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Previous Issues:

Issue 48 - 21 July 2010
Issue 47 - 22 June 2010
Issue 46 - 04 June 2010
Issue 45 - 19 May 2010
Issue 44 - 20 April 2010
Issue 43 - 25 March 2010
Issue 42 - 05 February 2010

ISSUE 49           MONDAY 06 SEPTEMBER 2010...

Welcome to another edition of Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club.

so sad to say? Well, its been a frustrating month of weather to say the least, with scuffs of snow hitting us but in no real quantities to enable us to get operation. Even our top tow has insufficient cover, and with rain events giving the mountain a work out, what snow we accumulate gets washed off. Our Safety Services Corrdinator Nic Fountain is upbeat through what is obviously a frustrating season...
Ruapehu is the NI destination for skiing at present, and it seems they are starting to get the westerly storm snow to build their bases up. The upper mountain skiing is pretty good apparently, with a few powder days on offer recently too.
SMC recently received funding from Stratford District Council towards our SSC's wages.
In this trying season obviously our cash flow is down; these are the seasons where members' subs help us survive, and are much appreciated. So where does the all money go? See below for a summary breakdown of our major annual expenses .

Once again (I'm getting tired of saying this!) we now await our next snowfall to be operational once more.

Snow finally arrived on Thursday and on Friday 03rd the top tow got going, albeit from the Roll-over. Saturday saw a classic top tow Manganui day; Vis in and out, howling wind, top half soft in the valleys, bottom half rock garden...marginal but fun all the described by Glenn Brebner, a new member this year. 

In this issue...

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

4 Mustang Dve Bell Block
New Plymouth
phone and fax (06)755 0005

GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

funding received from Stratford District Council Community Grants Pool...

SMC were recently successful in receiving a grant of $1000 towards our Safety Services Coordinator's wages for 2010. Much appreciated and we are grateful to receive this, given SDCs limited budget for funding local groups/activities.
With a total pool of $18,000, and most of this going to Pioneer Village, SMC is most appreciative of receiving the 3rd largest grant of $1000 ($3740 total we were seeking).
Thanks again to Stratford District Council Community Grants Pool.

Avalanche Advisory for Egmont National Park
The advisory for Mt. Taranaki is now running (from 01 July). consult this for up to date weather, snowpack and travel status for the whole mountain...

6 September 2010 at 0823
Weather: Gale force north westerly winds this morning which should ease slightly. Rain is forecasted though out the day with the freezing level around 2800m
Snowpack: Past rain has taken its toll on the lower mountain and with more rain falling will saturate the mountain snow pack below 2500m. Backcountry travellers should avoid steep unsupported slopes as the rain penetrates the snow pack.
Avalanche Occurrences: No avalanches observed or reported.
Travel Advisory: If travelling on the mountain today use care around run out zones and avoid steep unsupported aspects has the rain takes its toll on the snow pack. Backcountry travel is not recommended on the mountain in poor weather conditions. The avalanche advisory is at CONSIDERABLE.

Glossary of terms

Danger Level...What...: CONSIDERABLE
Snowpack Stability
...Why...: The snowpack is moderately to weakly bonded in most places.
Avalanche Probability and Avalanche Trigger...Why...: Natural avalanches possible. Human triggered avalanches probable.
Recommended Action in the Backcountry...What To Do...: Backcountry skiing and travel should only be carried out by experienced persons able to evaluate avalanche hazards. Steep slopes of the aspect and altitude indicated should be avoided.

short note from our Safety Services Coordinator

This month has been fairly quiet, as we all know.  I've been up the mountain several times, but snow has either failed to accumulate or turn to rain, a dissappointing trend for our season, but hopefully we'll get a big dump in september to satisfy the skiing itch.  Other than that it has been quiet and fingers crossed we will get some snow.
Nicholas Fountain.

Nick took an Avalanche Awareness Course recently with the theory being held at the Fitzroy Surf Club Friday 13 Aug, and a practical session at Turoa on Friday 27 Aug with 2 local participants.

supporting SMC junior ski racing and training


Racing and Training Report - August

• On Saturday 21 August Thornton Davies made the semi-finals in the Mother Freestyle BorderCross/SkiCross event in the Open Division at Turoa.

