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Previous Issues:

Issue 49 - 06 Sep 2010
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 50           FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER 2010...

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

This is the 50th issue of the e-newsletter! 50 and still going strong. Wish we could bring you lots more snow action/happenings of late, but mother nature and some operational issues have fustrated our operations this and last season (more below).

The familiar October winter blasts have hit us of late, delivering plenty of storm (wind deposited) snow to the ski area and the mountain.

A crew headed up on Tuesday 12th to check out the top tow, and what they got was...pea soup! With improving conditions another crew heading up on Wednesday 13th and they got good spring conditions, operating from the rollover, though it did get sticky later in the day.

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

surplus funds for Warwick Brown building upgrade secured for Fire/Security system...

SMC completed the Warwick Brown building some $8k under budget. With the surplus we sucessfully applied to use this for a fire/security system for the refurbished lodge, that ties into the existing Manganui Lodge systems.
You may recall that 2 years ago the Knoll Ridge Cafe at Whakapapa was burnt to the ground. Arson was the cause (Police have still not prosecuted anyone for the crime). Though the positive side of this is that the new Knoll Cafe ('Echo Base' as my son calls it) is a comfortable and amazing building, the Insurance Council has deemed that ALL ski area alpine lodges now require monitored fire and security systems. Earlier this year we received quotes for this, and We are now in a position to get the work completed. DataTalk will be installing the new system shortly.

SMC Annual General meeting

Our AGM is provisionally on Monday 6th December at 7:30pm. date and venue to be confirmed.

Confirmation of 2009 AGM Minutes
Presentation of the Annual Report / Financial Statement
Election of Officers
Election of: Honorary Surgeons, Auditor, and Honorary Solicitor
General Business
Subs/Season pass rates
Season Pass - working bee qualifier

The following positions are up this year and nominations are invited for: -

Lower Lifts Convenor
Customer Services Convenor (ex Canteen)
Machinery Convenor
Lodge Convenor
Safety Services Convenor

A nomination declaration will be included in the mailout newsletter, to be completed if you are interested in standing for any of the vacant committee positions. Nominations close on November 23rd.

 Safety Services Coordinator final report

Dear Members,
I would like to thank the committee and the Stratford Mountain Club members for the opportunity to work with you all as the Snow Safety Services Manager / Mountain Manager for Season 2010
Since our first operating day on June 9th, we have managed to spin the bullwheel of the T-Bar approximately eleven days this season. We have also had the top tow running for about the same amount of days+ as well.
As I am sure some of you are aware during both the school holidays the field had coverage on the T-Bar at some stage but we were experiencing power cuts and outages that affected our operation drastically during these periods.  This issue frustrated many who used the Ski Area including the operations staff and myself. I hope these power issues can be resolved soon.
Highlights during the season included the Avalanche Awareness Course I instructed with the theory in New Plymouth at the Fitzroy Surf Club and the field work at the Turoa Ski Area in August. Also the Top Tow skiing and club scene that is present here in Taranaki. A unique experience that is not present in other alpine areas is the ability to live by the sea and access the alpine regions with ease.
I also had the opportunity last Tuesday to do a summit ascent of Mount Taranaki with Mike Anderson and then surf Stent Road in the afternoon, a truly awesome experience. 
Anyone venturing into the backcountry should be sure to check the Avalanche Advisory on (, and always remember that taking an avalanche education course is an essential step before heading into backcountry. Always carry the correct equipment to safe travel that will require the use of crampons and ice axe and carrying a transponder.
Tuesday 30 September was my last day of employment with the club and as you read this report in the newsletter I would have already travelled and arrived back in my home town of Cresta Butte in Colorado. It is ironic that was a dumping of snow the week I departed.
I look forward to seeing you all again at some stage.

Nick Fountain
Snow Safety Services Manager / Mountain Manager

Season 2010 Power Outages Update

We have been experiencing on-going power outages this season of up to 10 days down on our Ski Area as a result of an insecure power supply provider. The faults involved either the main breakers tripping at the Egmont National Parks gate or pole fuses blowing further up the mountain for our 11kV supply.

As a result Genesis Energy had contracted there maintenance contractor Powerco in July to do some line maintenance and crews were dispatched to do about seven days of tree clearing.

Unfortunately the problem continued including during both school holidays and a formal written complaint was lodged with our power provider Genesis Energy informing them of our dissatisfaction with their supply of power to our Manganui Ski Area. As a result we have been running tests and data logging the LV Power in conjunction with Powerco recently with our Ski Lifts running in different configurations with everything running to try and simulate the fault that has been occurring on a too regular basis. What we found however was different to the original fault and power outages we have been experiencing. Instead of tripping your breakers down the mountain we were losing individual lifts only or all lifts and the remaining power to other general power services were not affected, ie; Lodge power, Top Tow Hut power etc.
This for the club was an improved situation as it meant we could open limited facilities operating and managing our lifts/flying fox operations ensuring that we could run  the Top Tow occasionally. However the problem with the supply of power from our Electrical Supply Provider Genesis Energy still exists and we will be working with them to try and resolve this issue over the coming months.

Thank you for you patience and we will keep you all informed of the outcome.

Mark Braddock Secretary

supporting SMC junior ski racing and training


Racing and Training Report

Season 2010 Racing and Training Report

This Season 2010 is drawing to an end and it has been a mixed season however the Stratford Mountain Club has probably had its best year from a competitive skiing aspect for many years at different levels.

• Finlay Neeson trained and raced for the New Zealand FIS Team in the South Island this year and competed in the New Zealand Nationals at Coronet Peak and the ANC’s at Mt Hutt.

