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Previous Issues:
Issue 1 - 28 March 2007
Issue 2 - 11 April 2007
Issue 3 - 25 April 2007
Issue 4 - 09 May 2007
Issue 5 - 23 May 2007

ISSUE 6            WEDNESDAY 06 JUNE 2007 ....

With May being Taranaki's warmest since records began 63 years ago, it is no wonder Mt. Taranaki has looked a bit bald. The show must go on however, and we have still been busy getting everything ready for the first snowfall. Remember Manganui only needs 15-20cm on snow on the T-bar slopes to be in action, so hopefully the first signifcant snowfall will see us into it for 2007.
The SMC JIB PARK project is now underway. See snippets of interest...

In this issue:

Lars Binsbergen
17 Curtis St. Okato
phone 06 7524424
Major Sponsor
of the SMC E-newsletter

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth

Contact Us:
06-759 9943 bus
06-752 7697 a/h

GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area


New for 2007, a sub SMC club for young local ski area users.
SMC JIB PARK is a new trial development initiated by Ben Plummer.  
Run by SMC, SMC JIB PARK aims to build up a group of young skiers and riders to become involved in SMC club activities. 
Its aims are participation in Terrain Park related projects on the ski field, develop ski and board skills, and to build up membership in SMC. 
Created including discussions with local business, committee members, ski area users, sponsors, ski industry consultants.

SMC JIB PARK - Working Bees

The first was held at Vertigo on Saturday 2nd June.
Ben advised that the building of wood frames for new features went well. 
The next working bee is to be staged up the mountain. Date to be confirmed. 
Working bees will be held during winter ski season, for maintance on rails and boxes.

For further info contact:
Ben Plummer
h 7527050
m 027 4776271
NZ Mountain Safety Council Avalanche Awareness course
- dates confirmed

August 3rd 2007 - Lecture Seminar - Fitzroy Yacht Club
August 4th 2007 - Field Day - Manganui Ski Area

MSC's Avalanche Awareness Course in Taranaki.
Offered subject to numbers, this course starts in the classroom and then moves out onto the mountain.

Avalanche Awareness courses are for skiers, snowboarders and climbers, and provide a first step to gaining an appreciation of the avalanche phenomenon and what is needed to make decisions about personal safety when travelling in avalanche terrain. The Avalanche Awareness course involves both a lecture and a field day and covers:

Mountain weather
Identification of avalanche terrain
Basic route finding and decision making
Companion rescue
Safety equipment (including use of transceivers)

SMC are keen to have as many members as we can doing the course (actually a requirement of our Ski Area Safety Plan).

To register and for further course details,
Contact Gayle Tricklebank

Rat/Mice eradication program...

Thanks to Robert Dorflinger for undertaking this task. He has recently set traps at every conceivable entry point to the lodges and elsewhere around the ski area.

Rumour has it that a mouse has been inside a member's metal locker! (in the Manganui Lodge).
The author has also had a rodent inhabitant take to the warmth provided by a vest, gloves and a tow belt in the family locker. Cereal in a sealed plastic bag was the attraction.

If you have a locker at present, this is a timely reminder to please ensure that if food is stored in your lockers, it is unopened packaged or canned foods, or is stored in sealed plastic containers. Please ensure all food is removed during the off-season.

Proud to be supporting the Stratford Mountain Club.
Buying or selling Real Estate, call Clive Saleman AREINZ
06-758 7113 b/h
06-752 7140 a/h
027-290 6636 m

Mountain House Motor Lodge

Taranaki's Swiss Alpine Restaurant and Accommodation

Contact Us:
0800 Mountain
0800-66 86 82
06-765 6100
Pembroke Rd, Stratford


Thanks to all who have participated so far in the Working bees. If you are keen in assisting in one of the scheduled working bees contact the organisers below or just turn up on the day.





Working Bee

May 27 Mario Padrutt
Brooke Fletcher
7550236 7588879 Flying Fox, T-bar, Top Tow
June 03 (Queens Birthday Weekend)  

unofficial working bee, as per list in lodge

June 10

Mark Braddock
Ben Plummer-Butt

Top Tow & T-bar organisation
June 17 Phil Powell
Chris Burr
T-bar, Machinery, Top Tow

June 24

Rhys Williams
Karl Lapwood


 Staff Training

Brooke and Biggie NEED a CREW. If you can help give Brooke Fletcher 027 439 8871, 7588879 (home) or Biggie (Dave) Smithers 027 2243506, 7527728 (home) a ring - they would love to hear from you. The sooner we get the work done while it’s fine and at least a little warm, the better.

