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Previous Issues:

Issue 33 - 21 May 2009
Issue 32 - 07 May 2009
Issue 31 - 23 April 2009
Issue 30 - 03 April 2009

Issue 29 - 04 March 2009

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of the SMC E-newsletter


ISSUE 34            FRIDAY 05 JUNE 2009...

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

Manga(n.) - branch (of a river or tree), bough, creek, watercourse, ditch, drain.
Nui(n.) - size, quantity, vastness, greatness, importance, amount, abundance, plenty, rank.

After 9 operating days in May, and 3 in a row from June 1st, we have what can only be described as a dream start to our 2009 season, with an abundance of snow and skiing, unprecidented really, in May no less! Lots of days where lower and upper lifts were fully operational too.

Snow arriving on the last day of May meant we were going on Queens' Birthday Monday June 1st, and have continued operating for 3 days after.

Depending on the day, snow conditions varied from dry winter powder to spring heavy. Weather has been variable as well, but hey at our mountain as long as you are dressed for it, it's not that bad. Of course you can always retreat to the Public Shelter or Manganui Lodge for members and members guests; and the Canteen has hot pies and snack food to keep the energy levels up.

Once again some tremendous work leading up to and during the open days, by staff/volunteer staff and volunteers has helped greatly. By all means if you want to help on a voluntary basis please ask our friendly staff to see if they need a hand with anything on the day. Again we thank the staff and volunteers who made it all possible for our skiing days in May!

As I always say - "COME UP AND GET IT WHILE IT'S ON!"
Or as the SMC President Kev Rowlands says -

Do remember to do your best to get up there to get the snow and conditions while they prevail. Our lower mountain base does come and go!

We can have big rain events on Mt. Taranaki, between our snow events, and that combined with our lower elevation (top of our ski area is basically the car park elevation at Whakapapa) means we don't retain the snow on our lower field like other mountains. Coronet Peak in the south island has a similar base elevation to us, but being in the south island and further inland, they tend to have less rain than us, Oh and they have snowmaking as well!

In this issue...

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

Bumper Stickers now in circulation

You should receive a bumper sticker with your returned validated season passes/membership cards. Should you require more they are available at your nearest winter sports shop - Action Surf Snow The Valley Megacentre, Cheapskates Burger King Complex, Kiwi Outdoors Ariki St, Ski & Sports Centre Devon St West, Taranaki Hardcore Surf & Snow Strandon, and Vertigo SH45 Oakura.

Use of Manganui Lodge for members and guests...

This season as always, we are encouraging members to wear their passes around their neck while skiing/using the Manganui Lodge. We will be making random checks to ensure the lodge is being used by only members and their guests. If you do bring guests into the Manganui Lodge, please pick up a visitors pass at the ticket office for them. Of course we encourage members to bring guests to show off our lodge; all they require is a visitors pass while using the Manganui Lodge.

We have had instances of non-members using the lodge as a day lodge. The lodge is there for members and their guests to enjoy, who pay for the privelige. The DoC shelter is the public day lodge.

Remember too that the accommodation and lodge is available to Non Members as well, who pay a premium for their stay. If you are a member and want to stay in the lodge, then use our on-line booking form, or ring the booking officer on 027 2702932 to secure your booking. Booking early ensures you won't miss out. 

We do require you to book - we have had a culture in the past of people turning up on the day hoping to stay the night. This makes it difficult for our booking officer to manage. It only takes a phone call or the on-line booking form to secure. We sleep 33 max, so it pays to get in early. We do not endorse sleeping anywhere but in the beds we have - so we are limited to 33 staying in the Manganui Lodge overnight.
We are bound Health & Safety regulations to limit the number of overnight guests to 33. Booking early avoids dissappointment!

Plateau Car Park Upgrade - Public Meeting with DoC and Opus Consultants

We had 5 reps from SMC attend the comments meeting with DoC, regarding the Plateau Car Park proposed upgrade.
SMC were able to discuss at length our unified submission put forward, in an atmosphere condusive to discussion and dialog.

The meeting was very positive and points were raised from both sides. There was good progress and a feeling that we are moving forward with accommodating the positions of both parties.

As Chris Burr SMC DoC liasion stated after the meeting "We are all singing from the same songsheet".
So at this stage it is likely that we are heading towards a positive outcome.

We will keep you posted on how it develops.

Lost! One red tow belt...

Left downstairs in the Manganui Lodge, on Saturday 23rd May. Bright red harness type, brand new nutcracker, attached with blue/green braided nylon rope.
Please call Finnbar Porteous 0273896025 or 06 7586605.

Photo Essay (Trevor Read Photographer)...

