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Previous Issues:

Issue 55 - 14 July 2011
Issue 54 - 16 June 2011
Issue 53 - 16 May 2011
Issue 52 - 09 April 2011
Issue 51 - 02 March 2011
Issue 50 - 21 Oct 2010

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ISSUE 56          THURSDAY 04 AUGUST 2011...

Welcome to Issue of 56 Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club.

We had some great operating days over the holidays, 7 days of the holidays we were open with great cover and good times!

Thursday 28 July, still good cover (for us!); Top Tow very firm but loaded.

And of course the big snow of Monday night 25 July saw the south-eastern province coated in the white stuff. Lots of snow fun for all!

Currently we are temporarily closed: we have lost snow on the t-bar and learners area, and the top tow, though now loaded, is very firm at present.

In this issue...

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth

Get all your winter gear here.
New season Icebreaker now in store.
Season Rental now available!

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

Snow Safety Services Coordinator Intro/Report 

My name is Bernhard “Bezi” Freinademetz” and who heard my snow phone messages knows I come from a german speaking country.
I am a 38 year old UIAGM mountainguide from Tirol, a small Austrian Province in the heart of Europe.
My hometown is Innsbruck, the capital of Tirol. It is close to the german, Italian and swiss border.
That’s why my English accent is sometimes connected to Switzerland (yes there are really people who do say I have an accent… hmm… well I really might do have a bit of an accent!)

I am involved in the SMC since June 1st and had my first rope tow experience some days ago… loving it!
As the snow came quite late there was some maintenance work to do on the 5$ hut and on the Gorgetrack.
There was a kick off meeting here In the lodge some weeks ago, where I talked a bit about risk management in the mountains and some avalanche theories. 

I am truely impressed by the motivation and good work that is done from the dedicated skiclub members – it is great to see how everybody shares time and knowledge to make IT happen! I love the terrain around the Top Tow, its great skiing up there – thanks for all the ski club members who showed me  some of the beautiful runs.

Thanks to Lars, who is responsible for snow safety in the committee. He is always there to help and answer my questions.

There was some avalanche activity a couple of days ago (12 July), the steeper, South East orientated face above the Monster went naturally down, and Curtis had some Debris as well.

I hope the odd weather pattern happens and we will have a great time on the t-bar. Looking forward to meeting more wintersports enthusiasts here on the skifield.

I will be up here at the lodge during the storms, so feel free to visit me in these times and spend some days up here in the peace of the mountains.

Ski You Soon!

Manganui Lodge Accommodation Bookings

Just a kind reminder to book your stay with the booking officer Rob Needs, before your intended stay.
Please ncYou can do this by either:

Ski Area Power Supply Issues

Tuesday 26th July saw the ski area blanketed in snow, but not able to operate...

Taranaki's top winter tourist spots say the latest snow dump has highlighted the need for an underground cable to power mountain facilities.

Both the Stratford Mountain House and the Stratford Mountain Club on Pembroke Rd have suffered financial losses from power cuts caused by Monday's whiteout.

Lines company Powerco says the cuts were caused by branches cracking under the weight of snow and falling on powerlines. Powerco spokesman Neil Holdom said that in the next two or three years, it would remove overhead lines on Pembroke Rd and lay underground cables.

"The long-term plan is to put a cable from the edge of the park to the mountain," Mr Holdom said.

Powerco had already spent $280,000 laying a cable from the Stratford Mountain House 2.8 kilometres up the mountain to a communications hut, he said.

The Stratford Mountain Club missed out on valuable day of business on Tuesday when the Manganui skifield had plenty of snow and sunny skies overhead but no facilities operating due to the power cut.

Club president Kevin Rowlands was pragmatic about the situation.

"Obviously it's disappointing but you're at a whim to the winter elements," Mr Rowlands said.

He praised Powerco for the hard work they had put in to try restore power.

"The power company have been excellent. They have tried everything to make it work."

The small skifield, which was run entirely by volunteers, had already got a number of good days' skiing in this year.