A good crew was up the top tow on Sunday (Keith Plummer, Biggie, P.Q., Gerald Hood, Lars, Irish and  Worm) working on the safety fences.

Remember that the voluntary work doesn't go unrewarded! A working bee gets you a working bee ticket, that can be exchanged for a lift pass, or accommodation at the Manganui Lodge, should you already hold an SMC season pass.


At last the colder weather is starting to arrive from the southern regions and our staff Todd Velvin, Lars Binsbergen, Brooke Fletcher and Dave Mason are in the process of tidying up all lose ends which will allow us to be ready when the first snow arrives. By weeks end we should have the final clearance from the Dept of Conservation, once we have submitted all relevant engineering certificates and SASP amendments. The mechanical inspection took place over Queens Birthday weekend and the result is we have to replace various rusty nuts and bolts on a couple of towers that should be completed by Wednesday, other than those small items everything passed with flying colours.

The Queens Birthday honors list this year included our very own life member and all round good guy Bruce Richards. He has been awarded a Queens Service Medal (QSM) for his services to the community and reading through the list it was very extensive. Initially a very keen skier turned snowboarder when it became popular, he has contributed enormously to the success of our club, being involved in all areas at committee level including 4 years 1991-1994 as President.

He was instrumental in providing the impetus for Bob and Nancie Stokes to complete a book on the History of the Stratford Mountain Club, in fact he has all the books stored in his office so if anybody requires one he will gladly send them out upon receipt of a cheque. He has for many years kept a very close eye on club finances and has always given his expertise willingly at our AGMs or when we as a club have been seeking funds from corporate organizations for various projects.

When the snow arrives he is usually one of the first ones up the hill - he feels obliged to ski everyday he possibly can, keeping as most accountants tend to do, a tally of the number of days he has had during the season. When he isn’t skiing Manganui he can be found at Ruapehu or in the South Island supporting his daughters snowboarding endeavors. He is a very energetic guy and to be honest I don’t know where he finds the time to fit everything in.

Well done Bruce it is an honor you richly deserve. 

Chris Burr.

Upcoming Events…

Sunday 10 June-Working Bee

Sunday 17 June-Working Bee

Saturday 21 July - Taranaki Surf 'n Snow Classic 2007... 
...check out our events page for info


The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • M&I clearance then getting the Ts on the T-bar
  • Getting the top tow safety fences finished - Biggie and Brooke need a good crew of workers to complete this. We need your help!
  • Servicing of machinery (tractor, groomer, skidoo, quad bike)
  • Installing Metservice Weatherstation at Five Dollar Hut
  • Flying fox voice module build and install
  • Grit storage for access track  
  • SMC Jib Park project underway 
  • Final clean up of the Manganui Lodge for the season start
  • Issue of new Ski Area Staff uniforms
  • Processing club subscriptions
  • Progressing 2006 audited accounts

Images of 2006…

A jet flies over Mt. Taranaki, top of the Top Tow

Paige Hareb, 2006 Snow & Surf Comp




Media & Marketing Contacts

If you have a question regarding marketing or press related issues please contact:

SMC Media/Website
Justin Keenan

Contact Us:
ph 06-759 6448 b/h
ph 06 752 7034 a/h
PO Box 3271
New Plymouth

Send Us Your Work

After your visit to Manganui Ski Area, please send us a copy of your finished or any other unused work.  Manganui would appreciate any photos, articles, film/video or other media that you have for our own library and files. 



More Events at Turoa, Mt. Ruapehu

4 August
Jib Nationals

11 August
Freestyle Series - Slopestyle

25-26 August
Freestyle Series - BoarderX / SkierX

1 September
Drambuie North Island Snowboard Masters
- Banked Dual Slalom and a BoarderX

15 Sept
North Island Ski Masters Nationals

check out the SMC website events section for more info. 

some promotional info sent to the club...

