Lodge Update – April 2010

Enclosed with this month’s newsletter is the Lodge Rates sheet for the 2010 season along with the booking dates for members and non members.

You will see that there has been a change in rates from the 2009 season. The over all change for winter is not high although the member adult day rate has increased by $5. The bigger adjustment has occurred with the summer rates, in particular for members.

The increase in rates leads on to an issue that the sub-committee is focussing on this year. And that is increasing the patronage of the lodge. As a member it is fantastic to know that the lodge is there and bookings can be made as appropriate during winter and virtually any time during summer. It is a great resource for us. We have also been fortunate in the last few years of having a good snow base in winter so members are drawn to the lodge. Using the lodge in summer, particularly during the summer school holidays has many bonuses especially if people take part in DoC’s summer programme.

The question though is how many of you are using the lodge, is this throughout the year, and can this be increased by any means. There are obvious down times in the usage of the lodge, for example at the onset of winter when there isn’t sufficient snow for skiing and the weather is not that conducive for other outdoor activity. On the other hand, usage during the summer could be higher, and the usage during the ski season could be more consistent.

An obvious remedy to increasing usage of the lodge is to try and bring in more nonmembers. That raises a variety of issues in itself, not least is that non-member bookings might impact your ability to book in. And this gets to the heart of the matter.

As you will be aware, usage of the lodge is directly related to the income we receive and obviously more income is received from non-members.

The fixed costs for the lodge are currently around $68,000 per year and this is increasing each year. There is further work that the sub-committee would like to undertake in the lodge including changes in the kitchen and bathrooms. To do this, we need to use the surplus generated by the lodge, which at the moment is not sufficient beyond keeping the lodge ticking over. The work that we carried out over the past couple of years has used the excess money that we are allowed to use.

So, my question to you is how can we increase the use of the lodge, and yet still ensure you get a fair deal to book when you want to? You can email your suggestions to me at . All sensible suggestions will be welcomed and put to the lodge sub-committee.

Club Alpine Skills Courses 2010

Every winter the club runs a couple of courses designed to help Members explore the wonderful white stuff that coats high places every Winter (not to be confused with the Men in White Coats).


Snowcraft is an introduction to safe travel in an alpine environment. The course is aimed at people with an interest in tramping and climbing above the bushline in conditions where snow is likely to be encountered.
The course covers trip planning , risk management and decision making, navigation, weather, gear, how to walk in snow with and without an ice axe and crampons, self arresting, glissading, alpine hazards, emergency shelters , food, equipment and a few other things. Instructor ratios are generally about 1:4.

The course will cost approximately $300. A deposit of $100 must be paid by Tuesday 8 June. The course dates are Tuesday 8 June 7-10pm at Crossways in Roxburgh Street, Mt Victoria and the weekends of July 9-11 and July 23-25 when we will be based at the Club Lodge on the Whakapapa side of Mt Ruapehu. If you are interested in doing the course you need to fill out an application form and sign up on the trip sheet at the clubrooms. You need to be a Club member. If you have any questions come along to club or email me at

Alpine Instruction Course

For those with a good level of fitness and a fair amount of tramping experience who are interested in extending their alpine skills to include the basic skills needed for alpine climbing we run an alpine instruction course which covers everything that Snowcraft does along with basic techniques you need to engage in moderate snow climbing.

The course covers knots, harnesses, rope management, belaying , pitching and abseiling, rock, snow and ice anchor systems, basic rock and snow climbing using ropes (pitch climbing), glacier travel, crevasse extraction, advanced planning , risk management and decision making. The course will cost approximately $520. The course dates are the same as for Snowcraft with two extra Saturdays for rock instruction – Saturday June 18 at Fergs and Saturday June 25 at Titahi Bay. There is also a third weekend based at Kapuni Lodge on the south side of Mt Taranaki on August 6-8.

The Club does not have a large supply of AIC instructors so numbers will be limited for the AIC. If you are interested get in touch at . If you are unable to do our course we can discuss alternatives with you.

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