Volunteers get skifield ready for winter

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2012

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Volunteer power is behind a spruced-up Awakino Skifield that now boasts a refitted lodge and improved access road in time for the new season.

Waitaki Ski Club volunteers spent several days, often in snowy conditions, working on upgrading and preparing the skifield for winter, secretary David Campbell said. Four new culverts were installed on the access road, the road to the lodge re-gravelled and other road shaping and improvements carried out.

"This hasn't been without dramas though as the ski club's Michigan loader broke a hydraulic pump and is still out of action."

The 1942 GMC six-wheel drive dump truck lost a wheel, bent the PTO shaft and its fuel filter blocked up.

Owner Jack Parkes said it was likely the first time the fuel filter has been cleaned since the 1940s.

"The excavator and bulldozer have also thrown their tracks off working in the tough mountain environment, but despite all these holdups, the work has been completed."

The lodge was refitted with carpet, storage shelves installed, and general maintenance carried out, and painting completed.

Structural strengthening to the club's Nissan Hut will help it withstand the gale-force winds frequently experienced at the site. There are even plans to hook up a donated spa pool.

On the field, the water supply dam has been repaired, tow line straightened and building maintenance carried out.

Club treasurer Chris Tschepp said fundraising efforts during the summer had helped pay for much of the work.

The skifield opening date would be posted at skiawakino.com.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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