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Previous Issues:
Issue 8 - 04 July 2007
Issue 9 - 18 July 2007
Issue 10 - 01 Aug 2007
Issue 11 - 15 Aug 2007
Issue 12 - 29 Aug 2007
Issue 13 - 15 Sep 2007
Issue 14 - 02 Oct 2007

ISSUE 15            TUESDAY 06 NOVEMBER 2007 ....

Welcome to issue 15 of Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of the Stratford Mountain Club.

This will be the last issue for the 2007 season. We hope you have enjoyed the 14 issues to date, and sorry we couldn't deliver on more mountain action, seems to be every 2nd year at present!

In April we launched the new website/e-newsletter. The intention was to improve the Ski Area and SMC information available, and provide a more regular forum for SMC news (while attempting to trim our overhead costs associated with the mailout newsletter).

Any suggestions/comments you have on either the website or e-newsletter, please feel free to email them to We will endeavour to take them on board.

Also a big thank you to the sponsors of the new website and e-newsletter.

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

The season that wasn't...

Once again the season was a fickle one, similar in ways to 2005, when only 1 t-bar and 7 top top operating days eventuated. 07 season saw approx 150 lift tickets sold.

In low snow seasons like the one just gone, we accept that the subs/season passes may seem like a donation. In fact they are critical to keeping SMC afloat.
Thanks to all the new members who joined up this year. Now your joining fee is out of the way, your subs/season passes are all that is required to top up on an annual basis.
With a family subs and season pass currently at $224, we still represent great value when compared to the cost of a family pass at a commercial field. Granted we don't have the facilities/amenities of the big ski areas; but we do give a unique relaxed mountain experience without the crowds and hassles (except for the walk in!).

This season just gone the total from Membership Subscriptions and Season Passes raised well over 50% of our operating expenditure. Ski Area Safety Plan compliance has meant our operating costs have risen over the last few years, with new Ski Area Management, Staffing, Training and operational and safety gear all adding up for this year. It is all necessary for us to deliver a more organised and professional mountain experience. Also with such a bumper season last year, we have moved on some well needed maintenance.

Thanks for your support once more - here's hoping for a better season next year!
We appreciate that those of you who did working bees this year have had little chance to use your tickets;
so SMC will honour the 07 working bee tickets (blue) through next season. These can be exchanged for lift tickets or accommodation in the Manganui Lodge - so they are valid till 31 Dec 08.

SMC 10 year plan - final submissions due

Those who have or wish to make final submissions to the SMC 10 year plan, please have these to Chris Burr by Friday 9th November, so the draft can be completed.

Click the link here to view our last 10 year plan (1996-2005).

SMC 2007 Annual General Meeting,
Kawaroa Park Squash Club, Tisch Ave, New Plymouth Monday 26th Nov 2007. 7:30pm 

Nominations have now closed for committee positions.
List of nominees is as follows:

  1. Treasurer - no nominations
  2. Secretary - no nominations
  3. Lower lifts/ fox - no nominations
  4. Machinery - no nominations
  5. Lodge Convener - no nominations
  6. Racing and Training Coordinator - no nominations
  7. Financial Planning - no nominations
  8. Social - Nicki Nelson
  9. Newsletter/Marketing/IT - Justin Keenan

Nominations for positions 1-7 can be taken from the floor at the AGM, since no written nominations were received.

Expect to see the Notice of Meeting / Financial Statement / List of nominees mailed out before 12 November.

Provisional AGENDA for the 2007 AGM

• Treasurer
• Secretary
• Lower Lifts
• Machinery
• Accommodation Convener
• Marketing/Newsletter/IT
• Social Convenor
• Race and Training
5. ELECTION OF: Honorary surgeons, auditor and honorary solicitor.
6. GENERAL BUSINESS: Ratification of new job descriptions for management committee, In memoriam of deceased members, Awards.

What's with the Webcam this season?

Yes once more the webcam has been giving us trouble all through the season (although it seems to be running well at present). The webcam is free to SMC and is provided by
It all starts at the dial-up connection, which is inherently unreliable...enough so that the Stratford Mountain house changed to a broadband connection, at considerable set-up cost.
During the operating season we have a computer station for the ski area operators that has mobile broadband access. Next season we intend to piggy back onto this and use it also for the webcam, giving us a more robust in season webcam.

And the Weather Station temperature reporting as unavailable?

