt. Taranaki's proud peak jutting out in the distance. The
walkway can be divided up into smaller portions and spread out
over a multi-day journey which allows for extra time to admire
the different features or stop for a bite to eat along the
way, while its relatively flat layout means it's easy enough
on the feet to complete in a single session...
1. Mt Taranaki
The Taranaki region wouldn't quite be Taranaki without its
iconic mountain (alternatively named Mt. Egmont), an object of
pure natural beauty that has become an emblem of the area as a
whole and which is one of the most perfectly-formed of its
kind in the country.
The subject of numerous postcards, calendars, pictures and
paintings, it's the symmetry that gives the mountain its
special appearance, with its conical shape utterly striking to
view from any angle. Mt. Taranaki has a special spiritual
significance to the Maori culture and is surrounded by
numerous myths and legends detailing its origins, however it
doesn't take an iota of historical or cultural knowledge to
enjoy its sheer spectacle and the array of things to do that
the mountain offers.
Trekking and hiking are obvious focal points for those who
want to get a more intimate NZ-style experience, and Mt.
Taranaki offers opportunities in abundance in its surrounding
Egmont National Park, with tracks that branch off in numerous
directions and provide walkers with a variety of natural
sights such thick forest, cascading waterfalls and deep plunge
pools. The National Park, which lies south of New Plymouth
close to the coast, is massive in scope and encompasses the
mountain as well as a total area of 335 square kilometres and
is teeming with botanical highlights that are a pleasure to
soak in along the way which can be seen on the number of
available short walks as well as the longer and more epic,
Digital Marketing Manager
Experience Oz |
An Avalanche survival story:
This story should serve as a cautionary tale for all who
enjoy spending time in the mountains both in and out of
bounds. It should not be used to replace vital information
provided by your local avalanche authority and ski
The 30th of January 2015 is a daythat will forever
be engrained into my memory as the scariest day of my life.
After one week into a months skiing in Les Crosets on the
Swiss/French border, we were hit with a large snowstorm that
dumped close to one metre of snow over a 48 hour period.
Naturally, my Australian ski buddies Andrew and Dan, and local
friend Leonard were excited to get our powder fix as the week
prior had been relatively warm and dry.
As expected the
morning’s skiing was all-time, with the group sharing deep
powder turns with face-shots aplenty. As the avalanche risk
was a very high 4/5, we stuck to inbound slopes with minimal
pitch and low exposure to play it safe, or so we thought.
After a quick lunch, we noticed that ski patrol had opened the
Grande Conche chair, which leads to longer and more exciting
inbounds terrain. After a quick discussion we headed up the
chair and scored more deep turns directly under the lift. Near
the bottom of the run we skied into a small V-shaped gully
with a short powder schuss at the bottom that followed a small
creek back to the base of the lift. During the ski out I
noticed a short but untracked line through the trees that I
had previously skied on a 2013 trip to the resort. The group
decided that we would drop in there next lap.
In order to
get to the top of the line we had to do a short 20 metre push
with our skis on from the piste. We were delighted to notice
that there were no tracks leading to the run so we would score
first tracks. However as we pushed through the deep snow I
noticed a muffled ‘whumping’ sound as our skis broke through a
thin layer of hoare frost about 30cm under the fresh layer of
snow. We stopped and discussed our options. Due to this
particular gully being known amongst locals as a safer option
due to it’s short length and low pitch, also taking into
account the fact that we had skied the line on previous trips
in similar avalanche conditions without an issue, we decided
to push on and ski the line anyway.
I went first. The top
was one of the deepest powder runs I have ever experienced,
the deep snow making it hard to breathe through a turn, let
alone see. I would pop out of the white room for a split
second after each turn only to be re-engulfed by a cloud of
white a moment later. The final section of the line takes a
quick 45 degree turn into a slightly steeper but short 20m
pitch that ends in the creek at the bottom of the gully.
Carrying my speed I took a little air over the roller into
this final pitch, this is where everything went wrong.
I landed I noticed the snow around me start to slab and break
away, so I pointed my skis straight and went as fast as I
could in order to ski over the slab and outrun the avalanche.
I figured my best option was to ski over the frozen creek at
the bottom and up the other side of the gully to escape.
However as I hit the creek I slammed into a shoulder high wall
of snow on the other side of the gully which stopped me dead
in my tracks. I looked up just in time to watch the avalanche
envelope me. The last thing I managed to do before I was
completely buried was to reach as high as I could above the
snow with my left arm and ski pole. This may have ultimately
saved my life.
As the snow piled higher and higher, It
became darker and darker until I was surrounded by an eerie
black silence, broken only by the sound of my slow breathing
and racing heartbeat.
