Trouble viewing this mail? Read it online

265 contacts were sent this email

Membership Nomination Form

 5 Day Snow Forecast


Change your email address

Manganui Snow Report/Webcam

Previous Issues:

Issue 23 - 07 August 2008
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 24            WEDNESDAY 20 AUGUST 2008 ....

The 5 day storm of Tuesday 12 to Sunday 17 August delivered an amazing amount of snow to Manganui.
70cm in 3 days above the top tow shed (1400m). About the same amount on the t-bar.
The Metservice is calling it a "polar outbreak". Sounds good to me so long as it is giving us great snow!
 Our ski/snowboard area has been transformed into an amazing adventure playground. Be sure to get up there and get it while its so good!

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

GOINGS ONí Around the Manganui Ski Area's Manganui 6 day weather forecast, Lower Mountain

Manganui Randonnee Race, now Saturday 13 September

Due to the weather storm we exprerienced, the race has now been postponed.
Should be plenty of snow around for the Randonneurs!

Sunday 17 August dig out

All August 17 pics thanks Gerald Hood.

I don't know about you, but I haven't seen this much snow at Manganui for a long time.

Amazing how NW wind loaded snow has filled up our ski area.  All brought to you by a cooler Northwesterly air stream, which contained air generated from Antartica, slamming into Mt. Taranaki. With low freezing levels, it bought us the snow fall we were hoping for.

(lots of precip + low freezing level = snow)

Huge amounts of wind transported snow have covered the mountain in recent days. This forms in slabs that are strong; the problem is weak bonds between these slabs can occur as they form, and as the snow falls and accumulates.

Now, our Mountain received so much snow that the Avalanche Advisory went to HIGH over that period. There is only 1 other rating above HIGH - EXTREME.

At one point, Friday 15th, all 8 areas covered by NZ Mountain Safety Council's Avalanche Advisory were reporting either HIGH or EXTREME.

You would have heard about the Aussie climbers stranded 450m from the shelter of a Mt. Cook area hut over the big storm cycle. With neck deep snow and natural large scale avalanches happening all around them, they did the sensible thing and sat it out till they could be rescued.

The definition of HIGH is ... The snowpack is weakly bonded in most places. Natural and human triggered avalanches likely. Backcountry skiing and travel should be restricted to low angled slopes; areas at the bottom of slopes may be hazardous...

... When the rating is HIGH or greater Manganui Ski Area is closed, due to the risk of avalanche in the Manganui Gorge, and also on the avalanche prone slopes on the ski area itself.
This is a condition of our Operating Concession that we sign with Dept of Conservation, our landlords if you like. And it is there to minimise the exposure hazard to all users. Hey, it is a common sense approach to minimising getting caught in an avalanche as well!

Avalanches generally occur on slopes from 30-45 degrees. Our top tow has average slope of 25-30deg, with some faces much greater.

The snow conditions in NZ tend to stablise over time; 24-48hrs after a storm cycle. With no controlled avalanche work possible at Manganui and its access, we rely on nature to do its own snow settlement and stabilisation so that our hazard can drop to a level suitable for us to open (MODERATE or lower), and therefore minimise the exposure the public and ski area users have to the avalanche danger.

So in these times your patience is required at Manganui.
In most cases after a big storm it will only be that 24-48hr period to wait out, then we will be open for business!

for more see Manganui Ski Area Safety on Mt.Taranaki page.

Upcoming EventsÖ

The Taranaki Primary&Intermediate Schools Ski/Board Champs
Wednesday 20th August
Manganui Ski Area

Manganui Randonee Race
Saturday September 13th, 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


Results of the Shell Todd Oil Services Taranaki Secondary Schools Ski/Board Champs

These were held on July 30.