Taranaki Primary and Intermediate Schools Snowboard and Ski Race Day

Maybe this year it might happen, after two years of waiting in vain!  Hopefully, the race day this year will be held on a suitable school day early in the third term, the secondary schools taking the first suitable day. “Suitable” means adequate snow cover and fair weather.  We should be ready to go any time from the first week on.  We will need to be ready to move at a couple of days notice.  Clive Saleman, the Stratford Mountain Club Racing Coordinator, has kindly offered to assist us in this race day as he has in previous years. The event will take place on the Manganui Skifield as in previous years.
The format will be:
• Intermediate Girls Ski
• Intermediate Boys Ski
• Primary Girls Ski
• Primary Boys Ski
• Open Girls Snowboard
• Open Boys Snowboard
In some previous years we have not had huge numbers participating, so schools have entered as many competitors as they have wanted to.  Last time there were about 50 entries.  If the numbers are similar the status quo will remain.  I will let you know definitely once I have had feedback from schools who wish to compete.
Competitors will  need to be able to use the T-bar with confidence, independently, and have access to gear.
All competitors, teachers and adults will be entitled to buy tow tickets at club prices, unless you already have a season pass. 
If your school wishes to send a team to these races, please ring, fax or email, as soon as possible, to the following address.   Please include Name, Gender, Class level, Category (Skiing or Snowboarding) of students participating.
 Phone:  06 7527719 (Oakura School, attn Ray Priest)
 Fax:  067527951
Or contact Ray Priest after hours 067527684 or email
As it can be changeable, risky environment, we need to ensure that you have a ratio of at least one competent mountain adult per child during the whole day, supervising from start to finish.  It is your responsibility to ensure all children are suitably dressed, equipped and have their own food and drink supplies.  The sun leaves the mountain early in the afternoon and it can get cold quickly, so warm weatherproof jackets, pants and hats are a must!  A spare pair of gloves / mittens is a good idea in case they get wet.  All competitors must wear a helmet when racing.  The mountain club does have some available to borrow.  Appropriate footwear with good grip to walk around the gorge is essential.  Walk quickly round the avalanche area.
The Ski Patrol will be on duty during the event and the club facilities will be at our disposal.
Please be very clear in your communications with those people taking part that, while all care will be taken for the children’s safety,  neither the organisers nor schools can take responsibility for accidents that may occur either on the ski-field or in transport and walking to and from the ski-field and mountain.
Please keep an eye on the Stratford Mountain Club’s website for ongoing news and updates (members can also check email newsletters from the club)    or   (go to the Manganui link)
• Or the snowphone:  7591119
Thanks to Clive for his assistance in running this event.  It is always rather difficult getting information out quickly to all the schools involved, especially if we get very little advance notice about weather and snow conditions. So please frequently check the website and the snowphone. I’m hopeful we can have yet another wonderful day’s skiing and boarding on our beautiful Maunga Taranaki with our upcoming snowsport stars.
Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible if your school is wishing to participate.
Ray Priest

supporting SMC junior ski racing and training

Race Coach Christina sets up the bottom finishing line electronic beam

The finishing line

Tessa Keenan at the start gate




Given the snow and operating days we got during the school holidays, SMC Race Coach Cristina Binsbergen finally got her wish to do some race training for the juniors (and adults who wanted to run the gates!), at Manganui. As she said, we have the flashest gear! the best gates, great timing gear...we just need the snow! (she forgot to mention we have an awesome coach, in Christina, as well).

So the snow in the holidays was the icing on the cake, so to speak.
The kids had great fun, with some instruction in there from Christina too, and with the timing gear set up, the challenge was on to better their own times, which added to the excitement.

Pushing through the timer wand at the start gate, racing around the gates, and through the beam at the finish to get an instant time, it was all great fun.

Christina is more than happy to get any SMC juniors involved. The racing training is fun, and the instruction and race coaching sets the kids up with bomproof skiing techniques, and on the way to becoming accomplished all round skiers (not just racers!)

So once again parents and kids, if you see some training going on, head to the start and get yourself a timed run, and some handy hints as well!

The SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training Team's objective is to develop ski racers' (Juniors and Seniors) skills and promote the fun of skiing through training and competition.

The SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training Team's programmes are designed to be adaptable to suit the needs of the athletes. Programmes are organized into categories based primarily on age classifications.

