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Previous Issues:

Issue 28 - 07 November 2008

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

ISSUE 29            WEDNESDAY 04 MARCH 2009...

Welcome to the first edition of the SMC/Manganui e-newsletter for 2009.

The new header picture was from one of the great photos we have of the "all time Monday" of mid-August last year. Here's hoping for plenty more days like this for the upcoming season.

While the financial downturn is starting to affect NZ, it seems that here in Taranaki we are somewhat insulated, with it's full effect delayed so far. Without a doubt most households disposable income will have, or will soon be, reduced. In these times, it's still important to us to maintain those recreational and family activities we all cherish most.

 As always, Manganui Ski Area can provide a cheap no-frills option for you and your family's skiing.
With our early bird annual family subs/season pass deal costing just $224 (once the joining fee is out of the way), you can still enjoy winter in the mountains at an affordable price, even more so if you are local to the area.
So consider it now if you haven't before. And if you are already signed up, then spread the word!

It's at this time of year that as the days draw shorter, and our mind drifts to upcoming winter activities. Not long now till you pull out the winter gear once more and work out if any new purchases or repairs are needed.

The New Plymouth retailers will all be formalising their winter stock.
Action Surf Snow, Cheapskates, Kiwi Outdoors, Ski & Sports, Taranaki Hard Core and Vertigo will all have new gear now or arrriving soon, at the right price. Your support of your local retailer will be much appreciated going into these harder times.

Next issue we will do a wee article on that pre-season tuning your sliding gear may need.

But for now, 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

Get all your winter gear here. New season Icebreaker now in store!

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


GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

Working bees are back!

Our schedule is now finalised, and is detailed below.
Please make yourself available if you can; the effort is necessary to get it all in order for the upcoming season.

Last years working bee tickets are still valid till the season starts...

That's right - if you have a working bee ticket from last year, you can still cash it in for accommodation at the Manganui Lodge (1 ticket = 1 adult for 1 night).

So if you fancy a stay up the hill before the season starts, get booking!

use our booking enquiry form to reserve your stay.

Accomodation at Manganui Lodge available to all!!!

In case you weren't aware, our on-mountain lodge is available for members and non-members alike.

Check out our Accommodation page for more details.
Never stayed on the hill? We recommend you try it.

The Manganui Lodge, at the base of the lift facilities. This is true ski-in ski-out accommodation!! Rebuilt in 2004 (after a fire destroyed the old lodge in 2002) it is spacious, comfortable and warm. Perfect for families. A goods lift (the 'Flying Fox') is available to transport your gear from 10 minutes into the 20 minute walk from the Plateau car park to the accommodation lodges.

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

Sleeping options include six smaller bunk rooms with between two-six guests in each room, some of those are ideal private rooms for families (double bunks). And one large bunkroom that sleeps eight.

Day pass rates set to increase for 2009...

As with everything our fixed costs have increased over the last 4 years, so we regretably have raised our day lift pass rates by $5 across the board (the last increase in day passes was in 2005).

We think that at $40 for an adult day pass, and $30 for a half-day pass (from 12:30pm), this still offers great value for those wanting to get on the snow. And our 1/2 day family pass of $75 represents great value for those local families who might consider a trip to the ski area for the afternoon, perhaps after Saturday morning sports!

Our top tow only (when only the top tow is operating) rate, SMC member rates and member-season pass rates remain the same as they were for 2008.

So, again, this could be a good year to join SMC and get the family a season of skiing for not much more than it would cost for a family day pass at a commercial ski area. Spread the word!

We do realise that our ski season can be fickle; our elevation is right on the snow line which means that we can go for periods of days without any skiing during winter. We get storm cycles followed by lots of precip from the Tasman Sea, sometimes falling as snow, more often as rain at lower levels.
So we rarely have a permanent snow season - more like stretches of a few weeks at a time on our main lift T-bar slopes.
And of course the walk in can't be ignored either!

But the positives are that we don't draw from a huge population base and are somewhat isolated as well, so our slopes are mostly uncrowded.
And once we get the snow base set up on the upper mountain, you can count on the exhilarating top tow riding/skiing Manganui is renowned for.

