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Previous Issues:

Issue 30 - 03 April 2009
Issue 29 - 04 March 2009

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

ISSUE 31            THURSDAY 23 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.

The Annual Ski & Board Swap is happening on Thursday 28th May, at the NP Yacht Club. All proceeds go to the SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training Squad.

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

When: 6pm, Thursday 28th May
Where: NP Yacht Club, Ocean View Parade, New Plymouth
Entry: Gold Coin donation, $10 for sellers

Drinks and nibbles will be available.

All proceeds go to the SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training Squad.
This is also the last opportunity to purchase your SMC Manganui Season Pass.

Working bees are still going!

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.

Safety Services Coordinator for 2009...

We have a new Safety Services Coordinator for 2009 - Brad Carpenter.

Brad comes to us on the back of a season at Moonlight Basin, Montana USA.

He has worked the last two NZ seasons at Porter Heights, and has recently attained his Level 2 Avalanche Accreditation.

Brad reports to Kev Rowlands and Todd Velvin (President and Safety Services Convenor), and his responsibilities include...

  • assessing avalanche risk of field and its access
  • responsibility of Snow Safety Services (Ski Patrol)
  • assistance in day to day running of Ski Area

The Safety Services Coordinator's salary has this season been partially funded by Lion Fountation and Pub Charity.

SMC thanks those funding organisations for their continued support.


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


 Traditionally skiable snow arrives on our slopes around queen’s birthday weekend.
 Monday the 1st of June is only five weekends away and still a lot of work to complete to have the ski field operational for this season.
 It has been disappointing to see the poor number of club members attending working bees over the past few weeks to assist committee members on there roistered days.
 Please put aside a couple of days prior to the snow to make things happen.
 Many thanks to the same old small number of members, who show up every weekend to paint, mow, fix broken safety fences, maintain equipment, etc etc.
It is our magic place only a short drive away and we would love to see you up there.
 Subs will be out shortly so if you have changed address could you make contact with Jenny Fletcher home phone no 7588879.
 We have also to attend a number of call outs to the lodge as the alarm has been activated as a result of doors and windows not been secured. Please if you one of the last to leave the lodge do a walk around to check. You require a swipe card to lock the basement door and to get one of these contact Rhys Williams home phone 7539627 or
 It's time to drag out the ski gear and with the Ski Swap around the corner and sort the piles of pre loved stuff for others to enjoy. So till then think snow and hope to see you up on the mountain soon.

Kevin Rowlands



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

  • 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.






Banff Film Festival coming to New Plymouth 

Friday 29 May 7:30pm (the evening after the SMC Ski and Board 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!!!

A feeling of the winter ahead...

I have a funny feeling about winter. It really is very mild at the moment...When I think of Anzac weekend I always think of the cold weather starting...but I don't quite see that happening at this stage. In fact bar a few cold nights in the South Island here and there I think April will remain warm with plenty of northerlies. My annual lighting of my indoor fire, which to me indicates the start of winter in my own mind, still seems a long way off when I consider I wore shorts and a singlet around the house on Saturday 18th, and still keep a few windows open well into the evening. I know Auckland's a little warmer than other centres but it's not the sub-tropics no matter how much some like to think it is.

So why do I have a funny feeling about winter? Well, while we're enjoying this warm weather the air around Antarctica is getting colder and's just a matter of time before it blasts up our way. Winter will most likely just "switch on" one stormy day over the next 4 to 8 weeks.

Philip Duncan, Weather analyst, NZ Herald




New Zealand Skiing 14 – 40% Cheaper For International Guests this Season...

Skiing in New Zealand will be cheaper this year for international travellers from North America and Europe according to the latest edition of an annual study of ski lift ticket pricing at resorts worldwide.

The World Ski Lift Ticket Price Report 2009 is the eighth edition of the study which compares the prices of a six-day high season lift ticket in more than 600 ski resorts in 40 countries around the world, converting the ticket prices to Euros, US dollars and British pounds.
In 2008 the Report placed New Zealand as the sixth most expensive country in the world for skiers, behind resorts in Dubai, South Africa, Australia, USA and South Korea. 