SMC is a member of the Alpine Skiing Committee of Snow Sports NZ (SSNZ), the newly restructured national body for alpine ski racing. The restructure now puts this committee under the SSNZ CEO and the SSNZ Board. The Alpine Ski Racing Manager Nils Coberger is the head Administrator of the Alpine Skiing Committee, as well as being the current National Ski Racing Coach. 

The age groups are:

Age Group Date of Birth
E1 2003
E2 2001/2002
K1 1999/2000
K2 1997/98
J1 1995/96
J2 1992/93/94

Most Race Training is done at Manganui Ski Area (on good snow years), usually on Sundays when the field is operating.
Progression follows on to Mt. Ruapehu, as below:

Race Training participation Manganui
Junior Series participation Ruapehu
National Series competition Ruapehu
F.I.S. Series competition Ruapehu

Once progression is made to the Junior Series, competitors are required to become members of SnowSports New Zealand.
Registration is taken care of by us.

For further information please contact
our Racing and Training coordinator
Jack Cran or our Coach Christina Binsbergen

SMC acknowledges support given by NZ Community Trust, towards Safety Services Coordinator wages for this season.


My apologies for not putting this together for the previous enewsletter, but with a couple of fellow club members I took some time off and headed to the Cook Islands to enjoy some sun and warm water. Now back at work doing the hard yards paying for it. But all good fun!
Back to the mountain and have you meet our wonderful so well qualified ever so helpful, smiling mountain safety avalanche man, Bezi. Bezi along with Brooke and Caleb moved mountains of snow to keep the T-Bar operational over the school holidays and then awakes in the early hours in the morning, climbs several thousand feet and digs snow pits to access snow pack. In between he manages to take some pretty cool photos and loads them on to Stratford mountain clubs face book. Check them out!!

Many thanks also to Brooke and Caleb for their graft in keeping the gorge track safe to negotiate over the two massive snow falls we uncounted in the school holidays. It was also great to see our young club racers being put through their paces under the guidance of our race coach Christina. Please extend your gratitude to these fine folks, and offer them any help you can.

We had some power supply issues during the big snowfall, as there was snow loading on power poles and wires below the mountain house. There was also some snow loading on branches between the mountain house and the park boundary gates that caused shorting. Power Co has been ever so helpful and organized a contractor to cut these troublesome branches the following day and power was restored later that day. The next phase is to continue the underground power cable from the mountain house to the park gates. This will fix the power supply problem but as you can appreciate, a very expensive exercise for the company. Many thanks to Power Co for there continued support.

We have lost some snow on our T-bar, but the top tow is looking good for the future. Just needs to soften a little. But I here there has been a couple great days already. Just need to be there when it happens. The forecasters are still calling a stormy August, so keep in touch and hope to catch up on our mountain.

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…

  • General ski area operations and support 
  • Lodge Bookings 
  • Groomer maintenance





Trevor Read Photography

These pics were taken by Trevor on Tuesday 26th July; the ski area had no power that day, but lots of snow enthusiasts were in action anyway, all over the field!

Okato based Freelance Photographer (and SMC Member!) Trevor Read  has worked for 10 years as a photojournalist.

Experienced in Wedding photography, Commercial & Corporate photography and Portrait photography of kids & family.

Working in and around New Plymouth and Nationwide. I invite you into my galleries, showcasing my work to date.
Trevor Read Photography

'Egmont Road'

Isaac Petersen at work

'Sunrise on Mt.Egmont', The fireplace at The Mountain House Hotel


Feature Article

Isaac Petersen Art - Mt,.Taranaki and Manganui Ski Area paintings...

'Sunrise on Mt.Egmont';this painting was recently gracing the fireplace at The Mountain House Hotel; see below left

Isaac is a New Plymouth local, residing in Fitzroy New Plymouth.
He paints landscapes and cityscapes, as well as other commissioned works.

Of interest to us is the ones he has completed of the Mountain and scenes from Manganui Ski Area...just like being there on a perfect day!!!

'Ski Field'


Check out more of his art here

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.


Aerial shot of Manganui Ski Area, Tuesday 26 July
pic thanks Glyn Jackson

Winter is happening, now!
SMC Management
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