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Previous Issues:

Issue 29 - 04 March 2009

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

ISSUE 30            FRIDAY 03 APRIL 2009...

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

Your pre-and-in season news on Manganui Ski Area, its operators the Stratford Mountain Club, and other ski/ride culture news and events, with a local regional spin.

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 ONí 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.

A local's Snowboarding trip to Japan...

Spotted in the Live! Magazine 'World Tour' recently was Karl Jukes, SMC member and Manganui regular. Karl has kindly passed on some words and pics of his recent trip to Japan...

JAPAN 2009

During the last 3 weeks of January this year I was lucky enough to travel to Japan with a good mate from New Plymouth. Tristan and I had talked about heading to Japan to snowboard for a number of years and finally made the call to head to Japanís northern most island of Hakaiddo to search out itís legendary deep, dry powder. Our trip was to consist of 3 stops at different resorts, each renowned for their high snowfall totals and dry powder snow. After flying into New Chitose airport from Toyko we were transferred by bus to our first resort, Niseko.

Niseko is one of the most popular resorts in Hakaiddo for foreign tourists and is actually nick named ďLittle AustraliaĒ Now donít let this put you off. Niseko boasts 4 separate ski areas which interlink and can be skied all on one pass. There is something for every skier or boarder at this place and the town has a good nightlife with plenty to do.

 We were lucky enough during our 6 day stay to have regular snowfalls, the best of which as a whopping 100cmís over 2 days. Epic waist deep snow that is the deepest I have ever ridden. I thoroughly recommend this resort to all who enjoy powder snow.

Next stop was Rusutsu Ski Resort only an hours drive from Niseko. Rusutsu is also renowned for its huge snowfall and great tree skiing. This resort comes with itís own theme park and the rollercoasterís and Ferris wheels make a great back drop for skiing. The resort is made up of two distinct areas, one on each side of the highway. Both areas are covered by one pass and both have great terrain to be explored. We didnít get a lot of snow during our 4 day stay but still managed to find fresh untracked snow everyday. The village is very quiet at night so not so good for you party animals but great for families or if you just want to ride at a quiet resort with no queues and great snow.

Our last stop was at Furano Ski Resort. Furano is located in a completely different area of Hakaiddo from the other 2 resorts and more or less slap bang in the middle of the island. The resort is neighboured by Furano a large town of approximately 20,000 people. The resort is divided into 2 zones that can be both accessed on one pass. Now it is strictly stated that skiing off piste is totally forbidden at Furano and if caught you pass will be confiscated. We adhered to these rules for the first 2 days and found the field to be very limited, especially after our experiences at the other 2 resorts were all we had really done was tree skiing. So as luck would have it on day 3 we met another Kiwi guy who convinced us there was some amazing riding to be had off piste and we proceeded to duck ropes for the rest of our 7 day stay. In the process we found some of the best terrain and driest powder snow of the trip and didnít once get busted by ski patrol. I think they just turned a blind eye because most of the foreigners were doing it.

So all in all we had an amazing trip. Japan is a great country to visit. The people are friendly, the snow is amazing, the resorts have great facilities and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of making the powder pilgrimage. Just pack your credit cards and lotís of cash, itís not the cheapest place to visit.

words and pics thanks Karl Jukes

We offer:
ē Virus Protection and Internet Security
ē Independent Advice and Consulting
ē Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
ē Upgrades and installations
ē Internet and email support
ē 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 Tís 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


no report this issue - check next issue for an update



The SMC committee has a number of projects on the go.
These includeÖ

  • Employing Safety Services Coordinator for the 2009 season.
  • Top tow bull wheel containment.
  • Learners tow maintenance.
  • Warwick Brown building upgrade - DoC consent, quotes and funding applications.
  • Manganui Lodge general maintenance.
  • Manganui Lodge wireless internet connectivity install / webcam upgrade.
  • Ticket Office/Canteen pre-season work.





Base repair:


Flowing (blue flame)



Banff Film Festival coming to New Plymouth 

Friday 29 May 7:30pm (the day after the Ski Swap!!), CityLife Church, 62C Poplar Grove, Whalers Gate, New Plymouth 

The Banff Film Festival has continued to be well supported and has become a regular annual event for many Taranaki people.
This year NZAC - Taranaki Section are again bringing this popular event to New Plymouth.

The exclusive ticket outlet for this years event is Kiwi Outdoors Centre, 18 Ariki St New Plymouth.
Tickets are available on the night but it is strongly advised to pre-purchase.

