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Previous Issues:
Issue 6 - 06 June 2007
Issue 7 - 20 June 2007
Issue 8 - 04 July 2007
Issue 9 - 18 July 2007
Issue 10 - 01 Aug 2007
Issue 11 - 15 Aug 2007

ISSUE 12            WEDNESDAY 29 AUGUST 2007 ....

This e-newsletter comes to you from the South Island...where we are into the 2nd week of a ski break. New snow has been scarce down here, but at least the weather has been good over the last 3  weeks. So far we have  been to smaller fields Ohau and Round Hill, as well as the major Wanaka fields. Refreshing to go to the smaller operations and most impressed with Round Hill, for family friendly skiing with spectacular views, and smiles all round (not dissimilar to Manganui!), at least until their T-bar broke down in a major way!. But to their credit they honoured us with refunds.
And I also have a new found appreciation for the terrain you can access at Treble Cone. It is a great mountain; with the front side sharing a similar steepness to Manganui's Top Tow.
Justin Keenan

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

Top Tow Operations

The Top Tow has been operating recently by all accounts.
Our reporting has been more regular as of late.
Apologies for recent problems with reporting frequency and accuracy.
You should now find the snowphone is regularly updated and much more thorough....


some feedback...

"I was up in the weekend and was happy to see a bunch of
enthusiastic folk ready to get things up and running, I was stoked to be able to help with the starting of the tows and generally get amongst it.
This has left me in high spirits so I just thought I should let you know
that I'm glad that there are a committed crew who oversee this operation,
and keep us all happy and well informed."

Rupert Goldsmith



 Jay Whittaker, top tow August 8

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth


Mount Ruapehu Rossignol Junior Race Series
held in the Te Heu Heu Valley on the Whakapapa Ski Area on Saturday 25 August 2007, E2 Boys 4th Finnley Binsbergen.
Edge to Edge K/J Junior National Point Series Giant Slalom
held at the Turoa Ski Area on Friday 10 August 2007; K1 Boys 4th Tai Juneau, K2 Boys 5th Jackson Braddock-Pajo.


Recent Manganui Ski Area Images...
8th August

Mitchell Dwyer



I am going to start this newsletter with an apology. We have in the last week or two been having some technical problems with our web camera as a result, providing an accurate snow and mountain forecast for the upper field has been difficult.

As a consequence operators have been required to make assessments from the ski field as to the conditions on the top tow. In some instances conditions had been too hard to operate and on other occasions conditions have been perfect. Generally the snow phone is the mechanism used to convey the status of the field to the wider populous- however there have been several instances lately where this hasn’t occurred and with the webcam operating intermittently boarders and skiers have been left wondering the operational status of the upper mountain.

 These instances while regrettable, has highlighted an area as operators we need to address once assessment of the conditions have been made. This being principally a top tow year we do rely on volunteer operators to run the upper field and they all give their time willingly to ensure that we all enjoy skiing and boarding on the upper field in safety and in accordance with our SASP, but on occasions youthful exuberance and the excitement of going skiing can on the odd occasion mean that some areas of accountability are overlooked. Some of the technical problems we have been experiencing wouldn’t in a normal snow year be a problem, but snow being very thin on the ground this year has exposed some communication weaknesses and those have been addressed at all levels.

Having said that, on occasions particularly in the weekends if the weather looks good and other favorable signs are present, like no rain and general warming then it pays to head up the mountain, many members do, as sometimes waiting for a report before you leave home can take time given the present snow conditions and the fact that our operators are only on the field on the day of operation.

September is the end of our financial year with the AGM in November or early December. The AGM is the time that some committee members retire or by rotation choose not to offer themselves for re-election. We are always on the look out for “new blood” to contribute to the club and there are a number of positions that could be of interest to people particularly those who feel they can make a constructive positive contribution to the future direction of the club.

Chris Burr    

Upcoming Events…

Taranaki Secondary Schools Ski/Board Champs
&  the Taranaki Primary & Intermediate Schools Ski Champs
dates to be advised
SMC Spring Social
Saturday evening Sep 22.
A chance for members to shoot the breeze and mingle with like minded people/families.

...check out our website events page for more event info


The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • 2008 working bees strategy and coordination planning
  • summer/working bee social events
  • 10 year plan preparation for issue
  • committee job descriptions and nominations for AGM 
  • pre-AGM mailout newsletter





Avalanche.Net.Nz E-Newsletter

Synopsis for week ending 28 August 2007

Greetings. This week has seen a period of relatively calm settled weather for the majority of our regions. A high pressure system dominated early in the week, which gave way to a westerly flow and subsequently to a cooler SW flow. The early part of the week also saw many regions reporting the first real period of “Spring like” snow conditions, with warm conditions softening the snowpack during the day, followed by refreezing of the snowpack with cooler temperatures at night. This heat and refreezing has mainly strengthened the snowpack and has provided some good corn skiing.

However, don’t think winter is over just yet! The current SW flow is forecast to bring snow to most of our regions. Depending on the amount of snow and wind loading this new snow will need to be watched. In areas where avalanching has not yet occurred, there may still be instabilities at depth and these areas should be avoided. If you are planning on heading into the backcountry, please read the daily Backcountry Avalanche Advisory. Take note of the aspects or terrain where loading or caution is advised, go with a friend and take the appropriate equipment (i.e. transceiver, shovel, probe & common sense!).