Alpine Recreation is based at Lake Tekapo, and offers

  • a range of treks & hikes. Explore our country's natural beauty on a New Zealand Hiking Tour or Tekapo High Country Trek. For the more adventurous, choose from an Alpine Crossing of the Main Divide or Mount Cook Range. For returning clients, we have a new addition: Broderick Pass.
  • a range of guided ascents and climbing/mountaineering instruction courses to suit beginners through to those looking to improve their skills and experienced mountaineers keen to "bag another peak".
  • a range of alpine, telemark & nordic/cross-country ski & snowshoe tours. Explore our country's natural winter beauty, ski the glaciers of the Southern Alps, explore the Tekapo High Country, or just spend a weekend "getting away from it all!"

We hand-pick high quality ex-demo skis from our sources in the USA and provide them to the public at great prices. All our skis are top of the line, and in great condition. You will not find better deals from anyone else!!
May 2007 Update:
For the 2007 season all our demo skis come with bindings and will be at least 50% less than the original RRP! 
Our 2007 skis will be loaded onto our catalogue in early June.
We will have 2006/07 and some 2007/08 models from:


If you have any queries please contact us on, fill out our online query form or call us on 027 241 0994.
Shipping Policy:  We are able to offer pick up, or will ship within New Zealand for $15 Nth island and $25 Sth Island.
Returns: We believe that everyone should be happy.  So if you're not, call us and we will fix it.  Life is too short.

Giro Bad Lieutenant

Giro Fuse

Giro 10MX

Giro Recruit (Youth)

Leedom Vandal

Leedom Prophet

R.E.D. Shaun White

 R.E.D. Reya (Womens)

R.E.D. Trace (Youth)


Equipment » Helmets on the slopes

Anyone who’s been on the slopes over the last five, or even three years cannot have help but noticed the increase in the number of people wearing helmets.

You don’t wear a helmet??
Only a few seasons ago, it was only hard-core boarders/skiers in that wore helmets, but now helmets are not quite ubiquitous, but certainly widely worn across all ski areas.

This is backed up by sales figures. Peter Radford from MyCoal, which imports Sun helmets into the UK, told Natives that worldwide helmet sales have increased by up to 200% in the last two years.

High profile accidents such as the death of Sonny Bono have also stimulated sales, but there is a sense across the board that safety considerations are being taken more seriously, with sales of transceivers equally on the rise. 

One must also acknowledge the snowboarding sport, that has without a doubt contributed to the acceptance of wearing helmets. If looking cool has the bonus of being safe, then it is definately a positive trend.
They also keep your head warmer in the cold days. A good fitting helmet combined with goggles can keep out the cold and keep you skiing on in more frigid climates.

How helmets work
Many people believe that the most important purpose of a helmet is to protect them against cracking their skulls open. But just as important is the helmet’s ability to minimize trauma to the brain inside the skull.

Concussion and injury often comes from the brain (which is in motion) coming to an instantaneous halt against the inside of the skull (humans can only handle about 300g’s without severe injury)

When looking at helmets, don’t just consider the hardness of the outer shell, but make sure you check the inner liner – which will absorb most of any impact energy through compression or destruction. The outer shell helps to spread impact energy over a larger portion of the helmet.

How do I know if I have hit hard enough to need a new helmet?
Bear in mind that once the liner has been compressed in an accident (which may not be visible), the helmet has served its purpose and should be destroyed and replaced. It has given its life to protect yours!

Helmets mandatory on the slopes..No!
There is insufficient evidence to support mandatory wearing of helmets on the slopes. Yes, injuries may occur and yes, helmets may help reduce them. But the fact remains that the risk of such an injury is far too small to insist that everyone wears a helmet. Personal choice at the end of the day.

So let's forget the hype and hysteria and concentrate on the true facts about head injuries and helmets! Of course, there’s no denying that head injuries and related deaths do occur, but it has to be kept in perspective - traumatic deaths from skiing and snowboarding are extremely rare.

Many of the high speed impacts with solid objects lead to multiple injuries that no helmet could prevent or reduce. The wearing of a helmet should not be viewed as a guarantee against fatal injury and should not give the wearer a false sense of security.

