The days are getting shorter and nights are cooler, it’s obvious to us that winter is on the way! There have been a few light dustings of snow on the mountain. Happy Valley is now open, there is more snow in the forecast for later next week. I guess we are all waiting with baited breath and hoping for a fantastic ski season!
This newsletter covers our preseason update at the club, what’s new, general information and booking protocols for this season. We have the latest from RAL, improvements to the car park booking system and an update on the club work parties held over summer. Our Website has be updated, we have a subscription reminder, new club -T Shirts, and the confirmed dates for Patron’s Fundraising Dinner.
The club is in good shape financially for this coming season. We have stocked it fully during the work parties with our normal season supplies, the canteen is loaded, and we are ready for you all to visit! Again, this year the committee have decided not to have a ski custodian at the club, as this will help us keep the operational running costs lower. We plan to have a custodian again after the borders open at the end of COVID. Obviously, this means we will be requiring our senior members to help manage our club, and all other members to take responsibility to do rubbish removal and stores runs more frequently. We don’t believe COVID will be a significant problem this season. But no doubt, there will be another mini lock down at some point, perhaps this time keeping the Wellington members at bay! But these minor hiccups will hopefully only last for a short period. Please remember to use the track and trace COVID QR code in place at the ski club.
What’s new? We have purchased a new $6000, New Zealand made, Starline dish washer! This is a top of the line commercial machine designed and manufactured in West Auckland. The wash and dry cycle is completed in under 3 minutes, which is to be expected for that price! You just need to ensure you thoroughly rinse of all of the food scraps off the dishes first! There will be clear instructions on how to operate the machine and a video will be up loaded to the site. This machine was funded by the fundraising dinner and replaces the old Starline steriliser after years of service. So, a big thank you to those who attended the fundraiser!
Food Act and Stores Collection
Under the new government protocols there will be a few changes to the club around food preparation rules. Basically, nothing changes but we are now required to demonstrate that we have a registered safe system for food preparation in place at the club with regular monitoring. So please ensure you follow the guidelines posted at the Hut.
When collecting the stores please make sure you take the security door code with you and check off items for our club. Please don’t collect the wrong stores! The stores will be clearly labelled, just check items off against the packing slip. Please check with Bill, if you are unsure what is being delivered so you know what to collect. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
Bookings & Annual Subscriptions
Please get your annual subscriptions paid through the website, this money is critical for the early season operation at the club, if you haven’t received a notice or paid your annual sub please log on to the website. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having issues. Remember to check your JUNK MAIL to see if our reminder is there! To book you must be a current financial member. With bookings this year, we will open up to everyone on Thursday 1st of July. Those club members who attended the work parties, will be able to book earlier starting from Sunday 27th June at 10am. If you wish to book for the October School Holidays the best suggestion to guarantee your space is to attend a work party!
The week in prior to the October state school holidays is traditionally taken by private schools. This is open without any restrictions, as are the July school holidays. Traditionally early July doesn’t have significant amounts of snow, so to be honest you are best to wait and see, as the Rangatira may not be open and you will be walking to the club if you wish to ski!
There is plenty of space at the club for NIPS Intermediate schools and NIPS Primary schools this year so please email at email@example.com if you wish to take up the accommodation opportunities.
Non-Members Staying at the club
At this stage non-members will not be able to stay at the club, unless they are a guest of a member who is also staying at the club. Non-members are welcome as guest of a club member if space allows.
Opening and Closing the Club and the “How To Videos”
On weekends (unless the weather is crap) and throughout the school holidays an experienced club member will be on duty at the hut. If you have not been to the club by yourself, do not worry we will have an experienced member or committee member on hand to show you the ropes on opening and closing the club. It is not that hard. The big rule is….PLEASE….don’t burn the place down!
The first cut of our “how to video” are now posted on the members section of the website. The video demonstrates the steps required to open and shut the club, general information, stores collection, rubbish removal, and safety. A huge thank you to Todd Winlove from Blend Media for making the video. But unfortunately, our long time friend Lindsey Vonn missed the lead role for the video due quarantine at MIQ. So other extremely low class talent had to be sought. Suffering from too many wines on the previous night, unshaven, and wearing Racheal Webbers old track suit top, namely me had to step into the role at the last minute.
They say the camera adds 10 pounds….I say that is rubbish, in real terms the camera adds 50 pounds and ages you permanently by 20 years! But in all seriousness, please have a quick look, especially if you are new to the club or haven’t been to the club for a while. The video will give you an idea of what to expect and what to do when you arrive and depart. Please make sure you are familiar with what you need to do when you leave the club, and talk to other members so the last person out shuts the place properly. But as always, if in doubt, just ask someone or please phone a committee member at any time for assistance.
Ski Club Fund Raising Dinner
Yes, it’s on again and is fast becoming an annual fixture at the club, held on the first weekend of school holidays, this year keep Saturday 2nd October free. This dinner is a key fundraising event for the club, as we wish to boost our funds for various summer project such as purchasing new ovens, double glazing to sprucing up in the lounge. The event will be hosted by our Patron Ross Hamilton and the Club Committee.