Prices (to be confirmed):
$20 Adult
$15 Children (15yrs and under)
$15 NZAC members (current membership card required)

for further info please contact
K. Dwyer
Secretary NZAC Taranaki section
42A Rata Street
ph 06 278 4004

check out the intro video!!!

Pre-season ski tune

To start, below is a list of turning problems; some of which we all experience from time to time. These problems are typically caused by an array of skier issues ranging from a technical flaw to being a misaligned skier, with a plethora of other causes in between. Yet, everything on this list can also be caused by a single problem: POORLY TUNED SKIS.

1)      Difficulty in starting turns.
2)      Catching edges frequently.
3)      Skis skid and wander instead of running straight.
4)      Skis wonít hold an edge on ice.
5)      Difficulty holding a consistent arc through the turn.
6)      Skis are slow, and seem to stick to the snow.
7)      Yours friends leave you behind on cat tracks.

Informal surveys suggest that at any given time, nearly 70% skiers have poorly tuned skis. I am guessing that explains why so many skiers are controlled by the terrain they are skiing over, instead of the other way around. But, why not keep your skis tuned?

Some skiers actually avoid tuning their skis because they think it will make them go too fast. Another group of non-tuners think it isnít necessary because the skis are new, or were tuned in the last three or four months. Isnít tuning your skis once a year enough? No, it is a regular ritual for keen skiers.

You need to tune your bases correctly to avoid ending up with a ski that is even worse than before you started. And it goes without saying that you should make a conscious effort to avoid rocks when skiing.

For the general skiing public, dulling of the tips and tails is a thing of the past, as dulling died when shaped skis arrived. Shaped skis only need to be detuned in the rarest of situations now, unless you want to dull the first few inches of the tips and tails for safety reasons. This may save you from a facial or other laceration if you windmill down the slopes with your skis flying around you.

The only other time detuning will be required is if you have the old style skis. For these, dull the tips and tails back only to the start of the skiís running surface when pressed flat. 

Secure your ski brakes in the up position with your stout rubber bands. Use one band per brake by capturing one brake arm and then stretching the band over your ski top and around the other brake arm. This will keep the brakes clear of your edges so you can work on them.

Lightly run a file along the side edge and this will remove any burrs. Try to hold the file at the same angle as the edge bevel. Remember to do this in only one direction, just cleaning off any burrs you may have pick up while skiing. You are not trying to reset your edge bevel; you are trying to preserve it. Be gentle.

Base repair:
1. Clean bases of visible grease or dirt around repair Use citrus degreaser or detergent with rag; rinse off completely.   
2. Light Ptex and prepare work area. Set metal scraper across ski base, near first repair. Hold candle and lighter over metal scraper to catch drips.When the Ptex starts to burn, the flame will be orange. The first drips from the candle are laden with soot, and should not be used on the ski. Let them drip onto the scraper.  
3. Apply Ptex Once the Ptex candle burns with a blue flame, move it to the first repair. Hold it about 1/2 inch above the ski base and let the molten Ptex flow into the repair. Move the candle slowly along the length of the repair. Keep the metal scraper close in case of flare-ups, or to move the lit candle to other repairs.
If a repair is particularly deep, and the first layer of Ptex does not fill it completely, let that layer cool and then add another layer until the depth is sufficient. Cool the Ptex to room temperature.  
4. Scrape excess Ptex Hold metal scraper at 45 degrees to the ski base, with a long edge on the base. Scrape in the direction indicated (scraping in the other direction may pry the Ptex out of the repair). Use medium pressure so that a thin layer of excess material is removed with each stroke. Use long strokes - across the full length of the repair. 
 Keep stroking until Ptex only remains in the repair, but is removed from the surrounding base area. For the final strokes, you can scrape in either direction.

Structuring your skis involves using a stone grinder (ski shop service) that puts a pattern on the base. It can be thought of as a very shallow design that is cut or scraped into the base of your ski. You must tip the base toward the light just to see the faint pattern imposed on the ski. Generally speaking, structuring a skiís base enables it to channel water crystals to the sides and tail of the ski, resulting in a much faster ski. Structured bases also are more resistant to small impacts without scratching, and it prepares the ski to more readily accept wax. Get this done when you get the ski shop to crystal glide - once a season or so.