Trevor is an SMC Member, is based at Okato, and is a regular this season to our slopes. As a photographer does, he always has his equipment on him, and over a couple of days in May took the great pictures you see below. Thanks Trevor for sharing them with us.

Please visit his website for more action pics and other Taranaki Photos

Trevor Read Photographer

Trevor Read Photographer

The Backcountry Avalanche Advisory
(Note that this advisory is for the whole mountain, not just the Manganui Gorge or the Manganui Ski Area) 
4 June 2009 
Low  Issued at 1158
Weather: Clear skies are forecast for Thursday with light westerly winds and cool temperatures. The outlook for Friday is cloud increasing with winds out of the south west and moderate. Light snow showers are forecasted with a freezing level around 1400m.
Snowpack: Weather conditions over the last couple of days have consolidated the upper snow pack. Deep buried instabilities from the first May storm may still exist high on the mountain. Surface conditions have become firm on exposed faces to the south.
Avalanche Occurrences: Nil observations
Travel Advisory: Firm surface conditions exist on the mountain on shady aspects use care and choose your routes carefully. Always carry crampons and ice axe and your personal avalanche equipment when heading into the backcountry. Weather conditions are set to change over the next couple of days, plan your weekend trips wisely. The avalanche advisory is at LOW.





The Ski Swap, Thursday 28 May...

The ski swap was once again a busy event for the club, with all profits going towards the Junior Ski Racing and Training Squad, headed by Clive Saleman.

Clive reported that it was a huge success. Lots of people got great bargains on new and used gear. In fact the crowd was huge!

Approx $850 was raised and goes into the Ski Racing and Training coffers. So all to a great cause for our Junior ski racers.


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


Well what can I say - nine days of excellent skiing and boarding - in May? What an incredible start to the 2009 ski season.

Those who have managed to ski the top tow have been rewarded with some fine wind blown Egmont powder over the last weekend.

Brad our Montana based Safety Services Coordinator arrived 10 days ago, and has been impressed with both the quality of the Mountain and the enthusiasm of locals. He has just purchased 'Wags' Taranaki based Subaru, so I have not seen him tonight!

The ski swap evening was a blast; I have never seen so many people. Many thanks to Clive for what was a very successful evening for SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training.

I would also like to thank all the people who have made it all happen this season.

On behalf of the hard working committee, it has been very much appreciated!

Kev Rowlands,
President SMC


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

  • Top tow bull wheel containment
  • Field lifts Audit (complete) 
  • Warwick Brown building upgrade - DoC consent, quotes and funding applications
  • Top Tow get back trail maintenance
  • emergency base stn radio at $5hut install
  • Webcam upgrade installation (on-going)
  • Manganui Lodge Accommodation t's & c's review and implementation, price restructuring
  • Social Event - NZ Mountain Film Festival (formerly Wanaka Fim Festival) involvement (watch further e-newsletter issues for more developments)
  • Manganui Lodge double matresses replacement
  • Hand held radios replacement
  • Safety Services (Ski Patrol) cactus vests purchase
  • minor promotional/marketing work










Get the best perfomance from your gear!!

Crystal glide - Waxing
Edge sharpening - Base grinding

454 Devon St East
Strandon, New Plymouth
phone: 06 758 1757 
Hours  ( Mon - Fri ) 9.30 -5.00
             ( Sat )         9.30 - 3.00

Agents for Volkl Skis & Atomic Skis and Boots



Time to snuggle into winter with...
A Winter Cocktail/Drink...

Skiers Toddy (alcoholic)
1cup Hot Chocolate
1oz Kahlua
1oz Triple Sec

Rinse out a large mug with boiling water, add steaming hot chocolate, and stir in liqueurs. Top with several marshmallows.








Improve your ski performance this season.
Professional race tune or just a winter touch up and wax by Finlay Neeson. National Development Ski Team New Zealand.
Get a better grip this winter.
Tuning for all ski abilities.
$15-$20 per pair depending on condition.

Contact  Finlay on 0273077271 or 7527149

Finlay is an ex Stratford Mtn Club junior ski racer and Taranaki resident; and has just been re-selected for the NZ National Development Team. He will train at Mt.Hutt  (leaves 13 June) and Coronet for the NZ winter. Leaving for Canada early December and Europe in late January and returning home mid March.


Fairytale opening to ski season...

A stormy May, with waves of snow-laden southerlies marching up the country, has handed New Zealand ski-fields a fairytale opening to the new season.

With tough economics compelling ski- fields to market themselves hard to Australians, don't be surprised to see more than a few Wallaby jerseys in the queue this season. Interest from Aussie skiers at nationwide ski fairs this month has been reportedly at record levels and bookings are up on the last (albeit scantily clad) snow season.