• Also Tai Juneau trained this year with the Mt Ruapehu FIS team at Mt Hutt and also competed in the New Zealand Nationals at Coronet Peak and the ANCs at Mt Hutt. At the North Island Secondary Schools Ski Champs he placed 3rd in the GS Junior Mens Division.

• Jackson Braddock-Pajo won a Bronze Medal in the Boys J Open Division of the Mt Ruapehu NI Series Slalom Race at Whakapapa.

• Emerging K1 Ski Racer Finnley Binsbergen completed two runs as a forerunner at the Mt Ruapehu NI Series Slalom Races at Whakapapa. 

• Thornton Davies placed 3rd in the Mother Freestyle Skiing Jib Nats event and made the semi-finals in the SkiCross event in the Mens Open Divisions at Turoa.

• Club members 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 racing for Northern Snow Sports at Turoa.
North Island Primary & Intermediate School Ski Champs held at Whakapapa on 31 Aug – 3 Sept.

Senior Girls
1st - Meyer Neeson - Sacred Heart Girls College A
63rd - Demi Simkin - Sacred Heart Girls College A
107th – Helen Piercy - Sacred Heart Girls College A
109th – Nathalie Jacquemard - Sacred Heart Girls College A

Junior Girls
40th – Poppy Mitchell - Oakura
Senior Boys
11th - Finnley Binsbergen – Coastal School
12th - Truman Edwards – FDMC A
23rd – Cole Hareb – FDMC A
25th – Angus White - Oakura
34th – Gabriel Laing Aiken – FDMC A
60th – Phillip Jager – FDMC B
78th – Frank Beker – FDMC B
83rd – Tommy Hayes – FDMC A
85th – Charlie George – FDMC B
88th – Colby Wall – FDMC B
98th – Jack Williams – FDMC A
108th – George Tvrdeich - Oakura
119th – Nick Wilson – Oakura
127th – Liam Pelham – FDMC B
Senior Schools Division
7th – Oakura Primary School
Intermediate Schools Division
8th - Francis Douglas College Memorial College A
21st - Francis Douglas College Memorial College B
34th - Sacred Heart Girls College A
North Island Secondary Schools Ski Champs                                   held at Turoa on 13-14 Sept.

Junior GS Girls
34th -  Lyneche Simkin – New Plymouth Girls High School - Team 1
59th -  Rebecca Busing – Sacred Heart Girls College
95th – Ellie Tordeich – New Plymouth Girls High School – Team 2
116th – Courtney Brown – New Plymouth Girls High School – Team 2
124th - Jemma Pentelow – Sacred Heart Girls College
134th – Charlotte Ralph - New Plymouth Girls High School – Team 1   
Junior GS Boys
3rd – Tai Juneau – Spotswood College
56th – Jack Laing Aiken - Francis Douglas College Memorial College – Team 1
58th - Lao Vickers - Francis Douglas College Memorial College – Team 2
71st – Riley Looker - Francis Douglas College Memorial College – Team 2
74th - Max Lepper - New Plymouth Boys High School
88th – Jacob Newbold - Spotswood College
109th – Marcus Murray - Francis Douglas Memorial College – Team 2
Did not run due to bad weather
Lane Simkin - New Plymouth Boys High School
Thomas Spencer - New Plymouth Boys High School
Jack Earp - Francis Douglas College Memorial College – Team 2

Senior GS Girls
Did not run due to bad weather
Senior GS Boys
Did not run due to bad weather

North Island Primary & Intermediate Schools Ski Champs
August 30 through to September 3.

I was lucky to get a week off work to support my son Jack at the North Island Primary Ski Champs which was held at Whakapapa. He was part of the Francis Douglas senior boys ski team with other SMC members. Monday 30th Aug was training day in windy with on off visibility and pockets of power on the gullies. The kids spent some time in the gates getting used to them before hitting the jumps. Tues was a closed day with a storm. Wed arrived with blue skies and no wind. Racing was on and they managed to get 3 individual timed runs in before the high cloud came in and warm temps to soften the runs up. Thur we were all up on the field ready for the dual salmon but the conditions turned very nasty and for safety reasons they cancelled the days racing. Most left the mountain as the storm was meant to get worse which it did and shut the upper mountain. Fri the storm didn’t want to leave with the upper mountain closed. We decided to hit the road and head home. A great time supporting my son and sliding on snow instead of being at work. Rhys Williams

Giant Slalom course at Whakapapa's Valley t-bar

Charlie George

Jack Williams

Cole Hareb

 On race day, the sun was out and the snow was perfect. All competitors got three giant slalom runs, and the best of those runs would count towards the final placing. Out of a field of 176 Intermediate boys, Finnley had to start with bib number 64 and had three very good runs.

Finnley Binsbergen in the gates

 His final result placed him 11th overall and that also meant he was the fastest Taranaki skier. The competition there was quite fierce with at least eight racers from Francis Douglas School, all placed behind Finnley. Unfortunately, they couldn’t hold the Dual Slalom planned for the next day and also the border cross had to be cancelled because of bad weather.
(from Coastal School)

Finnley free-skiing at Whakapapa's terrain park

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.


No report this issue.

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 implementation (Datatalk).
  • Top Tow running and maintenance.
  • working through power supply issues (on-going!)
  • funding applications for new ski-doo
  • Primo Wireless partnership strategy (upgrade of broadband, possible Wireless Hotspot install)





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Mike Anderson before heading further up

Feature Article

photo essay - top tow Thursday 7th October

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


John Williams walking up above the top tow, Thursday 7th October

Summer is just about here, still good spring skiing at Ruapehu!
SMC Management
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