Waxing You should iron until you can visibly see that wax has been absorbed into the ski. This is easy to see because you will be able to see the structure through the wax and the iron will feel as if it being suctioned to the ski. It takes about 3 minutes to iron in the wax. You only need to get the Iron hot enough to melt the wax, an iron around 90ļ to 120ļ C is ideal. When scraping off the wax use a sharp scraper that won't bend. The longer passes you can make the better. Best Tool: Any thick sharp plastic scraper. A good wax job matters most at the beginning of your ski day. Hereís why; if your skis are waxed they initiate into the turn more easily, glide down the cat tracks faster, and allow you to generally feel freer on your skis because less friction exists between your skis and the snow. Your skis just feel lighter when properly waxed. This gives a great start to your ski day. Who cares if the wax wears off half way through the day?  My rhythm has been established early, as I started the day feeling light on my skis. 

 The key is to make sure your skis are always ready to go.
































































Ski-fields await snow bonanza...

The impact of a global recession on international tourism has sent shivers throughout the New Zealand tourism sector except, it would appear, in the ski industry.

Skiers and snowboarders with "snow interwoven in their DNA" will limit any impact the recession will have on South Island ski-fields this year.
The economic value of the southern ski-fields cannot be underestimated. A New Zealand Tourism Research Institute study on the economic benefits of the 2005 winter found an estimated $92.8 million was spent in the Southern Lakes region in that year's ski season, with a further $68.1m spent elsewhere in the country by those visitors.

With skiing being an expensive activity, it is one sector that could expect to see a decline in times of economic woe. Souhern ski-field operators could be expected to be concerned about the coming season.
Far from it. It could be part of a marketing strategy to put a positive spin on any situation, but operators say they are "positively optimistic" about the year. They say that while the season's fate hinges on snow quality and quantity, several factors could boost skier numbers this winter.

The value of the New Zealand dollar could force New Zealanders to take a winter holiday at home while also attracting Australian boarders and skiers, many of whom could not afford a northern hemisphere trip.

"We see Australia as being an opportunity to protect our winter. A lot of Aussies this year have elected not to go to Japan, the United States, Canada or Europe, but are still intending to go skiing somewhere," Ovendale said.
Australians would be tempted by a combination of a favourable exchange rate, more flights and cheaper accommodation, he said.
"We're not petrified about the winter. We're somewhat protected because for many of our customers, this interaction and engagement with the sport is part of their social fabric," he said.

"You don't give up part of what identifies you. If you're a skier, you're a skier. "If it's going to cost a little more, you'd look at other ways to save money rather than stepping away from skiing."

Mt Hutt manager Dave Wilson is also bullish about the low exchange rate.
"It's much cheaper to come to New Zealand than it probably ever has been. From that point of view, I don't think we'll lose people who have come in the past," he said.

Wilson was confident any international decrease would be offset by local regulars buying season passes, which were a "must have" for many. "A lot of people still want to ski. They just may not end up spending on extras," he said. "If you can buy a season pass and get out every weekend in the winter, then it's a great way to get out and enjoy the day."

Treble Cone chairman Nat Craig believes Tourism New Zealand's campaign will bring more Australian skiers.
"We've got a captive market sitting in Australia and they're making a decision now about where they're going to go for winter," he said. "The local Australian players are spending millions of dollars in marketing to hold them in Australia because they know we are a significant threat because the product and experience we can offer is far better than what they can get at home," he said.

Craig is optimistic about the coming season, even though 2008 was not a good year for the Wanaka ski-field. Not only was capital expenditure of nearly $2m needed, but the number of skier days was 13,000 below the budgeted 87,000, leading to a $486,000 trading loss. Those factors, combined with this year's recession and problems with securing additional financing, left the field's future in doubt well before the first snow flurry.

But a $2m cash injection from shareholders and the prospect of more Australian skiers has improved the outlook. Craig said the industry was facing an economic climate that it had not experienced before. More than half of the skier days in the Southern Lakes region come from overseas visitors, along with high numbers from the North Island.

Cardrona sales and marketing manager Nadia Ellis said anecdotal evidence from Australian travel agents confirmed many keen skiers and snowboarders had cancelled winter trips to Japan and North America but still wanted an overseas ski holiday.
"A lot of our skiers and boarders are absolutely dedicated and would probably go without food before sacrificing their ski holiday. Given a good winter, we have every right to be positive," she said.

"It won't be the end of us if we don't get a good snow season, but if we get good snow we've got every opportunity of a stellar year."

