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Previous Issues:

Issue 64 - 20 March 2013

Issue 63 - 15 October 2012

Issue 62 - 04 August 2012

Issue 61 - 29 June 2012

Issue 60 - 10 May 2012

Issue 59 - 12 March 2012

ISSUE 65        THURSDAY 16 MAY 2013...

Welcome to Issue of 65 Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club, and our first for 2013.

winter is upon us now, time to think about 'retireti o te maunga' (skiing on the mountain)...but before then SMC just needs to complete the tbar towers refurbishment project, get the lift certified to operate, then we are all systems go for the snow.

And don't forget the


When: 6pm, Thursday 23rd May
Where: NP Yacht Club, Ocean View Parade, New Plymouth
Entry: Gold Coin donation, $10 for sellers

In this issue...

Major Sponsor
of the SMC enewsletter

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

 When: 6pm, Thursday 23rd 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.

we will be drawing a season be at the ski/board swap to be in the draw!!!

this is one of your last chances to purchase a season pass (discounted if you have done working bees).

A History of Stratford Mtn Club books will be available for sale


Haven't received your subs? Dean has implemented a new system this season, so apologies if we haven't got your details and you have yet to receive. He has organised a hard copy mail out, to those he didn't have email addresses for. They have been emailed out twice now; if you haven't received them, then please contact Dean Raven with your details and he will email out an invoice, or you could post on our facebook page and we will forward on.
Dean can be contacted at m 022 6819469, or email

Staff & Volunteer Staff training day this Sunday at Manganui

For all those who help operate the lifts. Your attendance is required to cover safety aspects of running plant and machinery at Manganui Ski Area. You will then be signed off as competent to operate the lifts.

Also covered is first aid treatment and response, and Avalanche rescue.
Todd and Jenny and Rhys ran a good show last year...
 If this is you, or if you are interested in being informed and trained on how to run our plant and machinery, then please attend.
10am at the lodge we will get underway.


So now the towers are on the hill, and the cable tensioning is all but complete. We are roughly half way through re-wiring in the safety system; a couple of more days work and that should be sorted.
Then it is the SGS inspection, the confirmation by DoC, then we are good to go!
Big Thanks goes to Iain Wilson and Christian & Mario Padrutt for all their work over and above the usual, to get this project over the line.

Tower 5, one of the newly refurbished towers



John-Pierre Falcy visit

While up the hill working on the weatherstation in early April, I came across Nigel Dwyer, who was up for a walk around Manganui Ski Area, with an old staff member, John-Pierre Falcy. John was back visiting the province for a few weeks, and catching up with old SMC mates.

John-Pierre worked for SMC at Manganui for 3 seasons from 1976-1978. He was the mountain manager, and helped in all areas of operation including the ski school with Peter Quinn, and the racing stuff.
In his mid-20's at the time, he would go on to work in the ski industry elsewhere in NZ, and return to Switzerland to continue the ski racing instruction, ultimately end up as a coach for the Swiss National Race team. He still works in the ski industry.

John-Pierre was impressed with the top tow (in his day the diesel drive top tow shed was very much in operation). He also commented that on erosion around the mountain, especially the deepening of the gorges, which was noticable to him. Also the advancement of the moss up the mountain, giving the mountain that greenish colour in the summer.

the moss John-Pierre is talking about...

John-Pierre wished to credit all those SMC past and present members who have put the hard yards in... he did mention some names...who shall remain nameless...Jeff Dobson, Rob Dorflinger, Chris Burr... his day working on the hill, there was a big junior scene; they always had snow, so much that early in the season the operating was only at the weekends...and the skiing in those days was all about the kids...

Nigel Dwyer and John-Pierre Falcy, April 02, at the top tow get-on ramp. The 'stairway to heaven' is behind them.




Your volunteer labour will be much appreciated!

Remember, a working bee qualifier is now applied to 'discounted' member season passes. Working bees are required to be completed by 31 May to qualify for the 'discounted' season pass rate, otherwise full price season pass rate applies. 1 member working bee still qualifies for 1 free nights accommodation at SMC Lodge, or 1 free days skiing, whichever you chose.

If you are keen in assisting in one of the scheduled working bees, please contact the weekend organisers as listed below. The working bee day is scheduled for Sundays, depending on availablilty/weather.