Have fun out there and keep safe,

Jordy Hendrikx

Mt. Ruapehu Region

Fine, clear, cold weather has dominated this week with moderate south west winds. This has been one of the most stable weeks this season. Only on the tail end of the week has the weather deteriorated with cloudy conditions and 21mm of rain at 2000m.

The snowpack on Ruapehu varies considerably with location but can be summarised as follows. On northern aspects there are large deposits of new snow with no significant weaknesses sitting on several large and strong ice layers. On southern aspects above 2000m faceting has been observed in the top 15cm under a wind crust with a strong temperature gradient. However on the last night of this week the freezing level went to 2800m with rain, which has put warmth into the top of the snowpack.

No avalanches have been reported for this week in the Ruapehu Region.

Currently (070828) the danger rating for the Ruapehu region is LOW. This is likely to trend MODERATE over the next 24hrs with snow forecasted.

Continuing warm drizzly weather is adding further warmth to the snowpack and keeping it stable. Backcountry travellers should be aware of poor visibility and strong winds today (070828). UPDATED 070829: New snow fell to low levels overnight in the Ruapehu region with strong winds from the south. Ski Patrol has observed avalanches and weakness in isolated pockets above 1800m sheltered from the southerly winds. Backcountry travellers should not travel alone and should carry transceivers, shovels and probes and be familiar with the terrain they are moving through.

Taranaki Region

It’s been a predominantly settled week in Taranaki with clear skies and winds mainly out of the southwest and west. The weekend saw scattered cloud with the odd light shower and winds remaining light from the west. Temperatures have been mild all week with cool night time temperatures.

The snowpack is isothermic on the mountain at present and well bonded. Springtime conditions exist with surface conditions firm at first and softening during the day on northerly aspects.

No avalanches observed.

The danger rating has been at LOW for most of the week. The danger rating may increase with snow forecasted for this coming week.

A springtime snowpack exists on the mountain at the moment (070828) and care is need with crampons and ice axe. Backcountry travel is not recommended in poor weather condition. The avalanche danger may increase with the incoming weather. UPDATED 070829: Rain on the mountain has started to penetrate the upper snowpack. Care is needed on steep unsupported and northerly aspects as wet slides are possible. The freezing level is forecast to lower to 1800m with strong southwest winds by evening which will likely freeze the snow surface providing slick conditions on the mountain. Care will be needed with crampons and ice axe recommended high on the mountain and late in the day.

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.

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


Skiers vs Snowboarders
(written from a Skiers' perspective)

Now, of course at our own Manganui Ski Area, there is true harmony between snowboarders and skiers.
Hey, we all have surfing and/or windsurfing in common!
And we all strive for the same thing - being on great snow on Manganui's awesome terrain...

ONCE UPON A TIME there was alpine skiing, a sport reserved for the entitled who used their silver spoon to eat snow each winter. Those with private ski lodges, goggle tans and family trusts were at the front of the lift queue, those in rental gear and borrowed parkas at the back.

Then along came snowboarding in the stealth of night, entering the mountain through the back door. The battle had begun and all the elite had to protect them was that same well worn family set of silver spoons...

You gotta feel sorry for snowboarders. They've increased their numbers four hundred percent since 1990, single handedly saving a dying ski industry but they still cop abuse, even fisticuffs, from the ungrateful with piste envy.

It was snow apartheid for boarders much of the late eighties and early nineties. First they were banned from the hill like a pedophile from a childrens party so they snuck in for their beloved turns after dark, trekking under the same chairlifts that their saggy butts were banned from.

You'd think they would have been grateful when the ski fraternity finally allowed them to share their corduroy. Instead they refused to snowboard with their legs together and came up from behind with a snow scraping sound that still incites fear in skiers before beating them down the hill. One nil to them.

Snowboarding made the Olympics in 1998 and gold medalist Ross Rebagliati lived the rider cliché by testing positive for ganja while old school skiers tutted into their twelfth brandy over a late night game of poker. One all.

Ten years on we mix in the same circles, as men in mid life crisis trade in their retro matchstick skis for a snowboard with hot-as-hell-sexy-mamma graphics more suited to a riding teenage hormone than an ageing executive with knee pads. It's hard to grow up.

Truth is skiers envy snowboarders. Sure, they may have been cut off by them. We understand a boarder's pain when the mountain goes flat and they have to hop along like a mutant with a board for a foot before I offer them a tow. We envy their ability to take on powder and make it look so easy, simply because for them it is.

We truly envy their urban cool fashion brands (though I'm quite happy to keep my arse in my pants). Brands that have thankfully influenced ski fashion and allow us to carv it up in gangster bling shouting 'sup! to my posse as we ski by on our Miss Demeanour terrain park twin tips. Trouble is we "cheat from the feet up", dressing the part in my Burton, Sessions and DC but the most I can shred is a carrot in my kitchen.

We bow down before snowboarders and say thank you for making skiing hot again, for letting us onto the rails, not complaining when we steal the indy grab from your style which you stole from skateboarders who stole it from the surfers in the first place. Two all.

Which team do you bat for - Knuckle dragger or double planker? Ever been cut off by a boarder, abused by a skier? Is it a modern day love in with past ills forgotten or does the war still exist?

Perhaps skiers still get annoyed by snowboarders, but it is not like it used to be.

We liken it to surfers and bodyboarders, surfing and skiing are much older sports and snowboarding and bodyboarding in many ways have stolen their thunder, which does not always sit well.

However, anybody getting bent out of shape too much, really needs to get a life!

source - Sydney Morning Herald travel blog.

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


Jeff Richards, top tow, August 8

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

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