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Previous Issues:
Issue 15 - 06 Nov 2007

ISSUE 16            26 FEBRUARY 2008 ....

Welcome to 2008!

You are reading issue 16 of Manganui Notes, our first installment of our e-newsletter for 2008.

With the Long Hot summer we are experiencing, it is hard to think of winter right now, except for those who happened to catch some northern hemisphere skiing.
In future issues look out for articles from SMC members of their recent ski travels to Japan, Canada and USA...

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
06-759 5192 b/h
06-752 7140 a/h
027-290 6636 m


GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

Retreat Yoga and Zen
March 7-9 2008 at Manganui Lodge...

2 of NZ's leading teachers in a 2 night/ 3 day weekend retreat at Manganui Lodge - SMC's cosy, modern lodge at 1200m. Large warm practice areas with spectacular views of the province and the peak of Mt. Taranaki. Offering total serenity.

For further details visit or email

Please be advised that Manganui Lodge is fully occupied for Taranaki Anniversary weekend Friday to Sunday evening.

Flying Fox Overhaul

Work has commenced on a major overhaul of the Flying Fox bull wheels, gearbox and top tower.
This work is scheduled for completion in early April.
So the Fox will be out of action over the coming weeks. Please bear with us while this much needed maintenance project is in operation.

Accommodation at Manganui

Have you ever considered a summer stay at Manganui Lodge?
Manganui Lodge is available all year round to those interested in staying in this alpine environment.

Manganui Lodge offers ‘Club Field’ modern style accommodation for up to 33 people, with shared living areas and a separate TV lounge.

Check out our website  Accommodation page for further info.

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

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth



The summer/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.

Our 2008 working bee schedule is now finalised as below...

Date Organisers Contacts Working Bee
March 02 Dave Smithers
Karl Lapwood
Top Tow maintenance, Top Tow come back trails
March 16

Mario Padrutt
Brooke Fletcher

Flying Fox, general lower field clean up, T-bar maintenance
March 30 Mario Padrutt
Ben Plummer
T-Bar mowing, lower field erosion, clean up  and maintenance, Flying Fox
April 06 Chris Burr
Justin Keenan
T-Bar mowing, lower field erosion, clean up  and maintenance
April 13 Kevin Rowlands
Ben Plummer
T-Bar mowing, lower field erosion, machinery maintenance
April 20 Lars Binsbergen
Mark Braddock
Lodge inside maintenance, general lower field clean up and Top Tow fences and come back trails
April 27

Brooke Fletcher

7588879 Put T’s on T-Bar, learners tow out, service T-Bar
May 04 Todd Cations-Velvin 0276634014 Warwick Brown Building & Ski Patrol
May 11

Karl Lapwood
Justin Keenan


Set up POS system & stock Canteen,  gorge track, drains and general work
May 18 Dave Smithers
Ben Plummer
Field maintenance top tow, check Skidoo/Groomer
May 25 Clive Saleman
Mark Braddock


General, as per list in Lodge

June 01

(Queens Birthday Weekend) TBA Unofficial working bee, as per list in lodge
June 08

Clive Saleman
Rhys Williams

General, as per list in Lodge
June 15 Kevin Rowlands
Lars Binsbergen
Machinery, Lodge maintenance
June 22 Todd Cations-Velvin
Rhys Williams
 Staff and Volunteer Staff Training

We appreciate that those of you who did working bees last year 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 - and are valid till 31 Dec 08.  

Work is currently being done by a team of Periodic Detention workers on the top tow safety fences. Ably supervised by John Barnes and Brooke Fletcher this crew commenced work on the mountain on Saturday16 Feb, and will continue weather permitting on upcoming Saturdays. The work is going well and apparently they are well into the job.
Brooke has said they would appreciate one more person to act in a supervisory capacity, so that teams of 3-4 can work on different areas. So if you are keen to help please contact Brooke on h 7588879 m 027 4398871


Welcome to the first e-newsletter for 2008. Hopefully this year the winter conditions will be a vast improvement on the 2007 year.

We welcome to the committee Kevin Rowlands, who has the Machinery portfolio. He takes over from Phil Powell who is having a well earned break. Kevin is no stranger to the committee having spent time as vice President and was extensively involved with Jay Whitaker during the top tow project.

We also welcome back Mark Braddock who has returned from the “lucky country” to a better one, to take up a new role on the committee as secretary. Mark has been on the committee for many years and has worked in many roles - we can only assume he was missing committee life!

Dirk our outgoing treasurer is off to Europe this winter so we have decided to split his role into two. I will be looking after the general treasurer’s role while Jenny Fletcher will be looking after all aspects of subscriptions and keeping the data base up to date and correct.

The subscriptions will be sent out over the next month or so. There has been no change to subscriptions pricing for the 2008 season, and as always we rely on them to cover our maintenance costs over the summer.

We have one major project about to get underway in the next week or so and that is the complete overhaul of the flying fox. We are starting at the top end with the gearbox and top bull wheel assembly being removed from the mountain. This will enable the engineers to inspect, replace and modify as necessary. We hope to have a quick turnaround for this project so remember - if you are going to the mountain, check to see if the fox is operational.