We offer:
• Virus Protection and Internet Security
• Independent Advice and Consulting
• Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
• Upgrades and installations
• Internet and email support
• Hardware & software troubleshooting

Phone: 06 753 7113
Cell: 027 312 2629















The late 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 2009 working bee schedule is now finalised as below, and apart from the odd break will be happening on most Sundays from early March ...organisers may be running the bee on Saturday or Sunday, so if you are keen please ring and confirm your participation.

Remember, your bee is worth 1 day skiing or 1 nights accommodation at the Manganui Lodge, whether you are a member or not!

Date (Weekend of) Organisers Contact numbers Working Bee
March 07-08
Brooke Fletcher
Karl Lapwood
Top Tow maintenance, T-Bar maintenance
March 14-15

Mario Padrutt
Christian Padrutt

Flying Fox, general lower field clean up, T-bar maintenance
March 21-22 Kevin Rowlands
Chris Burr
T-Bar mowing trial, lower field erosion,
April 04-05 Lars Binsbergen
Dave Smithers
Top Tow maintenance, T-Bar mowing, lower field erosion,
April 11-12
Dave Smithers
Justin Keenan

Field maintenance top tow, Lodge inside maintenance

April 18-19 Chris Burr
Mark Braddock
General lower field clean up, gorge track, drains and general work, lodge security & fire systems maintenance
April 25-26

Rob Needs
Brooke Fletcher

Put T’s on T-Bar, learners tow out, service T-Bar
May 02-03

Todd Cations-Velvin
Rhys Williams


Warwick Brown Building & Ski Patrol
May 09-10

Karl Lapwood
Rob Needs


Set up POS system & stock ticket office/canteen
May 16-17 Mario Padrutt
Christian Padrutt
T-Bar & Flying Fox maintenance, Machinery Maintenance, check Skidoo/Groomer
May 23-24 Todd Cations-Velvin
Rhys Williams


Staff and Volunteer Staff Training

May 30-31

TBA TBA Unofficial working bee, General, as per list in Lodge
June 06-07

Clive Saleman
Justin Keenan

General, as per list in Lodge
June 13-14 Kevin Rowlands
Lars Binsbergen
Machinery, Lodge maintenance
June 20-21 Clive Saleman
Mark Braddock
Jnr Ski racing gear check and test


Welcome to the first of the 2009 season e-newsletters.

The A.G.M. on December the 2nd,attended by 31 paid tribute to the passing of past members, Trent Keegan,Bill Brown, Stuart Skully and Alan McAsey our best wish’s and thoughts extend to their family and friends. 
Bruce Richards again presented our clubs financial report which is in the process of being audited by Lithgow and associates. Thanks again Bruce for your continued support. The A.G.M. also saw a small number of changes in the committee.

Chris Burr, the club,s president and treasurer for the past two years has stepped aside his role as president but remains on the committee as the clubs treasurer.
Many thanks to Chris, for maintaining a positive working relationship with the Department of Conservation in his term. Along with Todd their managing the potential slips/avalanche risk from the Manganui, a real scary nightmare position to be in! I commend Chris for his relationship and repose with past committee members for advice and continued support and his general calmness and love for the mountain.

Retiring from the committee this season is Ben Plummer, many thanks on behalf of the club for your hard work and support over the past three seasons. New to the committee this season is Christain Padrutt, assigned to help Brother Mario to manage machinery etc on the mountain. Also new is Rob Needs, who takes on the roll of managing bookings etc for the lodge (Lodge Convenor). Welcome to both of these new committee members and I know they will along with the present committee members will do their best to ensure the club will continue with its proud tradition of providing the best skiing for the people of Taranaki.

I would also like to pay tribute to the present committee. We have already had two meetings and the enthusiasm and work that these members put in to provide a safe enjoyable place to have fun is amazing.
Please, please support these people over the season.

Working Bees have now been scheduled so if you can please make contact with the organisers, to assist with on-field maintenance and preparation for the upcoming season.

All the best and hope to see you up on the hill.

Kevin Rowlands


The SMC committee has a number of projects on the table for negotiation and approval. These include…

  • Audited Accounts Issue
  • Advertising both locally and internationally for a stage two avalanche safety coordinator / ski field manager for the 2009 season.
  • Top tow bull wheel containment.
  • T-bar tower preparation and painting.
  • Scope and Costings for Warwick Brown building upgrade.
  • Manganui Lodge wireless internet connectivity install.

If you can assist with these projects, then your input to the committee is most welcome.