The situation is perhaps best summed up by Carl Ettlinger - a world renowned expert in ski safety from Vermont, USA - when he says on his website...

"When you feel that rush of adrenalin while skiing (snowboarding), ask yourself if you would be doing what you are doing if you were not wearing a helmet. If the answer is NO, maybe you should reconsider the activity."

Head Injuries and helmets
So what about helmets reducing the rates and severity of head injuries?

Again, things have to be kept in perspective. Head injuries account for at most 10-20% of all injuries from snow sports - although some studies have shown higher rates in children (up to 43% in one Canadian study). But even taking this 43% rate coupled with the highest injury rate gives a rate for head injury of 2.4 per 1000 skier days - really very low. Most of these injuries are minor (usually concussion) and as already mentioned the bad ones are usually the result of skiing or boarding out of control.

In February 2006, Sulheim et al from Norway published a case-control study from 8 Norwegian resorts to see if helmets might reduce head injury rates. The overall incidence of head injury in this study of 3277 injuries was 17.6%. They found a 53% higher incidence of head injuries amongst snowboarders compared to alpine skiers. Using a helmet reduced the risk of sustaining a head injury by 60%. They also found a trend towards a lower incidence of neck injuries amongst those wearing a helmet.

Which one to buy?
One of the problems is knowing which helmet to buy – as with much so-called “protective gear”, many have not been subjected to any standardised testing. The commonest standards are the Central European Standard EN1077 and UNI EN 812, but the American Snell RS-98 test standard sets more stringent targets. Unlike EN1077, Snell performs a series of impact tests and requires a higher level of impact absorption. Specifically, helmets that meet the Snell standard have to withstand at least 30% more impact force than EN1077. A newer American standard ASTM F2040 has also been introduced - nevertheless, Snell sets the toughest standards and therefore helmets that meet the Snell standard have been put through more than the others - unfortunately, very few commercially available snow sports helmets are currently Snell certified.

The bottom line is that if you are going to buy a helmet, make sure it at least meets one (if not more) of these standards. That way, you know it has undergone some form of testing appropriate to its ultimate use on a ski slope.
Recommended manufacturers include Leedom, Boeri, Giro and Red. You can also check out a series of helmet reviews at

So, to conclude, helmets are a good idea and will protect you against many of the common injuries that the head is susceptible too. They are especially important for children, who are at highest risk of snow sport injury. In addition, there is no evidence to date that helmets predispose the wearer to a higher risk of neck injury or cause injury to others. However, it must be remembered that wearing a helmet will not protect you if you have a high speed impact - so go careful.

And the fit
Jesse at Cheapskates/Seasons says that the main things to consider for fit are comfort, and a snug fit...

  • Make sure the helmet is low on the forehead
  • Make sure the helmet is seated all the way down on the head.
  • Check for comfort and gaps. Comfort padding on the inside of the helmet should be flush with the forehead with no major gaps.
  • Adjust chinstrap so it is snug but not restrictive.
  • The highest level of performance and added protection will be achieved by a snug fit. 
  • If helmet twists with obvious ease, it is too big

Proper Use

  • Be sure the helmet is fitting above the eyebrows in such a way that your goggles (if wearing them) are fitting the user's face properly while wearing the helmet.
  • There should be minimal or no gaps between the top of the helmet and the goggles. Remember, gaps are for chumps. 
  • The helmet should not be pushing the goggles down on the nose. This will not only create discomfort and obstruction of vision but it will also destroy any remaining style points that your user may have had. 

Locally, check out
Cheapskates/Seasons for R.E.D. and Limar Helmets.
And Vertigo for R.E.D. and Giro Helmets.


Advertising/Sponsorship with SMC

SMC is always open to and interested in advertising or sponsorship from companies, organizations and clubs for winter and summer opportunities. We appreciate any offers for potential sponsors and are always looking for other organisations, companies and clubs that might make a good fit for SMC and our guests.

If your company, organisation or club is interested in submitting a proposal please feel free to submit it to:

Subject: Advertising/ Sponsorship Proposals

If you would like to post a classified advert (buy/sell gear etc), please post it on the 'Garage Sale' page of our website.


Hope to see plenty of snow covered tussock soon!

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SMC Management
© copyright 2007 - Stratford Mountain Club