2013 Working Bee Schedule

Date (Sunday)


Contact numbers Working Bee tasks
May 19

Todd Cations-Velvin
Rhys Williams

m 027 6634014
m 027 4539627


  • Staff and Volunteer Staff Training
May 26

Jenni Fletcher
Rob Needs

m 027 4449475
m 027 2702932

  • Set up POS system & stock ticket office/canteen
  • Canteen pre-season work (cleaning, organisation and stock-take, till & ticket pre-season prep)
June 03 (Queen's

Chana Perry
Justin Keenan

m 027 4460196
m 027 2484085

  • Outstanding work from above tasks
  • Webcam maintenance and test, operations computers/network set up and test

June 10



  • Contingency
June 17
  • Contingency

Participation in scheduled working bees gets you ability to purchase a discounted season pass, as well as a working bee ticket. This ticket be exchanged for a lift pass, or accommodation at the Manganui Lodge, should you already hold an SMC season pass [working bee ticket is valid till the opening day of the following season].


Greetings fellow SMC members
 The good news is the towers are back in place on the ski field, with thanks to Iain Wilson and Mario Pardrutt for helping complete the project and keeping a good eye on the work in progress off the mountain. A big thanks to their companies for delivering the towers back with top quality workmanship.
 As you know, Tower 4 had to be replaced, and doing so has pushed the total cost of the job over the total funding amount, but not by too much.
 It is very important that you, the club members, support our club by paying your subs as soon as possible so that the project can be completed and we can enjoy this season with no fear of technical issues on the T-bar.
 Working bees have been happening most weekends with many important jobs ticked off so far – a few to go though. T’s will go on once the cable has been inspected.
 We have our staff training this Sunday and any person keen to help out as a volunteer is also most welcome. Starts at 10am Sunday 19th at the ski field - sunny or wet.
 I hope you make the most of our first SMC social gathering at the annual Junior Ski Racing and Training Ski/Board Swap on Thursday the 23rd May at 6pm. 
Everything is looking ready for the start of our snow season, a dusting already, with more to come – fingers crossed.

Rhys Williams

Madwax is stocked at Kiwi Outdoors Centre and at Vertigo SH45




The SMC committee is working on:

  • ski swap prep, organisation
  • subs processing, database update
  • naki pri/sec schools race day prep
  • working bee pot luck dinner/stay - for next year!
  •  T-BAR TOWERS REPLACEMENT - final safety system connections and inspection
  • Lodge bookings - on line bookings/payment system investigation
  • Lodge entry/security system review
  • POS system investigation on-going
  • major funding applications - ski matting for tbar lift line and get on get off, new tbar tower pads
  • top tow maintenance (brake compressor, pulleys, ramp, access tow)
  • top tow rope - replacement
  • old ski-doo - sold!
  • update of canteen freezer - sorted
  • new rubbish bin outside lodge on east wall
  • HSE policy review
  • defibrillator - sourcing an older unit from organisation within Taranaki
  • SMC 10 year plan - review and re-issue

the tbar slopes, looking great and ready for the winter ahead; what the committee puts all the hard work in for - having the ski area ready for action




Introducing the new SNOWCAT range of snow chains

Designed for use on small-wheeled trucks and buses, four-wheel drives and utility vehicles, the Utility product range has four tough new designs available and is suitable for use on all types of tyres: mud, all-terrain and basic road tyres.
Desgned to gain maximum traction on low grip surfaces, the Tri-Traction snow chain has three main points of contact with the road surface, allowing for more chain coverage over the wheels. Suitable on roads covered with mud, snow, sleet or ice.
Suitable applications: road freight, transportation, emergency services and off-roading.
Shaped aggressively like claws, digging deep to reduce wheel spin and provide stability, direction and propulsion, the V-Traction snow chain offers the best results on thick ice, slick clay and in long wet grass.
Ideal for: snow clearing, forestry access, ski resort transportation and mobile service operators.

Contact Christian at Superior Industries Ltd today for more information on (04) 939 2100 or


the official trailer;

yes the ultimate in ski porn is still institution of great skiing action... if you can put up with; the usual pictures of skiers in gear carrying skis/boots, in the most obscure locations nowhere near skiing; learner skier carnage getting off of lifts (usually sped up for greater laugh factor); the usual human story of overcoming personal challenge, intertwined with posey dialog...

check out the website for ticketing information, at
like on facebook for exclusive updates

Stephanie Mazey
T/F: 09 377 5399
M: 021 754 815
Also for Ice Edge Marketing Pty Ltd
2013 Warren Miller Film Tour – '’Flow State”


Chris Dowd
Marketing and Sales Manager

Boone Skis


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Feature Article

 Severe winter ahead - Ken Ring

 This coming winter may pose problems for skifield operators because access roads to snowfields could be blocked for extended periods, making it a busy season for road gangs. Most cold snaps in winter occur around southern declinations (moon furthest south for the month). Perigee (moon closest to earth for month) exaggerates the effects of the southern declination if they occur together, which this winter they will. The closer the moon is to the earth, the more extreme is the weather, and this year’s closest perigee occurs in late June, which will set us up for a very cold July. Consequently mid-winter to spring should prove to be the coldest part of this year, due to closer lunar perigees from end of May to the third week in August. Very cold temperatures may break records at or near both mid July and mid August. September and October extreme cold spells will bring lamb losses.