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. 





















































What's instore weatherwise for thiscoming season...

La Nina has come to mean cooler temperatures, rain to eastern Australia, easterlies and drought relief, sometimes flooding. For the western side of Australia a La Nina can be drying, because the eastern sea-air loses all its moisture by the time it gets across to the west. The El Niño has come to mean warmer temperatures and westerlies, wet in the west but dry in the east. It is the same in NZ, where the east side dries out as the westerlies drop rain on the seaward side of the Southern Alps and not in the east.  The last El Niño was 2006-7. The next is expected to start up by about November 2009 and become fully in control by about 2010. Until then we are (as of December 2008) in La Niña -neutral mode.

Whakapapa Fire update

The police have confirmed it was definitely arson that caused the fires in Knoll Ridge Chalet, the cat shed and the Waterfall Express Chairlift top terminal. Their investigation is ongoing. Two fires were lit in each building at about midnight on 13 February and the chalet and cat shed were destroyed as a result.

Engineers have now completed their assesment of the Waterfall Express and we are very pleased to announce there has been NO serious damage to componentry. There are some minor repairs to be made to seals and a hydraulic pump but the lift is operational at the moment for staff access and will be operational for customers within a month.

This is obviously gut-wrenching news for all the Ruapehu staff as well as the Ruapehu community and the wider community of north island snow-users.

As the photos below illustrate, all that is left is concrete foundations and twisted burnt steel beams and roofing.

The top terminal of the Waterfall Express was alight when staff and the fire service arrived on site, but initially they were able to contain that fire with use of extinguishers and then put it out when equipment and water was delivered to site by helicopter.

2009 winter opening will be commencing as normal on 20 June, snow and weather permitting.

The effort and support of the volunteer firefighters from brigades in Whakapapa Village, National Park & Owhango plus the DoC rural fire fighting staff, who have put out the fires in the top terminal of the Waterfall Express (and saved that lift), has been brilliant.

The 2009 winter season will be happening. The only difference may be chalet facilities available at Knoll Ridge level at Whakapapa will be in some form of temporary structure but it is too early to have firm decisions made on the replacement of what we have all lost today.


One wonders how conjested the Horizon's Cafe (at Top of the Bruce) will get this season, without a spacious upper mountain cafe to retreat into for a break, food and a spell from the weather.

Also, you can't help but wonder what sort of person would set fire to these mountain facilities. It required some planning; the walk in alone taking over an hour from the Bruce Car Park.

One can only assume that Mt. Ruapehu's plan for another high speed lift on the Whakapapa side will be down the priority list now.

A replacement lodge will be some way away and at a great cost and effort. We wish Mt. Ruapehu well in this major project they face.

With SMC going through a similar Lodge fire-rebuild process from 2002-2004, we can only sympathise with what lays ahead of them.
In the end for us,  the incovenience of no lodge, and effort required by all for it's replacement, was all worth it, and SMC now has a modern lodge as its major asset.
I am sure in the end the same outcome will eventuate for Mt. Ruapehu.

Warren Miller Movie Tour

Auckland & Wellington cinemas, from 21 May.
Deep powder. Huge airs. World-class cinematography. It's all part of Warren Miller's Children of Winter, coming to Wgtn & Auckland 

Deep powder.  Huge airs.  World-class cinematography. It's all part of Warren Miller's Children of Winter, the world's largest action sports film, which is set to music by Radiohead, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Beck, and others.  Shown in crystal-clear high definition, the film tour crisscrosses the nation and nine countries worldwide.
 Warren Miller's 2009 Film Tour showcases spectacular footage shot in Japan, Austria, British Columbia, Alaska, and Iceland with jaw-dropping performances by an impressive assembly of world-class athletes, including Jonny Moseley, Daron Rahlves, Marco Sullivan, Seth Wescott, Gerry Lopez, and Wendy Fisher.
Timeless Warren Miller athlete Chris Anthony takes on Leadville, Colorado's legendary skijoring competition.  Pep Fujas explores Silverton Mountain, the only backcountry ski resort in the United States.  Teenage snowboard pro Ben Watts chases surf legend Gerry Lopez on Mount Bachelor's frozen waves.  Skiing's top female athletes meet up in Crested Butte for the deepest powder in decades.  And Jeff Annetts, Drew Stoecklein, and Derek Foose sail Iceland, skiing mountains that end in the ocean.  Stefan Lessard of The Dave Matthews Band, Eric Fawcett of N.E.R.D, Adam Gardner of Guster, and Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies unite to form Yukon Kornelius—a supergroup who perform on and off the snow in Vermont and Colorado.
"When it's cold and snowing, others run inside. But skiers and snowboarders do the opposite, no matter how old we are," said Max Bervy, director and producer. "We are all the Children of Winter, and if you ski or ride, this movie reaffirms what we all know, that we're lucky to know the shortest, coldest days of the year...

