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 5 Day Snow Forecast


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Manganui Snow Report/Webcam

Previous Issues:
Issue 18 - 28 May 2008
Issue 17 - 15 May 2008
Issue 16 - 26 Feb 2008


Manganui Webcam Sunday 08 June

ISSUE 19            WEDNESDAY 11 JUNE 2008 ....

It’s been not a bad start to winter with one early snow fall at the start of May that has got all excited about the coming season. A few keen folks hiked the Tee bar which did not have enough to operate but fun was had by all listening to the stories from the day. Since then we have had cool weather and there has been a lot of snow in the deep south but as you all well know Taranaki has seen some lovely clear cool days while the rest of the country was getting hammered.
We have just received (Friday 6th) a very light dusting of snow on the mountain which just reached the lower slopes. As this issue reaches you hopefully we will be receiving some more snow from the southwest; although not a lot is forecast it all counts to start building a base. The ground is frozen solid so we should hopefully keep what snow falls. The talk around the traps about winter (Ken Ring - the moon man) is that winter should be all right. July is looking like it will be our best month for snow so bring it on.
Todd Velvin, Snow Safety Services, Friday 06 June

Todd is also looking for people who are interested in patrolling.
Interested?  then email with your details (any experience like first aid, skiing ability etc).

Coronet Peak commenced their operations for 2008 on Sunday, so the NZ ski season is officially underway.
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


Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth








Metservice Satellite Image
Sunday 08 June

GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

SMC Ski Swap Thursday 29th May

By all accounts another successful fundraising evening for SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training. The take was down $100 on last year…the swap seemed busy but not as packed as last year.
Still a good amount was raised to help with Junior Ski Racing and Training expenses for 2008.

Troy George checks out some ski boots.

By accounts older (cheaper!) gear sold well, with the more expensive stuff being harder to move. The winner of draw for the season pass was the same Woman who just happened to win 2 years ago! Congratulations. 

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.   

Top Tow ramp works

Excellent progress has been made on this working bee activity over the last few weekends. Ably led by Dave Smithers (a.k.a. Biggie) the progress has been there for all to see.

Colin Woodward & Murray Wagstaff

The idea of the ramp is to make the trail up from the main get on ramp easier to negotiate. Rocks and limited snow cover was experienced in this area last season. The ramp will make it easier to gain access to the "roll-over" get on area, as well as give staff easy access up the tow from the tow shed. One can safely assume that is it not there to ski down on!

With approval from DoC subject to the condition that the structure be put away and stored at the end of the season, construction has been in manageable sections, for easier removal.

Murray Wagstaff, Colin Woodward, Brooke Fletcher & Roy (Pencil)
pics thanks Gerald Hood

SMC were last month approached for interest in staging a race in the SkiMonz series 08. We have decided to host a randonnee race as part of the series, on August 16th.

See our feature article below for all the detail on
What is A Ski Mountaineering race ...

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


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.

Ruapehu-A tribute to our Skiing Pioneers Movie
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
location: Top Town Cinema 5, 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

Ian Wilson, de-icing top tow

Phil Powell, de-icing top tow return pulleys

pics thanks Manos


Further snow on Saturday night heightened awareness that skiing is just around the corner. PQ, fresh from the insertion of a stent in his heart at Waikato Hospital to unblock an artery was there on Sunday along with some of the other keen skiers to catch the early snow on the Top Tow. By all accounts it wasn’t to bad - so with any luck all bodes well for the winter ahead.

The good news however was overshadowed by the tragic death of Trent Keegan. Trent along with his family are strong supporters of SMC with Mike serving time as President. They enjoyed everything that the mountain and skiing could offer and as a young guy speed was a primary motivator of fun, he was often seen blitzing the T bar slopes with his mates “yahooing”
 As with most young people they move on and persue careers and other interests but Trent always maintained his associate membership in the hope that one day he would return to Taranaki and rekindle his interest in skiing at Manganui. Our thoughts are with the Keegan family at this time as they try and come to terms with the circumstances surrounding Trent’s death.

Dave “Biggie” Smithers has finished his access ramp linking the Top Tow shed and the tussock knoll at tower 2. A great effort by a committed working bee crew saw the ramp completed in 2 weekends. This ramp will make life a lot easier in spring time.

Generally everything on the mountain is looking spic and span but if you do see rubbish lying around please pick it up and put it in a bin or remove it from the mountain altogether it’s a very special place so let’s keep it that way.
Please take care at the head of the gorge this area is particularly unstable and rock falls are common at present so move through there with speed and caution.

Keep an eye on the sky - snow is coming.           

Chris Burr
President SMC




The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • Weatherstation replacement and relocation to Top Tow Shed Area (mid-mountain: 1420m).
  • Working Bees general activities.
  • Staff training.
  • Ski Patrol gear - funding application for first aid, evacuation and rescue gear upgrade/replacement.
  • Webcam/Modem replacement.
  • Lodge operating costs survey.
  • 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. 



















Manganui Ski Area revised trail map

The main update for our trail map for 2008 is, apart from the ticket office/canteen now back into the DoC Shelter complex, the addition of the "Lift Accessed Backcountry Area", in the Manganui Gorge area.
This area has no trail markings, avalanche control or marked hazards. There are no active safety services operating in this area. Obey safety services signage before heading into this area.
Basically SMC are saying that we cannot stop public access into this area; but we will advise ski area users of the current risks before moving into this area (safety services signage).
If in doubt please consult safety services staff.

Keith Plummer is off to Mt Olympus Again...

I am off to Olympus again at the end of June for (hopefully) a better shot at the ski season than last year. It would be great for SMC members to call in if they are ‘down south’ or better still come and stay.

There are various options ranging from a full ski week to a couple of days…AND there is discount ….a few options below.