Individual Boys Senior

Skiing: J.Hareb (FDMC) 1, G.Simkin (NPBHS) 2,
Snowboard: Cam Rowlands (NPBHS) 1, T Anderson (NPBHS) 2, S.Hickey (Coastal) 3.
Individual Boys Junior
: T.Davies (FDMC) 1, Tai Juneau (Spots) 2, H.Saleman (Spots Coll) 3.
Snowboard: C. Rowland (NPBHS) 1, H.Johnson (NPBHS) 2, E.Lawley (NPBHS) 3.
Individual Girls Senior
: A.Simkin (NPGHS) 1, N.Casares (Spots) 2, A.Brewster (Spots) 3.
Snowboard: S.Chapman (NPGHS) 1, A.Barnett (NPGHS) 2, B.Nolly (SHGC) 3.
Individual Girls Junior
Skiing: J.Simkin (NPGHS) 1, L.Brankin (NPGHS) 2, B.Jones (Hawera HS) 3.
Snowboard: M. Earp (NPGHS) 1.

Teams: NPBHS 142pts, Spots 138pts, FDMC 125pts.

pics thanks Jane Dove Juneau


Incredible is the only way to describe the snow conditions.

You donít get it any better than it is at present so get on up and enjoy it. Please move as quick as you can through the gorge area as it is unstable at the best of times. We do have a huge snow loading in the head of the gorge at present so when the advisory is on HIGH and the track is closed please keep out for your own and others safety.

Club champs will be held this year so stayed tuned for the weekends they will be on. The primary school champs are on this week - conditions will be perfect.

So- get on up and enjoy the snow while its here.

Chris Burr
President SMC


The SMC committee is currently working onÖ

  • General field operations - digging snow!!! Webcam 2nd camera install 
  • Taranaki Primary Schools Ski Champs hosting
  • Investigation into possible Snow Groomer/Ski doo replacement
  • Randonnee Race organisation

A History of Skiing...


August 2 2006
Snow fell in Johannesburg for the first time in 25 years. 13cm fell in Bloemfontein and 25cm fell at Tiffindell ski resort (the only ski resort in South Africa).

August 13 1947
Victoria in Australia recorded its coldest night on record with a low of -12.8 at Mt. Hotham.

August 21 1992
Snow fell in parts of Alberta Canada until 23rd August reaching depths of 60cm - Edmonton's earliest snowfall since records began in 1884

   history facts sourced from








SNIPPETS OF INTEREST weekly roundup...15 August

  • NEW ZEALAND weather was dominated by a deep depression
  • Severe weather for many areas once again
  • Fresh snow has fallen at all ski areas over the past few days - 20cm is typical
  • Mt Lyford can still claim to be the snowiest resort in NZ with 3.7m
  • Other NZ resorts like Mt Hutt and Turoa are quickly nearing 4m snow depths
  • Avalanches have been reported from the Tararuas for the first time in 90 years
  • Great skiing conditions next week before the next Tasman low arrives

Last weeks forecast for New Zealand proved accurate. First a weak low crossed the top of the South Island followed by a sharp southerly up the east side of both Islands before a major Tasman storm system arrived. On Saturday, My Lyford managed yet another 35cm fall with 25cm at Rainbow. Several Christchurch and Banks Peninsula roads were closed while the Rimutaka road out of Wellington was blocked by snow at its 600m summit. The nearby 1500m high Tararua range is a popular walking destination for Wellingtonians but the unusual winter weather has brought an unusual hazard with 3 large avalanches reported so far and winter conditions that local mountaineers described as more reminiscent of winter in the higher parts of the Southern Alps. A string of deep depressions have dumped two to three metres of snow and these are the first reports of avalanches in the Tararuas since 1929.

As the next major storm approached on Thursday night, the Wellington and Wairarapa districts will once again be hit hard with a mix of 120kph winds and squally thunderstorms - and that's at sea level. At 1500m in the Tararuas and Ruahines it will be much more severe with more snow too - in short, dire conditions. The same system is currently bringing heavy snow and thunderstorms for parts of Buller, Westland and NW Nelson tonight and continuing on Friday. Up to 1m of snow has already fallen along the main divide of the Southern Alps in the last 3 days and at Arthurs Pass National Park the avalanche risk is already extreme.