This project has been planned since the end of the new lodge reconstruction, as the fox took a “hammering” during the building process and has been breaking down more frequently of late, so the time has come for action. We have allocated $10,000 at this stage and we are hopeful that we will achieve a good result with this allocation of funds.

General working bees will begin in March with the top tow again needing manpower to achieve what Dave Smithers has planned. Mowing will begin after Easter with the Graverly mower being brought out of retirement to assist in the mowing - so we will be looking for able bodied fit young people who have a desire to get fitter for mowing duties. The working bee list is set out above so make a date and come on up it’s a lot of fun.

As you are all no doubt aware Berta Anderson has sold the Mountain House and is holidaying in Switzerland at present. In recognition of their efforts over many years (25 or so), Berta and the late Keith were awarded a Life membership.

 This is the highest honor that our club can bestow on a member, and it reflects their continuous contribution while custodians of the Mountain House. They did a tremendous amount for and on behalf of the club - most of it behind the scenes - and to that end we are very grateful. It certainly made the life of committee members much easier. They were our eyes and ears and I will certainly miss those phone calls from Berta about a whole range of things from the alarm to the road!

The club wishes her all the best for the future.  

Chris Burr
President SMC

Upcoming Events…

SMC Working Bees 
Kicking off in early March 2008.


For 2008 the SMC Management Committee welcomes Kevin Rowlands to the Machinery position.
Mark Braddock is also back after a short stint overseas, and takes on the Secretary position, left vacant from the AGM.
Mark can be contacted at

The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • Marketing Plan for Manganui Ski Area review.
  • Website accommodation booking enquiry form for Manganui Lodge.
  • Funding applications for Junior Ski Race and Training squad gear.
  • Working Bees organisation and activities.
  • Eftpos, Till and Ticket printer upgrade.
  • Flying Fox overhaul.

Aerial View of Cardrona's Captains Basin



New Chairlift, Snowmaking and Cafe at Captain's Basin!

Cardrona has purchased a high speed detachable quad chairlift for the Captain's Basin. The new Poma chairlift will be ready to ride at the start of the 2008 season.

The Captains Express chairlift’s speed will be two and a half times quicker than the existing quad with a journey only taking 3 ½ minutes versus the existing 9 minutes. Assuming no queue, a person who skied 11 runs at Captains Basin would ski them one hour faster due to faster chairlifts. 

Captains Chair

The chairlift is one of the fastest in the market, and has padded seats and footrests, with covered stations.

Snowmaking is also being expanded into the Captain’s Basin. Eleven new snow guns in addition to the thirteen guns in the Main Basin will supplement Cardrona’s renowned natural snow base. It will give skiers and snowboarders peace of mind for a good start early in the season.

A new expanded pizzeria is also being built in the Captain’s Basin. It will be situated in the same location as the existing pizzeria but will have over double the number of seats (240) and toilets (15).

 source; adapted from

The latest from PredictWeather

2008 Cold!
A cooler winter, with plenty of snow this year. In the S Is, a snow event each month will please skifield operators, but perhaps not road crews.
April: A sudden cold snap in the first week brings first snow of the season at Ruapehu which may also reach the Ruahines
May: On 22nd a wintry blast will signal the start of a winter a week earlier than last year.
June 19th: a big snowfall for all ski-fields July 3rd: cold snap bringing snow, July 18th: snow - this may be one of the country's biggest snow events of the year.
July 30th: another snow and rain event.
Aug last week: Canterbury rain, sleet, snow and blizzard

How does the moon help snow forecasting?

Experienced skiers of every country that gets winter snow say snow comes around a Full moon. Does it?

Winds are very important when working out which snowfields will get the best snow.  Whakapapa can get good snow from just about all winds, including northerly, while Turoa gets best snow from wind coming from the south.  Treble Cone needs westerly or north-westerly winds and gets virtually nothing from southerlies.
Mt Hutt needs southerlies or south-easterlies, also easterlies if they are cold enough.  Coronet Peak needs southerlies or south-westerlies, although not many southerlies carry precipitation. If Treble Cone is getting snow, Coronet probably isn't.  Ohau needs southerlies and westerlies. From south-easterlies the Southern lakes just seem to get cloud.  Cadrona gets snow from south-westerlies and southerlies, but nothing from the west or north-west.

Snow, natural that is,  is possible only with precipitation: and if skies are clear you will just get extra cold. It often snows as temperatures are rising slightly - this is because to make a snowflake you need the warmer air to expand the ice crystal. Also, it often helps when fine periods mix in with wet, because the ground is made cooler which means the snow can stay longer.