• On the same weekend of Friday 20 August we were meant to have a race training day at Turoa as we now have a medium size group of up and coming juniors racers varying from E to K2 level that are keen to at least participate in training. These include Ben (9) and Oliver (7) Silk, Kieran Cullen (9), Finnley (12) & Lenny (8) Binsbergen and Elliot (14), Oliver (14), and Alex (12) Pedley-Muir. Unfortunately Jackson Braddock-Pajo fractured his big toe and was unable to enter the North Island Series Giant Slalom race on the Sat and Meyer Neeson was busy with netball so we postponed the training day date still TBA, maybe sometime in the School Holidays.

• SMC club members racing for Northern Snow Sports, Noah Edwards (10) won a Bronze Medal in the Boys E Division of the Mt Ruapehu NI Series Giant Slalom Race and Truman Edwards (12) won a Silver Medal in the Boys K1 Division at the Turoa Ski Area in firm snow conditions.

Results - Mt Ruapehu NI Series Giant Slalom Race at Turoa Ski Area Saturday, E Boys; 3th, Noah Edwards; Run 1, 42.55, Run 2, 45.44 Run 3, 49.94. Combined time 1:32.49. K1 Boys; 2nd, Truman Edwards; Run 1, 40.42, Run 2, 40.90 Run 3, 48.16. Combined time 1:28.58.

New Zealand Fire Service 2010 National Champs

A New Plymouth / Oakura Fire Brigade's composite team of Rik Walsh, Troy George & Mark Braddock recently competed in the NZ Fire Service National Ski Championships at Turoa on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 August and placed 2nd overall. This years event attracted 54 competitors consisting of 18 teams of 3. On Thursday 19 Aug, NP No.1 Troy George placed 2nd, Mark Braddock placed 5th and Rik Walsh placed 11th. Then Friday 20 August there was a duel slalom event to decide the team placings. You were matched up against the competitor with a similiar placing to you.
First up Troy George was up against the No.1 skiier Duane Dixon from Ohakune and lost both his racers on the red and blue courses.
Next up Mark Braddock had John (Luigi) Hotter for Ohakune also (an ex SMC member) and also lost both his racers on the red and blue courses. Luigi won the first race and in the 2nd race Mark Braddock was ahead. The courses were very close to each other and the spray could affect the other competitor. Mark roostered sprayed Luigi on an early gate then with about 4 gates to go Luigi rooster sprayed Mark blinding him and he crashed into the next gate, DQing. Finally Rik Walsh won both his duel slalom races.


For further information please contact
Racing and Training Coordinator
The SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training Team
Mark Braddock
7527035, m 027 6898149

SMC acknowledges support given by Southern Trust towards Safety Services Coordinator wages for 2010.


It would have been nice to report on x number of Tee Bar and Top Tow days but unfortunately this has not been the case this season TO DATE!
But as always we remain positive and as i write this report a storm cycle is approaching and there is a possibility of the Top Tow running this weekend.

The best method of communication for current conditions and up dates is to check our Club Web Site or ring the Stratford Mountain Club snow phone.

Nick ,our mountain services manager has been updating this information as these storm cycles approach N.Z.
So keep in touch with fellow members,and remember, sometimes you have to GO TO KNOW.
Its is only September and this can be one of our best skiing months.
All the best and think snow!!
Kevin Rowlands

Madwax is stocked at Kiwi Outdoors Centre and at Vertigo SH45


The SMC committee has and or is working on a number of projects.
These include…

  • Warwick Brown building project, fire/security system addition to scope.
  • Manganui Lodge building WOF
  • funding applications for new ski-doo
  • Primo Wireless partnership strategy (upgrade of broadband, possible Wireless Hotspot install)

Annual field costs breakdown (typical running costs):

  • Accounting/Audit fees - $2750
  • DoC Levies - $2000-$3000
  • Heat/Light/Power - $15,000
  • Insurance - $11,200
  • Telephone/Internet - $2400
  • Repairs and Maintenance - $5,200
  • Wages Safety Services Coordinator - $14,250



Last Paradise Movie, premiere coming soon!

At the recent NZ Mountain Film Festival we got a 15min clip of the upcoming Last Paradise Movie; must say it looks a classy and impressive movie.
With a rich local content spanning the last 45+ years, and some local familiar faces, it is sure to touch the local adventure/ourdoor recreation community. Be sure to catch it!

Last Paradise is the story of ingenuity and how it lead to New Zealand's place as world capital of adventure sports...Taranaki's own movie...Last Paradise won award for the world's best ecoadventure film of 2010 in XDance, USA.

