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Previous Issues:
Issue 17 - 15 May 2008
Issue 16 - 26 Feb 2008

ISSUE 18            WEDNESDAY 28 MAY 2008 ....

Yo! SMC Junior Ski Racing & Training Ski Swap this Thursday evening!

With the Queenstown and Southern lakes ski areas receiving in excess of 50cm of new snow over the weekend, from the webcams it appears they all have their first significant trail coverage. More snow forecast at the start of the week is a nice top up, and with some of the fields supplementing with snowmaking, it all points towards a great start for NZ's South Island...
Coronet Opening on Saturday, June 7 2008
Opening on Saturday, June 14 2008
Remarkables Opening on Saturday, June 21 2008

In the North Island, we have missed the recent weather systems that south has had. We await the snow and as soon as we have it we are all go!

In this issue

corner Smart & Riflerange Rds
The Valley Mega Centre,
New Plymouth
ph 7599300


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

Thursday 29 May 6pm, New Plymouth Yacht Club, Ngamotu Beach, New Plymouth.

Doors open to all from 6pm.

$10 for Sellers, gold coin donation on entry.

All proceeds from the evening go to the SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training program.

For further details contact:
Clive Saleman on 752 7140, m 027-290 6636.

This will also be the last chance to purchase your 2008 season pass at the normal rate. Payment can be made on the night. 

2008 Member Subscriptions

By now you should have received your yearly SMC Club Subs invoice for 2008, along with a mailout newsletter for March-April.
Still not received them?
Please contact Jenni Fletcher on 7588879 or better still email her at (also cc Chris Burr; your full contact details, and she will ensure your invoice is promptly sent out to you.   

George W Mason Trust scholarship

SMC is actively seeking young adults who have a strong interest in safety services and ski field management to be this years recipient of the George W Mason Trust scholarship.
This is a fantastic opportunity for those with an interest in all aspects of ski field safety and management.
The successful applicant we be expected to be involved in all aspects of management as well as attending courses and workshops on the mountain or at other locations outside our region if required. Those wishing to apply should write or e mail the SMC secretary  as soon as possible
This is a great opportunity for those who have a desire to follow a career in an alpine environment.
Available to those 20yrs and under.

Pies and Hot Drinks available this season!

That's right folks!
This season with our relocation back to the old Canteen/Ticket Office in the DoC Public Shelter building, we are able to provide you with Hot Pies and Hot Drinks (from an Auto Coffee machine) once more.

So perhaps the smell of Hot Pies from the pie warmer will entice you to uphold the classic Kiwi balanced diet (a pie in one hand, and a pie in the other).

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.


Date Organisers Contacts Working Bee
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.  

Upcoming Events…

SMC Working Bees 
see Working Bees and Schedule section.

SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training Ski Swap
Thursday 29 May 6pm, New Plymouth Yacht Club, Ngamotu Beach, New Plymouth.

NZ Mountain Safety Council Avalanche Awareness Course for Skiers and Snowboarders, Taranaki Area
Fri 19 July(evening)- Lecture/Seminar - Fitzroy Surf Club
Sat 20 July - Field Day - Manganui Ski Area

Black Diamond Demo Day
Mon 22 July
Mt. Ruapehu
see ad in snippets of interest


Welcome to the latest e-newsletter. May 29, 2008 is the scheduled ski swap date. Held at the New Plymouth Yacht Club this is a great opportunity to buy or sell equipment, pay your subs and seasons passes, join the club and generally catch up on mountain events.

Our best wishes are extended to two Life members who over the last week or so have found themselves resting in hospital. Peter Quinn had a minor heart attack while hiking/ skiing high on the top tow and is waiting to be transferred to Waikato Hospital for the insertion of a stent to clear blocked arteries. Irene has suggested he might like to slow down a little- somehow I don’t think that is a reality.

The other was Bill Brown, who has had several visits to hospital over the last year or so. He is a regular visitor to the mountain more in the summer with his mates George Mason and Vern Newell. Carla would prefer he stayed at home but Bill being the mountain man he is, gets up there when ever he can. It takes him a while to get around the gorge but his love and enthusiasm for the mountain and the club is unmistakable. We wish him a speedy recovery so his trips to the mountain can resume.

Your committee this season has decided to employ Todd Velvin as our Safety Services Coordinator. In a departure from what in past years has been the norm, we have decided to employ him on a salaried basis for the period June through to September, which is the period of time that our concession period covers. During this time we are responsible for the ski area and his role will be manage the entire field and coordinate all activity from pre season to end of season including the top tow during spring time operations. Funding applications are being made to various organizations and we are hopeful that his salary will be subsidized.