check out the trailer!!!
Auckland – Hoyts Cinemas, Sylvia Park
Thursday 21 May 6.30pm & 9.00pm
Friday 22 May 6.30pm & 9.00pm
Saturday 23 May 6.00pm & 8.30pm
Sunday 24 May 4.00pm, 6.30pm & 9.00pm
Wellington – The Embassy Theatre
Friday 12 June 8.30pm
Sunday 14 June 5.00pm
Ticket prices are:-
Adult: $21.50 
Concession,child(under 16), student, priority:$19 
Family: (2 adults+ 2 children) $64
Tickets are available from the cinemas /theatre or online (Auckland) and (Wellington)

check out the ;trailer!!!





Birds of Taranaki (your flora and fauna 'fix')

On occasion we take it upon ourselves to uphold the SMC tradition of educating its members and the wider public about the wildlife in our region and especially in our mountain...

Wherever you look, the mountain is always there. Mt Taranaki stands sentinel over the entire Taranaki region, towering forebodingly above the vast ring plain. It dominates the landscape with a physical and spiritual presence, influencing the region's weather and mood. It has provided the nourishment for the fertile land which supports a prosperous dairying industry (apparently not so prosperous right now though!). It is the source or our rivers and streams. It is reflected in the region's lakes and in the lives of Taranaki residents.

There is an eerie quietness that presides over Taranaki's forests. Such lush and verdant greenery should be filled with birdsong and vivacious wing flutters. Sadly, this is not the case. Although Egmont National Park is a highly managed ecological area, it is virtually devoid of birdlife. The forest is conspicuously subdued...(no its not just because of the 1080 poison drops)

Egmont National Park is effectively a forest island in a sea of farmland. Being isolated from other large forest tracts makes migration in or out fraught with difficulty for native species. There are few stopping off points between other large forest tracts and the base populations in Egmont National Park are low, thus numbers cannot increase through natural growth rates.

The cold mountain climate does not support large numbers of insects, the main food source for birds. Furthermore, during the cold winter months, many insects either hibernate or migrate, depleting the food stocks still further at a time when nourishment is scarce. The cold mountain climate also slows down the energy cycle within the forest ecology, thus slowing the conversion of nutrients and filtering down of energy through the forest community.

Bird populations have been decimated by the introduction of rats, mice and feral rats, who climb trunks and negotiate branches to feed on eggs and chicks. Stoats, ferrets and weasels are attracted to nestlings, and prey on the defenceless chicks whilst parents are away feeding. Predator control programmes have been implemented by DoC, aimed at reversing this decline, and are meeting with some success. However despite, their best efforts it is a difficult struggle, and startling results tend to be localised - for example, pleasing numbers of Kereru (or Woodpigeon) frequent the forests near Stratford Mountain House.

source: Day Walks of Taranaki by Marious Gavalas

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.


you may have seen this recently...In a bizarre incident that will surely lead to litigation (or an out-of-court settlement), a skier at Colorado's ritzy Vail resort was left dangling upside down and pantsless from a chairlift.The January 1 mishap apparently occurred after the male skier, 48, and a child boarded a high-speed lift in Vail's Blue Sky Basin. It appears that the chairlift's fold-down seat was somehow not in the lowered position, which caused the man to partially fall through the resulting gap. His right ski got jammed in the ascending chairlift, and that kept him upended since his boot never dislodged from its binding. As seen in the photo (which were snapped by fellow skiers), the Skyline Express lift was stopped shortly after the pair's botched boarding resulted in the man dangling from the lift. The exposed skier was stuck for about 15 minutes before Vail personnel backed the lift up and successfully dislodged the unidentified man from the four-seat chair.

Now if that was a Father and Son boarding the lift, how embarrassing was that for the Son!! 

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

See you at the working bees!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007 - Stratford Mountain Club