The dinner will be lovingly prepared, by our world class French chef, Yann who creates gastronomic masterpieces for heads of state and royalty! He is the current chef to the Queens representative in New Zealand. Yann tells me this years menu will be an absolute stunner matched with fine wines and phenomenal cocktails…
The dinner is limited to 28 plates! Non-members are also welcome. We will secure additional accommodation at RSC on Hut Flat for parents who which to attend the dinner for the kids to stay overnight. The idea is ski Saturday get the kids settled in and then attend the dinner!
The dinner is price $250 per plate. For your $250 you get a night’s accommodation at the club, world class 4-course dinner including wines, cocktails and pre dinner canapes, plus a fine breakfast and lunch following day. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to register your place.
Walking up to the club at night
If you are walking up at night, please check the snow conditions first as it can get very icy at times. To be honest it’s actually a fairly easy stroll, but good foot wear is essential. On rare occasions ice cleats or crampons may be required. Please follow the groomer path by walking closer to edges of freshly groomed “corduroy” and not in the middle on a run, as this can stuff it up for the next morning. A good idea is to wear proper snow boots like Sorels (not the cheap ones from the Warehouse), or waterproof tramping boots. Also, wear reflectorized clothing or put reflectorized arm bands on your jacket and wear a head torch or carry a light. This will help you to been seen by the snow groomers and others. As always please check conditions before you leave and phone someone before you leave the car park and again when you have arrived at the hut. Especially if no one is at the hut. If you ever need help when walking up do not hesitate go into any of the other clubs and ask for assistance.
Great news is RAL have committed to full staffing this season! All of the lifts are also programmed to be opened on the mountain pending snow conditions. Apart from the snow, the only issue RAL are facing is a shortage of ski instructors and groomer drivers for the season. We hear Gabrielle Johnson and Robin Brown from our club have answered the call! Gabrielle as a part time ski instructor on the weekends. Robin will be driving snow groomers full time, and hopefully plying his trade around the Rangitira Chair area at about 10pm of Friday nights for those strolling uphill! So a big thank you to both of you from all of us! RAL will also be showing the various ski lifts that are operating in real time. While first tracks this year is again off the menu, we have been told the plan is to open earlier on busy weekends just like in the old days! We have been told access up the Rangitiria will also be as flexible as possible during the day, so along with the normal early morning and end of the day up loads, we anticipate uploading without skis will be possible when the lift is not busy. Please just ask nicely.
Bookable Car Parking
Still the most contentious issue on the mountain is car parking system that was forced on to RAL, by DOC. However, there are significant improvements from last year. Under level 1, season pass holders and life pass holders get guaranteed access to the mountain and don’t have to book. Bookable parking will also only be in place for six peak weekends from July 31st until September 5th. During the week there are no access restrictions. Other news here is a separate car parking booking portal is currently under development for the ski clubs with 400 spaces reserved to guarantee our mountain access! But remember if you arriving in in the morning on the weekend the road could be shut due to large numbers of skiers and boarders. This will only to change if total on field numbers are limited due a COVID lock down or a level change. The pro-tip here – don’t sleep in like a teenager you still need to arrive early!
Thank you to everyone who attended the work parties. The club is looking superb! The weather was good over both weekends and a social time was had by everyone. There was over 35 people attending the work parties and awesome amount of work achieved over both work weekends. The roof is now completely prepped for next seasons painting, this work was lead by Phil Brown of Kiwi Impressions. For those on the roof, it was extremely painstaking work, so a huge thank you for your efforts from all of us. A new high wind and snow cowling for the chimney was developed and installed by Guy and Logan Cobcroft from Team Builders. We reset the front windows in their frames, repaired doors and floor sections and got all the stores and firewood sorted. As we all know, these work parties are essential for the smooth operation of the club during winter. It’s awesome to see new members attending the work parties, everyone bringing great enthusiasm, and the excellent skill sets which will see our club facilities well looked after into the future.
As a general note the work parties are extremely good fun, social and very rewarding. A huge thank you to everyone who helped out this year. If you attended the working bee and wish to book for the school holidays or other key weekends during the season, bookings open up for everyone who attended the work party 27th June at 10am.
Pro-Tips – buying gear
Support your local ski shops where possible! If you are looking online for quality second hand gear for kids, try the “Cross” brand. It is designed in Sweden and is excellent for Whakapapa conditions, it is also reasonably priced on Trademe. If you are looking for ski boots use the mondo sizing system which is the length of your foot in centimetres. Websites like Skis.com have lots on information which can be used to narrow down the wide range of choices by matching your ability to products. Another option if trying to save a few dollars, is to buy over summer and resell gear heading into a new season. But I’ve also found you often gear better deals on the likes of Ebay and in the northern hemisphere sites a few months before the start of a new season, rather than during the end of the season sales.
Some Final Thoughts…
The Website Updates. Gus McIntosh has done an amazing job on the members section of the site, he has reorganised your main page on the site. Please have a look at how it has been reorganised. There is now a gear selling section, and we are also about to sell club T- Shirts and Hoodies so check out the web site page soon.
Also look out for the Ski and Snowboard Mattress Debenture in next months newsletter!