The idea behind this move is to improve our professionalism in the way the field is run. There has been criticism in the past that people have found it hard to find out what’s going on up the mountain, only to find out the next day that the skiing had been great, so in order to ensure a seamless operational season we felt Todd had all the experience from his commercial ski field days to fulfill this need, given the fact that the accountability side of the equation in terms of ski field operation has changed considerably over the last 20 years or so.

 The shortage of qualified Level 2 Avalanche personal throughout NZ is a concern and the problem is particularly acute in the South Island- so I guess we are fortunate to have a person of Todd’s experience in our area. We are ever hopeful that in the years to come, with training schemes being implemented the problem of appropriately qualified personnel will be alleviated.

There are working bees still happening on the mountain. The focus has now shifted to the top tow where Dave Smithers has been installing an access ramp from the shed to the roll over. This will enhance the access to the snowline in spring when snow disappears from the lower area. He still needs help so please come up and lend a hand. We need this finished before the snow arrives.         

Chris Burr
President SMC

454 Devon St East
Strandon, New Plymouth
PHONE: 06 758 1757 



The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • Processing all subs/season passes.
  • Weatherstation replacement and relocation to Top Tow Shed Area (mid-mountain: 1420m).
  • Canteen inspection/code of comoliance from SDC.
  • Automatic Coffee machine sourced for hot drinks sales from Canteen.
  • Working Bees general activities.
  • Staff recruitment and training.
  • Ski Patrol gear - funding application for first aid, evacuation and rescue gear upgrade/replacement.
  • Webcam/Modem replacement.
  • Randonnee race event for Manganui (part of National Series; more on this in next issue).
  • Lodge bookings (Busy!).
  • Lodge operating costs survey.
  • Re-wiring of safety circuits on T-bar.
  • Top Tow ramp works - excellent effort on Sunday!
  • funding applications for Safety Services Coordinator role.

A History of Skiing...


June 12 2006
South Canterbury NZ experienced its heaviest snowfall in decades with winds up to 130km/hr and at least one tornado.

June 26 1956
The most widespread snowfall in Western Australia since European settlement, from the Perth hills to as far north as Geraldton.

   history facts sourced from






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. 



















Ski Gear!

Nigel at Taranaki Hard Core is still in the ski gear business!

The THC shop in Strandon are now selling their quality range of ski gear and clothing, including...

* this seasons Volkl & Atomic Skis *
* this seasons Atomic Ski Boots *
* this seasons Marker bindings *
* also a full ski and snowboard service is available *

All at the right price!

Contact Nigel to discuss your requirements

"He'll do you a deal!!"

454 Devon St East
Strandon, New Plymouth
PHONE: 06 758 1757 

NZ Mountain Safety Council Avalanche Awareness Course for Skiers and Snowboarders, Taranaki Area

Fri 19 July(evening)- Lecture/Seminar - Fitzroy Surf Club
Sat 20 July - Field Day - Manganui Ski Area

Offered subject to numbers, this course starts in the classroom and then moves out onto the mountain.

This Avalanche Awareness Course is for skiers and snowboarders, and provides 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 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)

To register and for further course details,
Contact Gayle Tricklebank

Black Diamond Demo Day

Tuesday 22nd July
Mt Ruapehu (probably Turoa if conditions allow)

15 pairs of skis with either Touring/Downhill or Telemark Bindings NEW Black Diamond Touring Boots
Ice Axes and Crampons

Kiwi Outdoors will be running a subsidised Shuttle to this event.


Kiwi Outdoors Centre
18 Ariki Street,  New Plymouth
Phone and Fax (06) 7584152

Pre Hospital Emergency Care - 5 days

Location: Mt Ruapehu, OPC
Course Dates: 21 July 2008 - 25 July 2008
Course Fee: $900.00

Pre Hospital Emergency Care is "the beast" among outdoor First Aid qualifications.

Skills and knowledge gained during this course will arm participants with key decision making tools away from the road end. Not only will thorough patient assessment allow you to confidently treat patients but assist you to construct sound evacuation strategies.
During the course participants will become familiar with the use of advanced emergency care equipment such as Oxygen, Defibrillators and BP cuffs as well as more invasive but effective rescusitation techniques.
Delivered by leading outdoor safety and emergency care professionals, this course is an advanced outdoor, professional emergency care course for those working or planning to work in the outdoor industry.
This programme is the industry standard for Adventure Industry Professionals.

