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Previous Issues:

Issue 22 - 23 July 2008
Issue 21 - 09 July 2008
Issue 20 - 25 June 2008

Issue 19 - 11 June 2008
Issue 18 - 28 May 2008
Issue 17 - 15 May 2008
Issue 16 - 26 Feb 2008

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

ISSUE 23            THURSDAY 07 AUGUST 2008 ....

Rain at the beginning of the last week of July put pay to a huge dump that Manganui received on Friday and Saturday. After much effort to dig out the track and the ski area buildings, a day was available for the Taranaki Secondary Schools ski/snowboard champs last week.

As this comes to you we would have received more snow, albeit at a higher level. Wind has stripped what cover remained on the T-bar from a snow fall on Tuesday the 5th. Unfortunately not enough for the T-bar to operate. This Friday we are due for more so fingers crossed we can get the whole field operational once more.

Oh and don't forget the Randonnee race, Sat 16 August. Be worth a look so check it out if you can.

In this issue

Lars Binsbergen
17 Curtis St. Okato
phone 06 7524424
Major Sponsor
of the SMC E-newsletter


Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth


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






Top Tow, Tuesday 05 August


GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area's Manganui 6 day weather forecast, Upper Mountain

Manganui Randonnee Race, Saturday 16 August

Just a reminder that the Randonee race is coming up in a few Saturdays.

We need volunteers to help run this event.

If not, then get up there anyway to watch - it should be a great oppurtunity to see first hand what this type of event is all about.

If you would like to assist with the running of the event, please contact Todd Cations-Velvin

The intended race course

Volunteer Staff Vests

SMC have recently purchased 6 new Volunteer Staff Vests.
So idea is a vest that can be worn over own clothing/jacket, to identify to public who is volunteer staff, for assistance if required (will be visibly badged "SMC Volunteer Staff").

See this as a bit more visibility to all those doing volunteer work over the mountain on operating days.

So if you are doing volunteer work around the ski area for the day, or even few hours, be sure to wear one of these.

SMC acknowledges the support of Cactus Clothing and Kiwi Outdoors Centre.

Tow Belts now available at the Ticket Office/Canteen

Top Tow belts are available from the Ticket Office/Canteen at the following prices:

  • Belts (inc. nutcracker) - $95
  • Harnesses (inc. nutcracker) - $150
  • nutcrackers  - $25

NZ Mtn Safety Council Snow Skills and Avalanche Awareness Course

location: Fitzroy Surf Club, Manganui Ski Area

23-24 August. Lecture: Fitzroy Surf Club Seminar: Manganui Ski Area 

Essential avalanche awareness info for trampers and mountaineers venturing beyond the ski area into the backcountry where no avalanche control work is carried out.

The course focuses on avoiding the need for avalanche related rescue, but also dedicates time to learning the technical skills required for rescuing a companion or small party.  It covers Mountains weather, identification of avalanche terrain, basic route finding and decision making, companion rescue and safety equipment (including use of transceivers).

The lecture is held in the evening prior to the field day (Fitzroy Surf Club) and lasts around 2.5 hours.  Attendance is prerequisite for the field day.

The field day focuses on practical aspects and is a full day (Manganui Ski Area).  At the end of the course a “Certificate of Attendance” is issued to the participants.

Cost:  $100.00 incl. GST 
Venue:  Lecture: Fitzroy Surf Club
Seminar: Manganui Ski Area

to register contact Gayle Tricklebank
Phone: 06 753 5021

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


Race Coaching for Snowboarding...
If anyone is interested in receiving training on how to Snowboard in race gates, Karl Lapwood is keen to pass on his knowledge to you, and arrange a training day at Manganui.

Contact Karl at 02RINGKARL (0274645275).

The Taranaki Primary&Intermediate Schools Ski/Board Champs

Manganui Ski Area, 2nd available ski day after the July school holidays. Date to be confirmed. 
the Taranaki Secondary Champs have been run so SMC is on standby to host the Primary Champs on the next suitable day…latest snowfall is not sufficient to run the event but keep watching…next storm is due this weekend 08/08 - it may leave snow sufficient for the event to run next week…all entrants are welcome enter on the day at the skifield….children will need parent support to get to and from the skiifield…some helmets are available for use on the skifield for the event…Club Member lift rates will apply to Racers ($15). Kiwi Outdoors has some good quality childrens (and Adults) ski gear available  SMC will not be charging any entry fee…just lift passes as mentioned above… Any enquiries to Rae Priest at Oakura School

 The event is held at the Manganui Ski area on Mt Taranaki a suitable day means adequate snow cover and fair weather.

Bring your lunch - just snack food is available on the mountain. This event is all about participation - register with your school, turn up and you will be given a start!

I will be attending the event as per the last several years with radios, stopwatches, and computer and printer to record the results.

I will attend to set the race course, and we will have Safety Services on hand for any first aid requirements.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any other queries.
Regards, Clive Saleman, Stratford Mountain Club Racing Coordinator 0272906636

SMC will provide ONE complimentary (free) lift ticket voucher for each team manager from each school …on application to the race coordinator.
SMC will provide COMPETITORS lift tickets at members rates ($15), providing that each school get their manager to buy all competitors lift  tickets (ie organize total payment for all their school competitors).
SMC lodge will be available to teachers, parents and kids attending the primaries. 