The weatherstation was installed in June of this year. It gave us problems straight away with the data transmission. The standard antenna mounted inside the 5 dollar hut does not give data transmission 100% of the time, and when this happens the signal reads unavailable. So we have this summer scheduled for MetService to replace the existing aerial with a yagi antenna, to be mounted inside the hut. This should solve our problems. Also, the high alpine environment took its toll on the external sensors (as expected!). We lost wind speed and direction every time the ice rimed the anemometer up. Unfortunately in the action of clearing some of the riming the wind direction indicator vane broke off; it must have got a bit brittle with all the ice around it; and these are sensitive instruments in any case.
So this summer also we will replace the wind speed/direction indicator.
Without going into heated instrumentation, requiring more power, we will continue to have riming problems. However the temperature and humidity readings are unaffected.
Also, Metservice are keen to explore the use of a snow depth gauge (ultrasonic), that we will also look to install for next season.

Finally, look out for more weatherstation data to be displayed on the SMC website snow report page; relative humidity and windspeed/direction from the Five Dollar Hut location at 1680m.

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth





National K Cup Finals - Lahar pics

Two SMC Juniors competed in the National K Cup Finals at Turoa on Saturday 22, Sunday 23 & Tuesday 25 Sept 2007. Mt Ruapehu erupted on Tuesday Evening. No racing was scheduled for the next few days, so Tai Juneau and Jackson Braddock-Pajo along with other skiers walked up from the Far West Chair and checked out the lahar.

Note: see Issue 14 of e-newsletter for Nat K Cup Finals results

Skiers hiked up to see the new lahar flow by the Far West T-bar on Mt Ruapheu, New Zealand, Thursday, September 27, 2007. Credit:NZPA/Jane Dove Juneau

A geologist inspects the new lahar flow by the Far West T-bar on Mt Ruapheu, New Zealand, Thursday, September 27, 2007. Credit:NZPA/Jane Dove Juneau

SMC 10 year plan - final submissions due

Those who have or wish to make final submissions to the SMC 10 year plan, please have these to Chris Burr by Friday 9th November, so the draft can be completed.



This is my last report before the AGM.
The season was dismal to say the least with the coldest part of the season coming in October. A few hardy souls skied the top tow and made the most of the snow that fell. I was on the field on Sunday Oct 26 and it had a real summer feel to it. The rabbits were about and the spring growth is starting to kick in.

 The field after the 2006 season sustained some damage at the bottom of the T bar. This area is very swampy and has a lot of moss growth. Due to the lack of activity this season this area with some nurturing over the winter has started to regenerate nicely so our summer working bee programme will include some extra drainage work in this area to aid the recovery process in the future, along with some of the other erosion prone areas on the lower field.

Our junior racers had a very successful year and it’s great to see young talent doing well, aided by a group of dedicated and enthusiastic parents and coaches. We will watch with interest their progress over the coming years and I am confident that we will have more names to add to our Honors board under the title of “National Ski Champions”.

The AGM is an important process in any club. This is the time when a new group of members get to join the current committee members in the management of their club. We have a number of positions available this year, some are coming a little earlier than normal due to resignations and people moving overseas so we are on the lookout for people willing to contribute at management level. If you think you have what it takes please apply.

Have a great summer and see you at the AGM.

Chris Burr

Upcoming Events…

SMC 2007 AGM
Monday 26 Nov 2007 7:30pm
Kawaroa Park Squash Club, Tisch Ave, New Plymouth 
SMC Working Bees 
Kicking off in February 2008.
check our website  Working Bees page soon, for a revised 2008 schedule.


The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • pre-AGM mailout newsletter
  • SMC 10 year plan issue for comment
  • SMC committee job descriptions issue to AGM
  • Marketing Plan for Manganui Ski Area

1936: The Sun Valley Idaho chairlift was introduced. The idea came from a Union Pacific railroad employee who watched equipment used to load bananas onto ships. The Proctor Mountain single chair still stands today.

1949: Howard Head's plywood-core, pressure-bonded aluminum 'Head Standard' with continuous integral steel edge, began its journey toward becoming the most commercially successful early metal ski. It had a plywood core glued under pressure and heat between top and bottom aluminum sheets with plastic sidewalls. The bottom sheet had a continuous full length steel edge. It was the first successful ski made of very different components. The secret to success was a flexible contact cement that allowed the different layers to shear against each other without weakening. Head skis, along with competitors and imitators, supplanted at least half the wood skis by 1960.

1955: Bob Lange conceived the idea to manufacture boots because he was tired of his leather Molitor ski boots not fitting the way he thought they should. The boots provided more support around the ankles and calves, providing better control, which also had the flexibility. In 1958 he invented and patented the first thermoplastic ski boot.
Story goes that they tortured everyone's feet who wore them!



1930's: Alpine Skiing became a medal event in the Olympics at the 1936 Garmish Games (Germany). Also in 1936, the U. S. celebrated the opening of its first lift-serviced high altitude resort in Sun Valley Idaho.

1940's: The releasing toe piece was invented. By 1947 skiers were introduced to the first metal (aluminum) skis and hard smooth ski bases made of Cellulix plastic.