Down here in the southern hemisphere the South Pole is below us, the equator is above. Cold air comes from the south and warm air comes down from the north. Warm air NEVER comes up from the far south. So...something drags air in those directions. What could that something be? There are only two things in the sky with any capability of a sizeable gravitational pull on the air - the Sun or the Moon. But the Sun is ALWAYS in the north, so it can't be the Sun. On the other hand the Moon treks from north to south every 27-days, and at its peaks reaches about 28-deg on either side of the Equator. Scientists know that the Moon has two and a half times the tidal pulling power of the Sun. It is not too far-fetched, therefore, to conclude that what pulls water in the oceans and thereby creates the tides, also pulls air, especially when so much of the world's surface is ocean and the sea-surface is in actual contact with the bottom of the air layer. So when, say, the Moon travels from south to north, the cold air must be pulled from the South pole northwards over NZ. This 27-day north-to-south-to-north-again moon-cycle has been known to astrologers and astronomers for thousands of years. It is called Lunar Declination. So I say go figure. The Moon has several cycles, and the 28-day phase cycle (new-full-new moon again) gets slowly out of synch and then back in synch again with the 27-day declination cycle, through the course of any year. The two cycles come into synch in winter. So when is the Moon, year in and year out the furthest south right in the middle of winter so creating a time when it is MOST likely to snow? Amazingly - exactly on the Full moon.

Snow can come at other times too, but not quite as often, on a New moon night, a 1st Quarter morning and a Last Quarter afternoon. Snow will also come when the so-called "cold" planets are in special angles to the location, as described mathematically by the astrologer Sir Isaac Newton. Snow will form on a slightly rising temperature after a near-freezing point minimum if there is precipitation around. Wind direction plays a part in temperature formation as does Moon phase, because the phase controls the airtide and the time of the day when temperatures will be more likely to rise or fall.

If weather is about the Moon and snow is about the weather, it follows that the Moon must be responsible for snow.

Media & Marketing Contacts

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

SMC Newsletter/Promotional/IT
Justin Keenan

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

Want to Contribute?

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. 




Well, the phenomenon that is Global Warming has not deterred the developers of North America's newest ski area -

Revelstoke Mountain Resort...

New Ski Hill for the Holidays
December 22, 2007, Revelstoke, B.C.  The ski world welcomed a major new player today — Revelstoke Mountain Resort in Revelstoke, British Columbia — fulfilling a dream this ski town and international powder skiers have anticipated for almost three decades.

The resort officially opened with five feet (1.6 metres) of snow; 4,735 vertical feet (1,443 metres) of lift-serviced terrain; 1,500 acres (607 hectares) of skiing; and 27 new ski runs serviced by a $22 million Leitner Poma eight-person gondola and a high-speed quad chairlift.

After Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee cut the ribbon for the inaugural ride on the Revelation gondola, an estimated 2,000 skiers and snowboarders, from the Revelstoke area and as far as Hawaii, the U.K. and Germany, rode the new lifts to experience the legendary powder of the Selkirk Mountains.

“Revelstoke offers everything a skier could want — epic Selkirk powder, miles of largely untouched terrain, killer runs and awesome vistas of the Columbia River Valley,” said Paul Skelton, president of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

First-day skiers were visited by Santa Claus on skis and treated to hot holiday drinks and cookies, commemorative tokens and opening day photos.
“The mountain’s opening is a great Christmas present for Revelstoke, and for British Columbia, as it will help build awareness of the unparalleled recreational opportunities in our province,” said Mark McKee, mayor of Revelstoke. “We anticipate 50,000 skier visits this winter, and these visitors will benefit local hotels, restaurants and retailers.”

The mountain — long an exclusive haven for cat skiers — will ultimately boast over 20 lifts and more than 100 runs, transforming the hidden gem in B.C.’s Columbia Mountain range into one of the world’s most sought-after resorts. Next season, when the gondola is extended down to the village and condo hotel area, now under construction, Revelstoke Mountain Resort will have North America’s longest lift-serviced vertical at 5,623 vertical feet (1,714 metres), topping out at over 6,000 vertical feet (1,829 metres) when a future lift is installed.

The $1-billion, four-season Revelstoke Mountain Resort is expected to be completed over 15 years and include 5,000 new housing units, including hotels, a pedestrian village with shops and restaurants, and an 18-hole championship golf course.
For more information, visit 

Mountain Stats

Vertical 1,443 meters
Elevations Top Elevation: 2,225 meters
 Bottom Elevation: 782 meters
Terrain 607 hectares/1,500 acres
Runs  Number: 27
 Longest Run: 13.2 km (Last Spike)
 Alpine Bowls: 4
 7% Beginner/ 37% Intermediate/ 56% Advanced
(those %ages look similar to Manganui!)

  • Revelation - 8-passenger, high-speed gondola, travels 900 meters in 6.6 minutes 
  • The Stoke - high-speed quad chair, travels 632 meters in 6.3 minutes
  • The Powder Slug - double chair
  • Li'l Bit - Magic carpet

Average Snowfall 12 to 18 meters (40 to 60 feet)

Revelstoke Cat Skiing 
Enjoy fabulous alpine bowls, naturally gladed slopes, and miles of untracked powder with Revelstoke Cat Skiing. 

Full-day packages are CAD$325 per person and includes unlimited vertical, a light-continental breakfast, on-slope lunch, and apres ski and beverage and appetizers.   


Want to Advertise?

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.


Japan 2008
from Clive Saleman who spent the first few weeks of January at Hakuba …in the Nagano district

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

Enjoy the rest of the great summer!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007 - Stratford Mountain Club