In the 2009 Guide New Zealand has slipped ten places to 16th with tickets costing nearly 27% less for Europeans, thanks to the strong Euro currency. 
Six days of lift tickets in New Zealand cost an average of 149.62 Euros ($NZ344) in 2008 (the figures on which the 2009 Report is based), compared to 204.25 Euros ($NZ470) in 2007 (the figures on which the 2008 Report was based).  Although prices in the ski centres may have increased by small amounts, the stronger Euro and US Dollar makes  costs far lower for skiers arriving from the northern hemisphere.

For US residents the savings of skiing in New Zealand are even greater than for Europeans, down from an average of just over $US302 for six days in the 2008 Report to $US190 in the new Report, a saving of almost 40% - the result of a strong US dollar.

For Brits the weak pound means savings aren’t so great, but they are still able to make some savings  with average prices for Brits skiing New Zealand down 14% from £153.20 to £131.55 for six days.  This compares favourably with increased prices to almost all other ski destinations for UK citizens.

Prices in Australia are also down for Northern Hemisphere visitors although not by quite so much.  Euro buyers will see prices dip by 17.88% from an average 254.60 Euros ($NZ586) in 2007 to an average 209.07 Euros ($NZ481) in 2008.  Australia drop from third to fourth in the most expensive lift tickets in the world table, overtaken by Japan and the USA, the country would have gone fifth but South Africa’s only commercial ski area filed for bankruptcy last month, taking the country out of the table.

Other Report Findings:
* 19 of the world’s 20 most expensive lift tickets are in the USA and 8 of the world’s top ten most expensive tickets are offered by ski resorts in Colorado.
* Deer Valley in Utah sold the world’s first $US600+ ticket ($US602) for Xmas/New Year week this season.
* An average six day US resort peak-season lift ticket cost of $US408 is exactly double the average French ski resort peak season cost of $US204 dollars
* The only major ski nation to match the US for currency strength over the past six months has been Switzerland.
* The tiny principality of Andorra, once famous as a budget destination, now has Europe’s highest average lift ticket price at $US245.
* The lowest priced six day pass in the world was found at Iran’s Tochal ski area near Tehran with a $US51 cost.
* The weak British pound means skiing in Scotland is currently 20% cheaper for Americans.

Editor’s Notes
The World Ski Lift Ticket Price Report 2009 is compiled by Snow24 Ltd, an independent ski resort research company based in Scotland, UK, established in 1991. 
Snow24 has been compiling the Report each winter for eight years, comparing the cost of a six-day, peak-season lift ticket purchased non-discounted and on-the-day at a resort ticket desk (for ease of international comparison).  At least 50 resorts are compared from each of the six leading ski nations (Austria, Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland and the US).
The Report is 12,000 words/44 pages long with more than 5,000 statistics including detailed comparison tables by resort, country, continent and worldwide.

Source: Patrick Thorne, Report Editor, Snow24 Ltd;

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.


Bruce Webster at bottom of Ridge Tow, Broken River, on Easter Saturday (photo copyright Steve Eastwood)

"We have had our first significant snowfall of 2009 with 40-50cm falling on Thursday 9th April - just in time for Easter!!!
Ivan has been a long-time advocate of skiing the snow fresh as possible and so he managed to get in first tracks for 2009 by skinning up to the ridge at 4am on Good Friday and skiing the powder under the full moon. Once the sun came out Bruce Webster, Steve Eastwood & Laurence Mote headed up to do some maintenance work (and have some mandatory turns on the way down) and they all got some nice lines in and were pretty happy with their lot. The southerly storm meant it was nice, light and dry. Lets hope we get plenty more freshies as 2009 rolls by!"

Title image supplied by
TNL Graphics

See you on the snow, not long now!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007 - Stratford Mountain Club