Upcoming Events…

Manganui Randonee Race
Saturday August 16th, Manganui Ski Area. A ski mountaineering race; part of the SkiMonz series 08.

NZ Mtn Safety Council Snow Skills and Avalanche Awareness Course 23-24 August. Lecture: Fitzroy Surf Club Seminar: Manganui Ski Area

The Taranaki Primary & Intermediate Schools Ski/Board Champs
Manganui Ski Area, 2nd available ski day after the July school holidays. Date to be confirmed.


The rain snow cycle continues with the amount of rain delivered to the slopes of the mountain being in the vicinity of 400mm. This has played havoc with the snow on the t bar and has restricted our operations somewhat. We are of course hopeful that we will get more snow courtesy of a couple of lows to replenish the supplies and get us another couple of weeks on the lower slopes - if not then the top tow is looking good for spring.

The rain has released the season’s first avalanche and is a timely reminder of the ever present risk along with rock falls in the gorge area. Please move through this area with speed and caution and be aware that rocks do fall without warning particularly on the lodge side of the gorge.

Generally everything has been running smoothly with relatively few injuries and with 13 days operation we have had only 1 helicopter evacuation which is pleasing. Thanks to all staff both voluntary and paid for their efforts to date it has made things easier all round.

See you in the snow (hopefully)       
Chris Burr
President SMC


The SMC committee is currently working on…

  • Webcam replacement (existing webcam now running on broadband - it is working now!) 
  • General field operations. 
  • Funding applications for new Safety Gear
  • Investigation into possible Snow Groomer/Ski doo replacement
  • Randonnee Race organisation






Avalanche 1 Course at Whakapapa 28 July to August 03

Continuing on from last year, SMC further committed to their Snow Safety Program by sending off a willing volunteer to Whitireia Polytechnic's Avalanche Management Level 1 Course at Whakapapa. The course was attended this year by Justin Keenan.

This is a 6.5 day intensive course, and covered Avalanche phenomena, terrain, hazard forecasting, rescue, weather observations and forecasting, snowpack analysis and stability evaluations and forecasts.

The course was led by Bill Atkinson. It didn't take long to get a feel for his huge amount of mountain/ski area/weather knowledge and experience. When advising he had lost 10 good friends to avalanches, you get an idea of his career over 30+ years in the mountain industry. He was ably asssisted by the Whakapapa Snow Safety Manager Andy and a Whakapapa Level 2 Patroller.

Myself and 17 others, the majority of an alpine climbing background ("Smellies" as they are otherwise known), were put through our paces with a diet of learning, study, assessment, homework, outdoors training excercises and assessments in driving rain and snow; oh and a little bit of skiing to get back to the Lodge. We stayed in the Levin Lodge at Iwikau Village.
The weather was challenging to say the least!  Unfortunately it made the daily program a challenge also, but we got there in the end.

It was a great week of learning and understanding, and I would recommend it to anybody who is looking to expand their skiing/boarding experience by safely moving into the backcountry or the 'slack country ' (lift accessed backcountry areas).

Now, if you are an SMC member, are 20 or under, and keen to further your knowledge with a possible move to working within a Snow Safety Program at a ski area, then by sucessfully applying to the George Mason Charitable Trust you may be awarded a scholarship to attend this course or similar.

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 a 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.

Also, Check out Bill Atkinson's website

for a great reference to the latest Mountain Weather, as well as lots of downloads on everything from Avalanche reports & articles, Medical information and Avalanche rescue.


The Terrain the Hagglund accesses














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. 


Alpure Peaks - NZ's latest snowcat operation in South Canterbury... 

this from the operators...

Donald and I saw a gap in the market for people wanting to experience back-country skiing and boarding with deep powder and fresh tracks and no queues.  At around half the price of heli it gives more people this opportunity.

The Hagglund tracked vehicle (what is used in Antartica) shuttles you to the snow groomer with the custom built cabin with seating for a maximum of 10 people which takes you higher up the mountain.

We can tailor make excursions for snowshoeing and telemarking  and to take mountain bikers and hikers into the mountains in the summer also.

Fox Peak is also on our property.  We operate Alpure Peaks Snowcat 2 valleys over from Fox Peak and eventually hope to access those valleys with snowcat also. 

Our ticket office is at the homestead  on the left 1 km before the Fox Peak road turn off.  Then you proceed to car park at base of Fox Peak by the bridge and the Hagglund shuttle takes you from there.  We can't get reliable mobile reception to use an Eftpos machine out there.
If you bring a group of 10 to Alprue there is a 10% discount.   Look forward to seeing you all down here.


Alpure Peaks Snowcat
2035 Clayton Road
Fairlie 7987
South Canterbury
Phone:  + 64 3 6854856
Fax:  + 64 6854854

and their snow report as of Monday...

Status: Wind and Snow
Temperature: -5°C
Comments: snowing heavily 
Road Conditions 
Status: Closed 
Comments: Access only by our Hagglund tracked shuttle vehicle 
Snow Conditions
Snow Depth: Min. 160 cm - Max. 220 cm
Last Snow Fall: Last Snow Fall: Mon, Aug 4 , 10cm 
Comments: fresh powder
sounds mint!

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 has a great cover thought recent wind stripping has set up the tow line face as extremely hard. Good snow exists in the valleys.

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

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