All that remains is for the snow gods to do their job.

source MARK HOTTON - The Press Last 07/03/2009 

Locally, Manganui Ski Area relies heavily on regional patronage to keep us going. Being a non-profit organisation, SMC requires the cash flow patronage generates to keep in a sound financial position. A good snow season (like that of 2008) obviously helps us balance the books.
Offering great value and being close to New Plymouth and Hawera, we think we are in a good position in the market to weather the financial downturn.

Tamarack Resort To Close - a victim Of economic times...

It had such a bright future. Now, Tamarack Resort, 90 miles north of Boise, Idaho, is about to take a siesta; possibly for good. One of the west's newest resorts has notified employees that they would close up shop Wednesday March 4.

In receivership since last fall, the resort faced a mountain of foreclosure lawsuits and bankruptcy and just couldn't get in front of the eight ball.

It opened with promise in December 2004, but Tamarack, relying on real estate sales to grow and thrive, fell victim to the hard economic times. They defaulted on a $250 million loan last year but continued to operate on funds provided by the lender group that has been attempting to foreclose on the resort said news reports. But the well's run dry and Credit Suisse reportedly refused to reach a financing agreement that would keep the resort open.

Though the ski area itself will rest, some amenities like the public mountain bike trails, condos, and homes will be maintained. According to KTVB in Boise, the $6 million Osprey Meadows golf course at Tamarack will not reopen this spring, but to preserve the course for the future, the greens and fairways will be tended.

Tamarack's lenders, owners and manager will visit a judge to discuss its future Thursday, March 5. New owners have been sought since last year but so far no one has stepped up.

Resorts like Tamarack, essentially in the middle of no where, cannot survive in today's economy without selling real estate. Had it begun life about three years earlier, it might have been able to weather then next 18-months of recession. But the start-up costs for a place that large necessitated robust real estate sales.

The sad fact of the matter is that we will see a number of small to mid-sized resorts and ski areas in dire financial shape next season. It's tough to pay the bills with lift tickets and over-priced food.

There are only so many securely rich people to go around. Most of them already have their second or third homes in places like Stowe, Jackson Hole, Telluride, Vail, Aspen or Sun Valley. The rest of the resorts have to fight over the crumbs. The aspirational rich, the mid-level investment bankers, doctors, non-partner lawyers, etc., the people who might decide that a place like Tamarack was an affordable and acceptable alternative to one of the legacy resorts, have or will take a financial hit sufficient enough that medium sized places like Tamarack, Northstar and Schweitzer Basin will suffer for lack of real estate sales this year and next.

Tamarack's failure was in motion far prior to the economic downturn. Nice hill but when what will it take to make it operate profitably? It seems they have tried to make it into a Sun Valley quality destination which is doubtfull it could ever be. Hope this closure isn't permanent.

Area Profile
Tamarack is a relatively new - but growing - resort located in the small town of Donnelly, Idaho, about 90 miles north of Boise. Situated on the shores of Lake Cascade, Tamarack is well on its way to becoming a four-season destination resort, offering 700 acres of skiing on 25 trails, with five lifts up and running over 1,100 acres of varied terrain and an additional 5,000 acres of expert backcountry terrain open under a special use permit granted by the US Forest Service.

Lodging Profile
Sixty-four resort-built, ski-in/out mountain Chalets and Cottages, offering 200 rooms, will be available to rent. Additional ski-in/ski-out luxury lodging is available through Tamarack Lodging Services, with more than 140 total units available for guests. New units include resort-built two-and-three-bedroom townhomes just to the north of the Tamarack Express high-speed quad. Variety of lodging options in nearby McCall.
Services Profile
The Pioneer Village at the base of the Tamarack Express chairlift offers restaurants, retail shops, and a ski school. Snowcat skiing offered through the resort.
Important Dates
Days Open Last Year: 160
Years Open: 5
Average Snowfall: 762 cm
Terrain Type
Beginner Runs: 20%
Intermediate Runs: 45%
Advanced Runs: 25%
Expert Runs: 10%
Total # Of Lifts:  7
Gondolas & Trams:  N/A
High Speed Quads:  3 
Quad Chairs:  2
Surface Lifts:  2 
Elevation  Top: 2347 m
 Vertical Drop: 853 m
 Bottom: 1494 m

Source - On the Snow news, 3 Mar 2009 Jill Adler, Associate Editor

If you would like to post a classified advert (buy/sell gear etc), please post it on the SMC  'Garage Sale' page of our website.


pic thanks Karl Jukes

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

See you at the working bees!
SMC Management
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