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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 - 06 June 2007
Issue 7 - 20 June 2007
Issue 8 - 04 July 2007

ISSUE 9            WEDNESDAY 18 JULY 2007 ....

Well, the white fluffy stuff is still proving elusive so far this season. Our snow base is slowly building, albeit at elevations above 1400m.
Ruapehu has been slow to accumulate their base also; by this time of year traditionally they have storm cycles and bases approaching 2m.

Check out the Feature article for snow updates for NZ and around the world.

And apologies for the balance of advertising!
We set out with intentions of this e-newsletter to regularly report on Manganui Ski Area action, but it has been slow in happening so far this season.

On the local scene, Seasons Cheapskates are now hiring snowboard gear...details below

In this issue

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


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


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



GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

Taranaki Secondary Schools Ski/Board Champs
&  the Taranaki Primary & Intermediate Schools Ski Champs
(still awaiting favourable conditions to run this)

The Secondary schools hold their Championships on the first suitable day of this term and the Primary and Intermediate schools follow on the next suitable day (a suitable day means adequate snow cover and fair weather).
The events are held at the Manganui Ski area on Mt Taranaki. Please refer to the events section on our website for the latest info as it comes to hand. We will work towards having resources available from the website such as entry forms and whatever we can do to assist you all. information will also be posted on the Snowphone 7591119 around the scheduled days.

The SMC Junior Ski Racing & Training Ski Coach Christina Binsbergen will attend to set the race course, and we will have a Ski Patrol on hand for any first aid requirements.

Please feel free to contact Clive Saleman if you have any queries
Clive Saleman
Stratford Mountain Club Racing Coordinator
mob 0272906636

Ray Priest at Oakura School is coordinating the Primary and Intermediate Champs.
Also contact  Mr. Richard (Titch) Turner at NPBHS for further details on Sec Schools Champs.


This is to be held on Saturday 4th August or Sunday 5th August 2007 if weather permits.
This event is a team Race.
SMC have competed in the Christiana Cup for well over 50 years. If you are keen to represent SMC in a GS teams race then this is for you...

Venue: To be held on the Te Heu Heu Valley course No 1, Whakapapa
Event: GS teams race - Christiania Derby

Team: Juniors, Men's, Women's, Masters, Veterans & Super Veterans Juniors team 13 years and under, must have one girl in the team Men's team to consist of 4 Women's team to consist of 3 or 4 Masters consist of 4 team members mixed 35 to 50 years old (male/female) Veterans 50-65 years old 4 team members mixed (male/female) Super Veterans 65 and over Individual Snowboarder race as individuals

The results to be calculated from the three fastest times for juniors, Men's, Women's, Masters, and Veterans & Super Veterans Snowboarding to be calculated by fastest man and fastest woman.

Entry Fee: The entry fee of $20.00 per person

Rules: The NZSA Alpine ski racing rules will apply.

Race start: Race starts at 11.00 am

Prize Giving: Prize giving will be held at the Christiania Lodge commencing at 7.00pm on Saturday. This is open to team members and 2 officials, Entertainment (live band) and refreshments provided. Non-competitors can attend for a $20.00 cover charge.

Registration: please contact our Racing & Training Co-ordinator Clive Saleman 7527140hm 0272906636 cell or

For more info see 6 day forecasts for Manganui has launched 6-day detailed forecasts for every ski area; a first for New Zealand.
Manganui's can be found by clicking on the red FORECAST tab...

As well on the website there is

Snow reports with the most complete set of webcams
Manganui Ski Area Snow graphs
Ski Club information 
and a Snow Pack summary (viewable from Scotty’s Comments)Note that for Manganui Ski Area the snowpack figure is the average of the min and max snow depth reported. Snowpack Summary as at Monday 16 July

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth


Note that the competition was scheduled for 14-15 July, and was postponed due to lack of snow.
It is now scheduled for this weekend 21-22 July, weather and snow conditions permitting.
If not able to run this weekend, the event will be postponed for a full month.

Please contact Vertigo or Cheapskates for confirmation.

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. 


There is not a lot to cheer about at present, having said that it is still relatively early and there are still a lot of club fields in the South Island still to open so we are not alone. The top tow is building up nicely and the ground is very cold and hard so when a good fall does come it should stay provided we don’t get a warm northerly with a lot of precipitation.

The ten year plan is one item that we need to complete by seasons end and as a club it is important that all items are included in this document, as it will ensure a smooth passage through the consent process for any project we may want to undertake, and given the time frame there may be a few short medium and long term projects we need to do. So all ideas to Mitchell Dyer via email to or via the committee we need all your ideas no matter how far fetched they may seem.

The school holidays have just finished and the ski field was a popular attraction during that time with families taking time out to slide on the small amount of snow that was about- the only down side to their visiting was the rubbish they left behind - it was incredible and it was left to us to clean up. It isn’t so bad when we are operational but when we are not around we have to make the extra effort to ensure our area stays tidy, it's better to get it off the mountain than to have it in the bushes and spread all over the place - so if you happen to be up on the field and you see rubbish floating around grab it and put it in the lodge or remove it from the field and put it in the bin at the bottom of the road.

Keep an eye on the sky hopefully the snow is coming.