After a May of mild temperatures, the cold winter downturn will be rather sudden. The first decent snows of the season come in the last week of May, just after the 26 May southern declination. This turns Central Plateau white, and SI snowfields may get a pre-season dusting. A large depression crosses the entire country around 10-12 June bringing freezing temperatures resulting in snow to low and high levels around 13 -14 June and an icy blast to central NI and Canterbury. The Desert Road and Cheviot to Kaikoura may be threatened with closure.  Chains may be needed on most inland state highways, and rural north Canterbury schools may have to close.  By 15 June snow could be covering eastern ranges of the NI, also the Southern Alps and central inland areas of the SI. From 20 June, snow comes to within 200 metres in Canterbury and Otago, with more threats of road and school closures. The southern declination 23 June moon is also the closest perigee for the whole year.  Snow is expected around 20-24 June for Central Plateau, Methven and Mt Cook Village.  The Otira Gorge may be closed and chains may be needed over LewisPass and Tekapo to Fairlie.  Further snow dumps arrive around 27-30 June for the Central Plateau, Southland and Otago. 

July will be a spectacular month for snow, with reports of road and school closures the subject of daily front page newspaper stories. The sun is furthest from earth in the first week of July, called aphelion, which itself is sufficient to cause a temperature drop. July’s first week brings snow over the south of the NI to about 400 meters, and again to low levels in the east of the SI.  In July's second week, the new moon in apogee creates a barometric plunge to the 990s and extreme colder nights bring more snow that threatens power outages and the closure of major roads. Strong coastal winds may bring damage to poorly moored sea-craft, Cook Strait may be rough around 11 July and snow may arrive in Queenstown and Dunedin’s hill suburbs. Early to mid-July may bring snow to 100 metres in the south of the SI. Skiers on Ruapehu around 11 July may find perfect skiing conditions. The third week in July brings cold polar southwesterlies leading up to the next southern declination of 20 July, causing snow and ice to again affect inland country passes and SI roads including Arthurs Pass.  Southland roads may also be closed. Following the powerful perigeal full moon of 22 July, snow and ice may force closure of the Desert Road over the whole last ten days of July and may bring snow to sea-level in Southland and Otago

Although more snowfalls are anticipated for early and mid-August, overall August brings below average precipitation for most regions. Significant dry spells, particularly in the SI, see snow events start to lessen. Snowfalls continue in coastal areas through the first week and until around 9 August, but drier periods appear for both islands in the second and fourth weeks. The moon’s next southern declination is on 17 August. The 12-19 August could bring more snow to Central Plateau and to low levels east and south of the SI. Icy conditions may again attempt to close Arthurs Pass. But the next snowfalls are not likely to be until the dying days of August.

The first week of September brings more snow to Mt Ruapehu and SI inland and southern districts, and biting southerlies may bring snow to low levels around Gisborne. In September’s second week, due to southern declination on 13th, a cold southerly blast takes the snow again to Otago and Southland. The most severe time for September may be just after the middle of the month, with the perigeal full moon responsible for snow to low levels in the SI and central NI, affecting inland south Canterbury, Otago and north and west Southland, and again calling out road crews. Unfortunately many lambs may be lost in this period. But from about 19 September, much of the country goes mainly dry for the rest of the month, with the exceptions of a precipitation band that crosses west from Taranaki to Gis/HB as deep as Taranaki to Manawatu, and also the west and south of the SI.  There may be perfect skiing conditions on Ruapehu on 21 September. In the fourth week of September, the Manawatu Gorge may receive snow.

The first week of October brings further cold southerlies and heavy snow in the far south, also Otago and south Canterbury, and with the possibility of more lamb losses.  Snow may be particularly heavy around Te Anau. Following full moon at the start of the fourth week of October, last gasp snows come to southern and inland areas of the SI, but the warmer temperatures of spring will now release winter’s grip.


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.


the bizarre windcap over the mountain, Sunday May 12, pic thanks Rhys

See you at the Ski/Board Buy/Sell/Swap!
SMC Management
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