Hopes high for fun on snowy slopes

21:03, May 27 2014
Manganui skifield cow
WAITING GAME: This fella doesn’t seem fazed in his paddock on Plymouth Rd, but Taranaki’s snow bunnies are wishing for more cold weather to provide enough snow for Manganui skifield to open this weekend.

If the rain holds off this week, it could be time to dust off the skis and snowboards for the weekend.

The recent snowfall was enough to get a member of the Stratford Mountain Club off for food to stock the skifield canteen, but we're not quite there yet.

"The jungle drums are going," New Plymouth Kiwi Outdoors Centre owner Rob Needs said.

Aside from a canteen that needs stocking, Mt Taranaki's Manganui skifield is ready for action.

If there was no significant rainfall this week, the weather coming later could provide enough snow to open the field for the weekend, Needs said.

Manganui wasn't like commercial fields where the snow could linger around for a couple of days.


"We get it and lose it very quickly."

There was probably enough snow in some places at the moment for people to walk up and ski down, he said. The key was to keep a close eye on the weather and Stratford Mountain Club's Facebook page.

"It can go from zero to hero overnight. If it's a gnarly, cold, wet day, it probably means it's snowing on the mountain." A good indication of a decent dump on the skifield was if there was snow on the Pouakai Range, he said.

On a potential snow day, Stratford Mountain Club Facebook page will post an announcement at 8am. "If it's on, you want to drop your life and go and get some snowy goodness."

Needs said he couldn't predict what kind of season it would be, but chose to remain optimistic.

"Niwa said it will be a warmer-than-usual winter, we'll choose to ignore that because it suits us."

To those who don't like the cold, he recommended taking up skiing or boarding. "Suddenly you start to crave cold weather and get excited for it, because it means the ingredients for a fantastic time."

Taranaki Daily News