It opens with 3 special premiere screenings at TopTown Cinemas New Plymouth:
Saturday 11 September 6pm
Monday 13 September 7:30pm
Tuesday 14 September 3:30pm
These festival screenings will include Q&A sessions with director, cast and crew.
Book in to be in. 

Mawson Tow

Rodway Tow

Feature Article

Mount Mawson, a similar ski area to Manganui?

Mount Mawson is located within the Mount Field National Park and about 1˝ hours drive from Hobart in southern Tasmania. The ski areas are at an altitude of about 1250m and the area usually gets fairly consistent snow falls during winter resulting in sufficient cover for downhill skiing from mid July to mid September.

It is a small club field operated by the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association (STSA). The area is open to the general public for downhill skiing. The STSA is formed from members of the seven ski clubs with lodges on the mountain the area, the Ski Club of Tasmania, Oldina Ski Club, Wellington Ski Club, Hobart Walking Club, Mount Mawson Ski Club, Alpine Club of Southern Tasmania and the University Ski Club. Members of these ski clubs help to maintain and operate the tows.

Ski Hire And Food are not currently available on the mountain. Hobart is the nearest ski hire...sounds like Manganui, but we have food!
A day shelter in the old Sitzmark building at the bottom of the slope is maintained by Parks...yep!

There are three 'nutcracker' rope tows and one small surface lift in the beginners area. Tow belts for use with the rope tows can be hired on the mountain. The tows are accessed from the car park via a scenic 30 minute uphill walk through alpine forest. This can often be skied on the way home. The area caters for beginners, intermediates and expert skiers and snowboarders and has one of the steepest runs in the country. Trainer ski patrollers are on duty whenever the tows are operating.

Mawson webcam, 29 August

Mawson is worth a look when there is decent snow. It has a character that is missing from all other Australian resorts. Its snowfalls are unpredictable, but when wet/cold systems go through it can snow and accumulate heaps.

The runs are not groomed. University is green, Mawson run is blue, Rodway most definitely black, the right side of Rodway Tow is double black. Some inexperienced skiers may have difficulty coping with Mawson, unless the snow cover was quite extensive and they can handle the novelty of the nutcrackers. Rodway is the best run in Tas, and the unpatrolled run down the Golden Stairs (back to the car) is exhilarating.

That said people who can cope with skiing Mawson, its moguls, the obstacles, turn on a dime whilst carving, etc., can become very very good skiers. But it needs good snow, this seems to be becoming the exception rather than the rule...hmm
Mawson usually gets going first (needs 60 cm of snow), then Uni (needs (60-90 cm), then Rodway. Rodway needs about a metre of snow, most of it is actually bushes (not rocks) so it does flatten down. Rodway has to have trained volunteers to run it, if it does go, it usually operates for about 3-4 hours plus a lunch break (this is unique to Mawson), which is enough to make you well and truly stuffed, remember no queues, just going up and down.

In the right snow conditions, with all tows running, Mawson is a great place, but you need to go when its there...sound familiar?

View Larger Map


90 km from Hobart (capital city). Close to Hobart, relaxed family atmosphere, unpretentious vibe...sound familiar?
30 min walk to ski field is a good warm up before skiing.
Excellent cross country / AT back country area.
Snow events and cover generally greater (and more reliable year to year) than Ben Lomond in the north of the State.
Snow condition is generally good.

Variable seasons compounded by relatively low altitude...sound familiar?
Rocky in poor seasons.
Ungroomed slopes
Only four tows (on a good day). You must walk for 20-30 minutes from the car park to get to the tows......definately sounds familiar!

Relatively small in bounds ski area...yep, similar, but we sound bigger! 

Trails (Pistes): 4 
Summit: 1300 m Toplift: 1300m
Beg: 30% Int: 50% Adv: 20% ...a bit different to our terrain stats! 
Vertical Drop: 70 m
X-Country: 10 km
Lifts: 3 surface lifts Snowmaking: -
Gondolas / Cable Cars: - Slopeside accom.: Yes
Acres of ski: 35
Nearest Airport: Hobart

Southern Tasmania Ski Association
Webcam Mawson Tow, Mount Mawson
Mount Field National Park


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


Interesting camera angle! camera mounted on a ski tip...Our Lodge Convenor Rob Needs at Turoa in August.

Snow is coming. We hope!
SMC Management
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