Warning : The PHEC week will severely tax your brain so be prepared to take the intellectual hit and soak up the information.


News from Warren Willetts, SMC member based at Mt.Hutt for 2008 season ...

Thanks for the e-newsletter. I'm currently down at Mt Hutt, as an electrician on the ski field maintenance team, and I am really enjoying it, the view from my work place is amazing. There's lots to learn, like snow making, the new six person high speed lift, and the not so new Diesel powered triple lift ( which is good on blackouts). The team up here are great, and the people in Methven are very friendly and the lady that 'm staying with at Redwood lodge ( Jenny Shiel) has has been very helpful, as finding a flat is getting difficult.
I will attach a photo I took yesterday [Saturday 17 May] after Blair dropped me off near the top, the snow was so nice and powder dry.
Gota fly guys,
Best of luck for the season, and I hope its like 2006!
Warren Willetts.


READY TO GO: Sam Lee, left, and his father John Lee plan "the Disneyland of Kiwi ski resorts".



Cardrona Valley gondola project approved

New Zealand's first gondola to service a ski resort has been given the green light.

The Lee family of the Cardrona Valley, between Queenstown and Wanaka, has been given approval to build a $16.6 million gondola to access their existing ski and snowboard operations, Snow Park NZ and Waiorau Snow Farm,  and a third planned ski area, Roaring Meg Resort, all on the Pisa Range (the range opposite Cardrona Ski Resort).

The 3.8km-long gondola will ascend 975 vertical metres from the Cardrona Valley floor to the ski facilities on the Pisa Range. It will transport up to 1000 people per hour in gondola cars each holding eight passengers.

image of the proposed gondola base station

In their decision, commissioners Jane Taylor and Christine Kelly said the proposal would provide "unique, safe and efficient" access between a special ski area planning zone and the Cardrona Valley Road.

"Overall, we conclude that while the proposal does not support the landscape policies and objectives of the district plan, it is not opposed or repugnant to the objectives and policies of the plan overall," the decision said.

"We do not find the development to be inappropriate in this location."

Conditions attached to the decision, agreed to by the Lee family, demand public walking tracks be developed around the top gondola station and across the valley. The plans will now include the creation of an ecological walk around the top gondola station and to link with the Thouy's Gully DOC track, information cards in each of the gondola cars educating passengers about the history and important ecological sites along the gondola path and to allow the Cardrona Valley trail connecting Cardrona township to Wanaka crossing the Lee family property.

image of the proposed top station

A thrilled Sam Lee, operations manager for One Black Merino, the parent company for Waiorau Snow Farm and Snow Park NZ, said he was handed the consent at 4pm yesterday.

After a nervous 20-month wait, he said he was looking forward to a drink.

"I'm stoked. I'm over the moon."

This is a landmark decision for the future of snow holidays in New Zealand said Sam Lee Snow Park NZ manager. “We have world class facilities available and can now deliver the whole package to ensure safety, ease of passage and an enjoyable mountain experience to our visitors. It is immensely important we can develop not only the ski fields but the means of access to them. There are so many benefits, we are thrilled,” he said.

The gondola's approval paves the way for a $120 million development of a 300ha area, including a new downhill skifield and on-site accommodation for up to 200 people.

Lee's dream was for "the Disneyland of Kiwi ski resorts".

"We're looking for a partner to come to the table with some skill sets we currently don't have, needed for this development - we want someone who's done it before," he said. He hoped the gondola would be built within six years.

The masterplan for the Roaring Meg Resort development would take one or two years and might not be finished for 20 years. Asked if his family intended to remain involved in any planned resort, Lee replied: "It would be pretty hard for us to let go of the Cardrona Valley and what we have done so far."

The gondola, as proposed, would easily cope with the 50,000 visitors attracted to Snow Park and Snow Farm each winter season, he said.

The proposed 300-hectare Roaring Meg Resort will offer downhill skiing and an expansive beginners’ area. With five chairlifts and the longest run covering 1800m the resort will exponentially add to the freestyle and cross country snow sports already on offer.

Aerial view of Snowpark NZ, one of 2 existing areas (along with Waiorau Snow Farm) managed by the Lee Family

Meanwhile, Snowline Holdings Ltd development manager Richard Hanson said his company, which applied for a gondola at Treble Cone ski area, was still working on issues raised by commissioners hearing the proposal.

source DAVID WILLIAMS - The Press | 14-15 May 2008,

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.


Top Tow action. Heres to more fresh lines like this for 2008!
pic: thanks Manos.

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

See you on the slopes - real soon!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007 - Stratford Mountain Club