Bottom hut deals

– 2 nights stay, 3 lift passes – self catering B&B – price includes lunch on the Mt.
The bottom hut (at 1000m), is  a true high country hut ‘rustic’ but a great place to stay with a few friends – 12 bunks, equipped kitchen, wood stove, lots of hot water for showers. 10 minutes drive up to the bottom lift, room to park your camper van and plug in.

2 x nights             $50
3 x lift passes      $180
3 x lunches          $36
Total usually      $266.00 ea. SMC ‘mates rates’ $225 (15% discount) valid anytime.

  • Group of 3 or more - 20% discount anytime in July and after September 5th 2008 – total $210 ea that’s only $70.00 per day for accommodation skiing AND lunch!

Main lodge on the ski area at 1620m in the powder zone.

  • 2 or 3 night deal - valid mid week (when available) all season – includes bed, passes, meals, plus night skiing when it’s on. SMC ‘mates rates’ - 15% discount anytime in the season.
  • 2 or 3 night deal valid all through July and after September 5th 2008 - SMC ‘mates rates’ 20% discount).
  • Come as a group (8 or more), get a bigger discount especially in September.

Enquiries & bookings;
ChCh;  Henrietta 03 318 0700
Taranaki; Keith 027 715 6188

Price of gas too high?…leave the car at home fly to Christchurch and get picked up from the airport (by the Black Diamond crew or KP) and taken to Olympus.
I will update as the season progresses and try to indicate which (upcoming) weeks look like the goods for availability and snowfall – check the Olympus web site on for reports or you can text me on the Mt. on 027 715 6188, lodge phone 03 318 5840.

For a taste of what you can expect check out the links below.
Photo; BDS checking the ‘drainpipe’ at Olympus - courtesy

For this one below, (it’s a short vid.), you’ll need a fast internet connection – click on the top video ‘kingswood skis in action’ to see the man who makes them test driving them at Mt O.

KP, June 2008

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

Ruapehu - A tribute to our Skiing Pioneers Movie - Special Screening

Wednesday, 11 June 2008
location: Top Town Cinema 5, New Plymouth

70 minute NZ documentary which tells the saga of the achievements, trials and tribulations of our skiing pioneers in the 90+ years of skiing development on Mt. Ruapehu.

Rated (G)
Tickets $14



Competitors 'skin' uphill in a Randonnee or Ski Mountaineering Race





hmmm, the sky is the limit as far as light high tech race gear goes.
These guys look like Multisporters ('Coast to Coasters') on skis.


What is a Ski Mountaineering race?

A Ski Mountaineering race is a timed event that follows an established trail through challenging winter alpine terrain while passing through a series of checkpoints. Racers climb and descend under their own power using backcountry skiing equipment and techniques.
Go to for short videos of ski mountaineering races.

Ski Mountaineering racers posess a blend of many skills, including endurance, uphill technique, downhill technique and efficient change-over's (transitions). The uphill portions usually make up the bulk of the race and are the most important. Maintaining an even pace throughout the race is a good strategy. On the descents, avoiding falls while shedding vertical as fast as possible is vital. While the transitions only take a few moments, there can be quite a few of them and developing a system for switching from skiing to skinning or visa versa and managing your gear is critical. Equipment should be as light as possible yet also able to handle backcountry abuse.
Experienced racers develop a variety of strategies to suit different courses and conditions. One of the best of these is to remember that races have many turns of events and that they are never truly over until you have crossed the finish line, so it is important to never give up!

What kind of equipment is required?
the mandatory are:
-Skis or Spilt Board with "touring" bindings and skins.
- 457 kHz working Avalanche beacon.
- Shovel. Backcountry shovels with handles
- Avalanche probe
- Lightweight wind/water proof jacket
- Helmet
- Back pack that is able to securely carry skis/snowboard
a fair bit to carry!
- You must finish will all the equipment you start with.

Additional equipment that may be required at some races
-Crampons - yes at Manganui!
-Climbing harness with 2 "cow's tails" and carabineers
-Lightweight wind/water proof pants
-Survival Blanket

The length of course: the aim is to have a long course of 1200-1400m of vertical climbing/skiing.
The long course will be made up of 3 – 5 climbs/descents
Conditions are always changing on our mountain, so the course depends on weather, snow and avalanche conditions on the race day.

The course will be marked with colour coded flagging, green for the ascents and red for the descents and the checkpoints will be manned with people who can give you directions to the next checkpoint if needed. In the event of new snow, a trail will be broken. (Interested in being a volunteer? SMC will ask for volunteers to man checkpoints in the near future)

How long do the races take?
The fastest times will be around 1.5-2 hours. There will be a cut off time limit.

What kind of physical shape will the racers in?
This will depend on the race. In general, the effort is similar to a half marathon trail running race in the mountains, both in terms of time and energy for the long race and similar to a 10km run for the shorter races.

Avalanches and avalanche terrain is an inherent part of Ski Mountaineering races. The series organisers, along with the SMC Snow Safety Officer, will assess the terrain and current snow stability before starting the race. If the avalanche danger warrants a change of venue, that will most likely be announced at the pre-race meeting. Even if the event is held entirely inbounds at a ski resort, there is always a chance of avalanches and thus avalanche safety equipment is required (beacons, probes & shovels).

There will either be a back-up course or an altered version of the course on the race day. In the case of severe weather the race may be postponed until the following day. 

Organisers will do random gear checks post race, and time penalties may be given for missing gear.

How are the winners determined?
Places are determined exclusively by order of timed finish. There are no subjective judged aspects, such as descent style.

Originally complied by Andrew McLean ( for the United States Ski Mountaineering Association (, modified by GTG for SkiMoNZ. e-mail-

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, on Phil's Run. 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