The entire country is now under the influence of a huge 970 millibar Tasman Sea storm. It is currently crossing Southland but extends its influence all the way north to the Kermadec Islands with rain and thunderstorms for many places in between. Severe conditions will slowly ease next week as the low moves off east and fills but the East Coast off north Island won't lose the cool southerly until Tuesday night. As we stressed a week ago, despite the NW wind direction the airmass is not mild (it is returning polar air that was located south of Tasmania a week ago) and snow rather than rain has already fallen at all ski resorts. We did suggest that it might be a close thing whether North Island resorts would begin with rain but in the event Manganui was the only New Zealand resort to see any unwelcome wet stuff this week. Even here it has already turned to snow. 10cm settled on Wednesday night with much more to come - a major dump in fact.
(they got that right!)
Turoa and Whakapapa have also seen snow and by Thursday they were just shy of 3m depth in the upper areas but avalanche risk is high both here and on Taranaki. At Turoa, only lower mountain areas were open on Thursday and at Whakapapa only Happy Valley was open due to strong winds, snow and avalanche clearing work on the upper slopes. Between 10 and 25 cm of snow fell on Wednesday night and snow continued through Thursday. As usual, lack of snow is rarely the problem at the Ruapehu resorts - the problem is the relatively small proportion of fine days in which to enjoy it. Whereas many resorts have powder alerts, Ruapehu ones issue Bluebird alerts instead. They have managed a few clear blue sky days of late and should see another fine spell from Tuesday to Thursday and the wind will have moderated by then too - any sun this weekend will be fleeting as snow showers rattle through on strong west winds. Those in the know make their annual pilgrimage to Ruapehu in the spring when you are much more likely to encounter superb skiing on uncrowded slopes with some of the finest views anywhere. The spring ski pass is a steal too. Even so, most years, by the time the resorts close through lack of visitors, snow and weather conditions are still ideal.

All central and northern South Island resorts have seen about 20-30cm of fresh snow from the current system but some are wind-affected on Thursday with the majority closed Rainbow, Hanmer, Temple Basin, Craigieburn, Porters, Mt Olympus Alpure Peaks, Mt Dobson and Ohau) and only five open Mt Lyford, Broken River, Mt Cheeseman Mt Hutt and Roundhill). Mt Hutt is describing conditions as the best for 15 years. They also had 20cm of snow on Saturday and 14cm on Monday.

Sheltered from the worst excesses of the weather, all of the southern lakes ski areas were open on Thursday and the southerly track of the current system means that they have already seen between 2 and 12 cm of fresh overnight snow. More is forecast as the wind starts to blow from the south and east as the low moves away. However, snow depths remain only a fraction of those found further north and only The Remarkables is reporting more than 1m of cover. It was mostly sunny here on Thursday with just a few snow showers. 7cm of new snow fell at Treble Cone on Wednesday night adding to the 5cm that fell on Tuesday. We are expecting cloud and moderate snowfalls from Friday through to Sunday afternoon in this area with perfect conditions following the weekend especially by Wednesday when the breeze will have fallen light. Later in the week, a strengthening NW wind in the Southern lakes region ushers in the arrival of the next Tasman weather system bringing yet more snow on Friday.

Monday 17 August, Metservice









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. 


The New Zealand Video Snowguide is now out!... 

THE NEW ZEALAND VIDEO SNOWGUIDE is a true revolution in both travel guides and snow movies, as it is the first time you'll really be able to inspect every ski area of the country on film!

The DVD features interactive menus and 150 minutes of footage from the slopes (Video inspections, Interviews, Freestyle & Freeride action footage, Scenery, Ratings, Mountain info, Maps and more!)

You can find our NEW ZEALAND VIDEO SNOWGUIDE at your local ski/snowboard shop within NZ, and it is also available worldwide from our brand new website :

So come check-out the trailers, and order the DVD now to benefit from our web special : free shipping worldwide!

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.


The ski lifts were not operating. That didn't deter some, who walked for a run, even though the Avalanche Advisory was still HIGH. Check out the safety fence to the left of the tow...buried!!! Oh and $5 Hut at the top; only the old weatherstation is visible.

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

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