Northern ski areas are inundated with snow bases of more than a metre. Manganui, on the slopes of Mt Taranaki, is the first field to open this year (in case you hadn't heard!); Whakapapa and Turoa are expecting skiers this coming weekend, though they don't officially open for a fortnight.

Whakapapa pulled out all stops to rebuild the island's highest cafeteria, at Knoll Ridge, lost to fire late last summer, but is inundated with enough snow to bury vehicles at the Top o' the Bruce base station.

The southeasterly tendency of the past few storms has been welcomed by Rainbow in the Nelson Lakes, Mt Lyford near Kaikoura and Amuri at Hanmer Springs, all family fields that do well in early snow years.

Canterbury's tight-five club fields - Porter Heights, Mt Olympus, Cheeseman, Broken River and Craigieburn - make up the heart of South Island club skiing with Temple Basin at Arthur's Pass like a loose forward to the north. They form the core of the multi-mountain Chill Pass that encourages snow riders to experience a variety of fields on a single ticket.

Porter's general manager Uli Dinsenbacher said there was 40cm of snow in the car park and 1.5 metres at the top of the mountain. Staff were packing down the snow, and carrying out avalanche-control work ahead of a June 26 opening.

They're under heavy snow and really looking like an attractive economical option as the relatively huge commercial fields feel the pressure of a lack of discretionary income among mum-dad-and- the-kids skiers.

With lift pass prices breaking $100 a day at some southern fields, the friendly, club-run fields are enjoying fresh interest and have been able to win customers with personal service and flexibility.

Underlining the popularity of the little fields, Cheeseman won, at the end of last season, a skier-voted service award for small ski areas, and Ohau, south of Mt Cook, won the overall service award.

The excitement is palpable as the crown prince of Canterbury, Mt Hutt revels in early snow. For the first time in 10 years, Mt Hutt will open in May, and skiers have already carved up the runs before the lifts open.

Ad Feedback For the first time, the fields of the Mackenzie basin are being promoted as a destination in themselves, centred on the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo. With a brand new set of steaming hot pools next to an ice rink, a range of terrain from the family friendly Mt Dobson and Roundhill to the magnificence of Aoraki Mt Cook and its attendant glaciers for experienced ski- mountaineers, the Mackenzie is blessed with formidable terrain and unique frost-clear air: Mt John's observatory is world- renowned for its clear atmosphere and is well worth a mid- winter star-gaze.

Down in the Southern Lakes, Treble Cone and Cardrona near Wanaka have announced a range of developments including new trails and free learner lifts.

Cardrona is expanding its terrain by creating a new trail down the Arcadia Basin aimed at more advanced skiers and boarders. It is creating a race course that will be certified for international slalom and giant slalom races, enhancing the Wanaka area's ability to host the Winter Games NZ 2009, the biggest snow sports event outside the Winter Olympics.

Treble Cone is offering free use of the lower mountain learner lifts all season, to encourage beginners and families. A 90-minute complimentary guided tour of the mountain's is available twice daily to experience the extent of Treble Cone's peak-and-bowl terrain.

Coronet Peak ski area manager Hamish McCrostie said the field's snow-making ability had combined with fabulous natural snowstorms to guarantee great skiing from now until well into September.

Snow Park NZ created new fun features over the summer as it maintains its dominance as the only dedicated terrain park resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Night riding and skiing will expand to three nights a week following its successful launch last year. Guests staying on the mountain at Snow Park NZ, in the luxury apartments or backpacker bunkrooms, can take advantage of the new all-inclusive accommodation packages to include breakfast and dinner served in the popular Woolshed Restaurant and Bar.

Visitors to Snow Farm can experience 50km of world class trails with huts scattered across the Pisa Range, great for a lunch stop or overnight experience in the wilderness with a fire and outside BBQ. Bags and supplies are dropped off by snow mobile while skiers travel at their own pace. Snow Farm, New Zealand's only Nordic ski area, offers a range of lessons and experiences for all ages and abilities.

The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said some keen, local freestyle skiers and back country tourers had taken advantage of the snow at the weekend. The field's high alpine location, north facing sunny aspect, wide open bowls, fantastic terrain parks, great snow and friendly, relaxed nature make it a true alpine experience for all ages. And its emphasis on ski and ride education makes it a great choice for beginners.


Snow info and weather:
Mt Ruapehu:
Coronet Peak, Remarkables and Mt  Hutt:
Canterbury club fields:
Mt Cook basin:
Treble Cone:
Waiorau Snow Farm:
Snow Park NZ:


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.

We now have a link from the Taranaki Daily News online website homepage direct to our Manganui Ski Area snow report/webcam page.
Thanks to


 pic thanks Trevor Read

See you on the snow, at our next fall!
SMC Management
© copyright 2009 - Stratford Mountain Club