“Okay” I thought to myself;
“You’re dead.” I had a shovel and probe in my backpack and
I was wearing a transceiver, however, the others were only
carrying a shovel and probe. I was convinced that they would
not find me in time. Unable to move I focused on slowing my
breathing, relaxing and conserving oxygen. I felt bizarrely
emotionless and wondered for a moment what death would be
like. Then I remembered that I was reaching upwards with my
left arm, ski pole still attached. I tried to wiggle my hand
and I felt a ‘pop’ as the top 5cm of the pole broke the
surface of the snow. Suddenly emotion flooded through me as I
realised that Andrew, Dan and Leonard would be able to locate
me under the snow if they saw the tip of the pole. However I
still forced myself to remain calm as I sat in wait.
my vision became brighter and I heard some muffled voices,
then suddenly everything went white as Dan and Leonard
excavated my face, I later learned that Andrew had taken a
different line and had gone to get ski patrol. I let out a
short groan and stifled the words;
“Boy am I happy to see
I cried with happiness and relief, however, I
was by no means out of the woods yet. Only my face was
uncovered and I was standing upwards with 1.5 metres of snow
still above my head. But what really spooked me was that I was
positioned directly under the pitch that had buried me,
completely exposed to any further avalanche activity. The
thought of being re-buried was horrifying.
arrived accompanied by two swiss Ski Patrol who promptly
helped to dig me out. Despite there being 5 people digging it
took almost an hour before I was freed from the avalanche
debris. I thanked ski patrol for their help and especially
thanked Dan, Leonard and Andrew as if it we not for them I
would not be able to tell this story. From that afternoon
onwards everybody made a pact to never ski off piste again,
even inbounds, without everybody in the group carrying a
complete avalanche pack containing a transceiver, probe and
shovel. More importantly we were all taught a very big lesson
about decision making, reading conditions and observing
terrain traps. Had we have turned around after noticing the
layer of hoare frost the incident would have been averted
entirely. Likewise, I did not make note of the deep snowdrift
at the bottom of the line that blocked my escape route, in
retrospect the terrain trap was also good reason not to ski
this particular line.
Do not follow my path, always practice conservative
decision making when in the mountains taking into account the
local avalanche conditions. I was lucky, so far 75 people in
the Alps this year have not. always carry a transceiver, probe
and shovel and most importantly get educated. Speak to your
local avalanche authority and to ski patrol if you plan to go
off piste and complete an avalanche awareness course. It may
just save a life.
All rights reserved © James Mort
Samsung Galaxy note 3 + Gear (smartwatch)
this could quote possibly be the
lameist, the corniest ad to ever use skiiing/riding as its
outside accomodation at Breckenridge peak 8.
so over the summer break Morgan Davies headed to
Colorado. A somewhat eventful trip (hit him up sometime and he
will tell you exactly what happened and how!)
below from Morgan...
I didn’t take that many pics as I Tore my MCL on the 6th
Roughly speaking I stayed in Breckenridge at Peak 8, and we
weren’t the only SMC members there. The Carnachan’s, Hills
and Turners were all in Breckenridge at the same time. We
enjoyed Blue bird days, with a top ups every few days.
The view from the top
'Breck' is a quant town, that is decorated with fairy
lights and at the same time as being there the international
ice sculpting festival was on.
The moral high ground: Colorado
For Colorado visitors, a stop at a dispensary to
purchase legal marijuana is probably first up on the
The recreational shop count in high country has
grown to 38 in just over a year into legalization in Colorado.
Aspen leads the pot-smoking ski town pack with six separately
owned dispensaries in its central core alone. But beware,
temporary bans on pot stores are still in effect for Avon,
Snowmass and Vail, so you can't expect to buy the magic herb
just anywhere. Can your trip to Colorado be higher than just
Kind Slopes: Legal Marijuana and
Colorado Ski Resorts
The Colorado ski and snowboard industry survived its
first season of legal marijuana. What was the result? Well,
nothing much has changed. Here’s the EO guide to keep you out
of trouble on the slopes next year and insight on just how the
resorts dealt with those crowds who lit up the experience on
the slopes this past winter.
wants to let you in on a little secret: People smoked pot at
ski resorts in Colorado prior to Jan. 1, 2014, you know, the
day weed became legal in Colorado. And they did so, albeit
with more blatant restrictions, this past ski season. And they
will continue to do so—but it's not a giant frat party
“It’s been going on for years,” he says. “There have always
been smoke shacks. The culture of it hasn’t changed at all.”
Legal weed isn’t changing much at Colorado’s ski resorts
other than making public relations directors a little bit more
nervous. And in the case of Vail resorts, it has even spelled
the end to of local-knowledge “smoke shacks,” since the
Broomfield-based Resort company and the U.S. Forest Service
demolished many of them in February. So, maybe, Colorado's ski
industry even got a little less friendly.
one of the many stores in Colorado
Despite all the new national media attention thanks to
Colorado’s 2012 ballot initiative legalized marijuana, people
have been puffing on lifts and in the woods for as long as
they have been searching for endless powder runs. Responsible
use has always unofficially been tolerated. But legality has
put an odd twist in that narrative. Ski resorts are now are
fearful of out-of-state guests, looking to smoke legal weed,
not understanding the laws, rules and, frankly, potency of our
pot. And those rules may surprise a lot of would-be
“It’s black and white,” says Steve Hurlbert, Winter Park
public relations and communications manager. “No. Pot is not
allowed. That includes the base area, that includes chair
lifts, the restaurants. We are on (U.S.) Forest Service land
so that complicates it.”