1947:  Stratford Mountain Club came of age with the completion of the first ski tow to operate in NZ !!! (just a few days ahead of Coronet Peak).

for more on Stratford Mountain Club History, check out our website History page

1950's: Kicking off the decade, snow making was introduced in Connecticut. By 1957 Bob Lange had created the first plastic ski boot and Bogner had given us sleek and "stretchy" ski pants.

1960's: Ski brakes replace safety straps (whose safety?). Counter-rotation was introduced as the latest and greatest ski technique for turning. This was a good thing, but it is still a confusing concept for many skiers.
In 1964 a young surf freak called Sherman Poppen built a surfboard for the snow. His first prototype was an about 1.20 m long plastic plank: two kids' skis bolted together. It was a present for his daughter and soon was a winner in the neighbourhood. One year later, in 1965, his idea was put into production: Carried out together with a bowling-ball manufacturer, the now called "snurfer" (=snow-surfer) found its way through toy stores under the Christmas trees. For the unbeatable price of $15, one million snurfers were sold in the 10 years following.

1970's: Fiberglass skis out-sold metal skis for the first time. Freestyle became a serious sport, helping make shorter skis popular. Steve McKinney set the world speed record on skis at 117.63 mph (The current world record is 252.4 km/h (156 mph), held by Simone Origone).

source; adapted from

Recent Images...

Daniel Willetts hitting the rail at Snowplanet, September 07

Tayla Willetts having a good time at Snowplanet, September 07

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. 




Silly as it sounds; make sure your legs are the same length. A professional boot fitter can check this and correct it through adjustments to your boots and skis. Your skiing will improve immediately, or at the very least you will fall less due to catching your edges.
Practicing specific drills on groomed runs improves your skiing more than anything else you can do. Repeating on-snow drills until you are good at it does more for your technique than 1000 days of unfocused, informal skiing.
How to buy skis... Opinions of friends and family hold the number one spot in the minds of people trying to make buying decisions. Ask yourself why you should not be listening to experts. They typically hold the number two or three position in importance to a decision maker. Here's the deal; Friends and family most likely will not know as much as the industry professional, so be honest with the sales person (always at a specialty ski shop) about your abilities, get a second opinion, read the ski magazine buyer's guides, and use this information to purchase new skis. You will be glad you did. Sales people in ski shops are typically trained by manufacturers to know which skis work best for a particular application - go with their recommendations.
It is not the equipment, it's the engine and in this case you are the engine. Equipment may make you a better skier; however it can make you a worse skier. You make you a better skier.  Again, be honest with yourself when evaluating your equipment needs.
Don't overlook the little things. It is the sum of all these little things that make you a better skier. For example: 

  • Don't wear ski clothes that are restrictive. Pants should have articulated knees and be shell only, not lined (same goes for your jacket). Get your warmth though layering so you can always dress for the temperature and not overheat. Make sure clothing fits correctly and allows you to move around easily. These two clothing tips will ensure you use less energy during the ski day. You won't be fighting against the resistance created by your clothing and you won't overheat.
  • Ski with the lightest poles that have the lightest swing weight you can find. If you make 2000 pole plants a day, holding an extra few ounces out in front of you takes a lot more effort than using a lighter pole.
  • Hydrate correctly. Drink the recommended daily intake of water. For a normal person that is about eight glasses of water per day. Hydropacks are great, and users swear by them to keep energy levels up.


Do a ski week in the South Island.
This will provide you with daily focused instruction and exposure to skiers better than yourself. It's a good thing. Also you will become proficient at fixed grip or nutcracker lifts. This opens possibilities for future skiing at a variety of Canterbury ski areas, as well as Manganui's Top Tow!
The staff and clientel that frequent club ski areas share the same passion for skiing/boarding.

Take an Avalanche Safety course.
Here is why: Accessing out-of-bounds skiing from resorts is becoming increasingly popular. It is referred to as side-country skiing and it is the most dangerous type of backcountry skiing you can do. 60%-plus of all avalanche fatalities occur within 3km of established ski areas. The point being, you never know when you will be goaded into joining friends in an out-of-bounds adventure. Be prepared!

Ski every month of the season.
Begin in June in one of the early-start areas such as Manganui, Mount Hutt, or Coronet Peak. Next, extend the end of the season at Mt. Ruapehu or Mount Hutt. Also during the summer you can score days in Canada, USA, India (Kashmir), Japan or Europe. 

source; adapted from

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.


A ski area, anyone?

But seriously, expressions of interest, in excess of NZ $2 million, actually closed on October 5.
The latest is that the vendor is in advanced discussions with two buyer groups. Phenomenal interest from both off shore and within NZ which augers well for tourism business sales in the medium future.

source; Stephen McElrea,

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

Have a great summer!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007 - Stratford Mountain Club