Chris Burr

Upcoming Events…

Taranaki Secondary Schools Ski/Board Champs
&  the Taranaki Primary & Intermediate Schools Ski Champs
dates to be advised
Fri-Sat 03-04 August
NZ Mtn Safety Council Avalanche Awareness Course
3 August - Lecture/Seminar - Fitzroy Yacht Club,
4 August - Field Day - Manganui Ski Area

...check out our events page for info


The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • flying fox summer upgrade (baskets/towers/brake requirements/operating procedures), with goal of re-certification of flying fox for patient evacuation.
  • Funding applications for junior ski racing and training equipment 
  • further prep for SASP audit this season
  • Review of George Mason Charitable Trust grant applicants
  • POS purchasing system install
  • mail out SMC newsletter issue

Recent Images…

Mt Taranaki summit, early July

Fanthams peak aerial view
Pictures by Debbie Taplin
















Seasons Cheapskates hire snowboard gear!!!
(Burton snowboards available for hire)

$40/day board,boots and bindings
special 2 day/weekend rate of $55


Dont forget that you can get the latest snow report for Manganui directly from your Telecom or Vodafone mobile phone
Just text "SNO MAN" to 200 for Manganui's latest snow report.

North Island Ski Field Codes
Manganui SNO MAN
Whakapapa SNO WHA 
Tukino  SNO TUK

With Telecom you pay 20c for every text message you receive back. If you are with Vodafone the cost is 50c.
If there is no information for your chosen report you will receive a text message entitled FREE FROM VODAFONE (there is no charge for this text). 

Images of 2006…
from Craigeburn...powder snow accessed from a rope tow doesn't get much better...

Mike Anderson deep in it again

Kieth Plummer our most illustrious recent president, doing it on his head on top of Mt MacKenzie, Craigeburn Range.
photos thanks Mike Anderson







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


Snow update from  Friday, 13 July 2007

The southern winter of 2007 continues to prove itself a very different beast to the 2006 El Nino year. Looking at mid Pacific Ocean temperature anomalies, we are not in a La Nina pattern yet and you would still describe things as neutral, but in terms of Pacific weather patterns, it is as if La Nina is well underway already. In all likelihood a full blown La Nina, as defined by water temperatures, will emerge during the winter.

As far as the prospects for the Southern ski season goes, that's very good news for Australia and South America, less good for New Zealand and probably irrelevant to South Africa. South Africa? Surely we’re joking? Not at all – there’s skiing in the Drakensburg at two small resorts and there were several days in 2006 when the tiny resort of Tiffindell at 3000m had better conditions than most in Australia! It's looking good so far this year too and looking at the cam on the resort is open right now. A sunny and fairly mild prospect for the next week, but cold enough for snowmaking at night.


The 2007 season has got off to a great start in Australia and last week saw more of the same with new snow about once again, especially at Perisher Blue where the snow base has topped 1.5m - the deepest in Australasia; it's only marginally less at Thredbo and Mount Hotham. These are fantastic conditions for early July. Expect a few cold but fairly settled days before another system brings more snow in the middle of the week. That's so far out that the only thing we can be certain of is that things won't go according to plan, but if by some miracle the weather does follow the forecast, a deep depression will form just off the NSW coast on Wednesday bringing a major dump, especially to the easternmost resorts like Thredbo. I'm more hopeful than confident.

New Zealand

New Zealand continues to have a winter of extremes and the latest weather news came from an intense low that crossed the far North of North Island a few days ago. That came up against a characteristic La Nina anticyclone over the South Island and between the two, the isobars were packed and a band of 150km/h easterly winds battered Northland and Coromandel and locally dumped up to 30cm of rain. Affected towns have barely finished mopping up since a similar flood 6 months ago and no doubt they will now be even less comforted by meteorologists assuring them not to worry because these are “every 1000 year events”... This forecaster was especially worried by that storm because if it had tracked just 200km south, Ruhapehu would have received an incredible snowfall and I would have had egg on my face for forecasting a fairly settled week there. Although that didn't happen, way ahead of the main front, an unexpected little band of snow parked itself over the Mountains of NW Nelson for 24hrs but since there are no ski resorts there, who cares? Well me actually, because that's my back yard! Elsewhere in NZ, it was cold and frosty with easterly snow showers from Canterbury to Ruhapehu (11cm of fresh snow at Mt Hutt was typical).

There are no similar storms in this weeks forecast. It will start off very cold and frosty but pressure is forecast to fall and snow is expected to develop by around Tuesday on a strengthening SE wind, with places like Mt. Hutt, Mt Olympus, Porters and Mt Lyford best placed to catch most. If (big if) the deep low materialises in the Tasman as forecast, then New Zealand can expect it to arrive right at the end of the week in 8 or 9 days, but given the lack of observations in the Southern Ocean, this is mere speculation.

The Andes

South America is a huge place and even the mighty Southern Alps of New Zealand would be mere foothills next to the Andes, but for all it's vast potential, there are not very many ski resorts and they span such a vast area it is difficult to give a quick synopsis. This is a shame because if Australia is having a great season, then the Andes are having a superb one. Last week was exceptionally cold as Antarctic air made its way north, even reaching Buenos Aires where it caused the first snowfall since 1918! The snow mainly settled on the roofs of cars, so that's where the kids built their snowmen. Further afield, temperatures fell as low as -22C in Rio Negro province of Argentina and -18C in parts of Araucania region in the south of Chile.

Up in the resorts, the cold air did not bring any big dumps of snow, but with well over 2m of snow already in places like Chapelco and Catedral in Argentina and about 1.5m in most resorts in Chile, nobody is complaining. With plenty of new snow in the forecast this week, things are looking great - check our web pages for the details – and we have had several offers from ski people in this part of the world to help us update our bulletins so watch this space…


Last week again saw significant new snow on most Alpine glaciers. The weather is much sunnier now and it should stay that way for the next few days, then getting slowly warmer but with an increasing risk of thunderstorms. For those of you who assume that glacier skiing in the Alps consists of a few short T bars on icy slopes, Dachstein in Austria currently has 63km of pistes open on a 4.3m base - most places in Australasia never get that good.

Rob Davies -

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


View from Top Tow, June 26, Ruapehu in the distance.
Photo by Mike Reeve

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

See you on the snow,
SMC Management
© copyright 2007 - Stratford Mountain Club