Industry expert Jennifer Rudolph confirms that stance: “We
are working to educate people so they know what to expect,”
says the communications director for Colorado Ski Country USA.
“What we want to make clear to the skiing public is that
Colorado will continue to be a safe and family friendly ski
destination. People can expect to come here, enjoy our
resorts, breath fresh air and have fun on the slopes with
their friends and family. They should not expect to be able to
smoke marijuana at a ski area.”
Why are the state’s resorts not yet embracing pot into
their tourism portfolio? For one, they want to be sure
Colorado residents and Colorado tourists to understand the
laws and rules to a T. For example:
1.Smoking pot in public places is against the
2.Skiing while under the influence of anything is a big
3.Many resorts lease U.S. Forest Service land,
meaning federal laws are king (and federal laws still say pot
is an illegal drug)
But the conversation tone begins to
shift when talking frankly about the idea that people such as
Breathes have and will continue to smoke pot on the mountain.
“Ski patrol is not out looking for pot users; they are not
law enforcement,” Hurlbert says.
““Whether you are using marijuana or using alcohol, it
doesn’t matter. We want you to use it responsibly, and we want
you safe on the mountain.”
Breathes is one of the most-well
known pot experts in the U.S., having written a having written
a marijuana column under his Grateful Dead-inspired pen name
for Denver’s Westword for five years. As an expert
snowboarder, he conveys a similar message. The reason he and
his friends have always been able to smoke pot while skiing is
“Every ski day, I have to light up at some point. But I
keep it discrete,” he says. “I think we have been respectful,
and that’s why we have been able to do it for years.”
Every ski day, I have to light up at some point. But I
keep it discrete, I think we have been respectful, and that’s
why we have been able to do it for years
— William Breathes Chris Bookidis, managing partner of
Idaho Springs dispensary Kine Mine, talks about smoking pot on
the hill as if it’s nothing more than cracking a Coors
Whether it’s an uptick in ski tourism from pot or just
skiers and boarders opting for the convenience of the highway
turnoff, it’s hard to say. Bookidis, however, understands the
concerns of the ski resorts when it comes to the topic of
Colorado pot law understanding. “The knowledge is not there,”
he says. “We have a lot of warnings and tools and we have to
educate each customer. We go far above our due diligence, with
things like how important it is that you just don’t eat an
edible, get in the car and drive to Kansas. It’s been a
learning curve for the public.”
While he comes off as typical, free-spirited pot smoker
while talking about getting high on the mountain in the
context of a safety meeting, Bookidis understands the gravity
of being the first state (government, period) to fully embrace
recreational pot. “We have a lot of worries in that regard,”
he says about overall safety. “We have a lot of potent strains
and each body is different. There’s a lot of concern in the
industry. This isn’t some joke.” The confusing part of the
conversation is that both pot smoking skiers and resort
officials can give mixed messages. The resort: No, pot is not
allowed at a ski resort but we aren’t policing it. The user:
Yes, I get high every time I ski. Don’t cause a crazy incident
to ruin it for everybody. To simplify, it comes down to one
simple rule if you are planning on smoking pot (for the first
or thousandth time) at a Colorado ski area:
Don’t be an idiot.
Many of the ski resorts are located on federal land
(usually just the ski runs, not the ski towns). So, your
right to possess marijuana in Colorado does not apply when you
are on federal land.
As a result, use your head and don’t
get in trouble. One of the reasons edibles and vaporizer pens
are so popular in Colorado is they have no smell and are
Finally, not to be a buzz kill, but skiing while under the
influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law and is a
violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act. If caught, the fine
can be up to $1,000. We’ve never seen anyone busted for this
in 20 years, but just wanted to make you aware that
technically it is a crime.
Some parting advice is to make sure you remain hydrated
during your trip. The mixture of high elevation, low humidity
and active lifestyle will certainly drain your body of fluids.
Make sure you hydrate often to avoid any issues. Hopefully
you can schedule a ski trip out this year and get to enjoy
Colorado's ‘Green Winter’. The great snow along with the
sprouting marijuana industry makes Colorado the #1 destination
for skiing in the world.
sources: Jacob Harkins, a former ski
bum who does not actually smoke pot (anymore). Co Pot
PHOTO OF THE ISSUE
sculpture in Breckenridge
we hope you had a great SUMMER, not it is
time to get into winter mode!
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