CSC Bunkum # 1 2018 - Pre-season Work Party and general info

February 12, 2018

Happy New Year Christianians!  I hope you’ve had, or are having, a great summer.  A bit early to be thinking about snow, I know, but a couple of pieces of important information for you.

The 2018 pre-season “Provisions” work party is set for Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11.  This is earlier than normal due to the limited availability of the all-important RAL front end loader. This work party is ideally suited for Junior members of all ages; we clean out the pantry, replenish it with the latest and greatest, stack a heap of fire wood, clean and paint. It would be great to see some of our newer families come and lend a hand and find out how the provisioning logistics work.  Plus it exempts you from the Work Party levy in your annual subs – a saving of $160 per senior member.  If you can attend this work party, or have any queries, please contact me at  

The 2017 Christiania AGM and Prize-giving was held in November last year – minutes are available at  At the meeting a small increase in club fees was agreed to:

• Annual subscription for senior members: $170 (last year $160)
• Annual subscription for junior members: $50 (unchanged)
• Annual subscription for associate members: $35 (unchanged)
• Work party levy: $160 (last year $150), this applies to senior members and life-subscription members if the member does not attend a committee-approved work party or equivalent event.

The club committee remains the same with a couple of additions – Rachel Ward is our new club secretary and Mark Farrell joins the general committee.  Welcome aboard, Rachel and Mark – we appreciate your commitment to the club and look forward to working with you.  The committee meets for the first time on February 26 to prepare for the 2018 season.

Invoicing for subs will occur in early April.  If you’re aware of any changes to your membership status, please let me know at as soon as possible – it saves a lot of time and effort if changes are communicated before invoicing …


CSC Bunkum #2 2018 - Provisions Work Party and New Members

March 21, 2018

A solid crew of members turned out for the 2018 Provision Work Party, held over a beautiful weekend on March 10 and 11.  The pantry was restocked, 5½m3 of firewood was brought up and stacked, the concrete block base of the hut was painted, the locker room was measured up for new ski racks (which should be in for this season), new bunk room heaters were replaced (the old ones had discoloured and were replaced under warranty), LED lighting was installed in the pantry and woodshed, general waste was removed from Bob’s shed and around the lodge, general interior maintenance and a big clean of inside was carried out.  We had a great crew and it was great to meet some new and prospective members.

Our club depends on members’ active involvement - a huge thanks to Rik Fisk, who led the party, Tracey Jones, Holly and Gina Fisk, Mike and Reid Callaghan, Phil Spencer-Harris, Brigitte Grath, Olivia Paul, John and Dylan Stephenson, Casey Palmer, Simon Leadley, Amy Esther and Hazel Williams, Lisa Emily and Richard Denyer, Richard Arlo and Montana Cullwick, Matt and Hayley Fulton, Aaron and Liam Bennett, Bart and Ben de Jong, Takumi, and Mark Young.  Special thanks to Pedro who cracked the pantry whip and fed us through the weekend

We have a number of new members who joined either late last year or in the last few weeks:

  • Brigitte Grath from Auckland
  • Andrew, Sarah, George and Owen MacDonald from the south end of Lake Karapiro
  • Simon, Julius and Rhea Bowen from Auckland
  • Martin, Kezia, Gabriella and Nicholas Schuitemaker from Hamilton
  • Campbell, Sharleen, Caitlin and Hayden Fladgate from Te Awamutu
  • Genoveva, John, Anika and Thomas Smallfield from Auckland

Welcome aboard - we look forward to seeing you with skis on or around the fire! 

There are a couple of vacant lockable ski racks available - $30 for the season – please email me if you’re interested – first in, first served!

Bunkum # 3 will be sent in a day or two - keep your eyes open for this one as it contains details around subscription invoice dates, booking restriction periods etc.  If there are any changes to your membership details or status, please let me know asap – it will save time for all concerned


CSC Bunkum #3 2018 - Invoices and Bookings

March 22, 2018

It’s almost time to kick off the 2018 season by sending out your subscription invoices and opening the booking system!

Invoices for the 2018 season will be emailed to all members between Monday April 2 and Tuesday April 10.  Once payment has been received, access codes to the booking system will be emailed on either Tuesday April 10, for members who have priority booking rights (see No 1. below), or Thursday April 12 for the rest of us.
We will be continuing the rules introduced in 2015 designed to encourage participation in official ski & board programs and club races, increase the number of members that can stay at the lodge over the school holidays, and improve the effectiveness of the booking system. To remind you of the changes:

  • A brief priority booking period will be given to those club members that have an intention for at least one of their immediate family members to participate in a ski/board mountain program run by RAL - or other providers - such as Flyers, Warriors, Master of the Mountain, Race camps, Holiday programs etc. Check out to see what is on offer by RAL for juniors during the school holidays.  They also have Flyers & Warriors weekend programs running, check out to see what’s on offer.  (At the time of writing these links still contain information on the 2017 programs, but I have been assured by Mt Ruapehu Marketing that the information will be on an updated Mt Ruapehu website, due to be launched April 3)

The priority period also applies to:

To take advantage of the priority period:

  1. Email me ( as soon as possible confirming who in your family will be participating in a 2018 program, or the club races you are intending to compete in
  2. You will be sent your invoice early in the week of April 2
  3. You need to pay your invoice promptly – I will then email your password to access the booking system on Tuesday April 10.  (Non priority members who have paid their subs will be sent their details two days later, on Thursday April 12)
  4. You can make your bookings as normal

Please note, this isn’t about giving members on programs a constant booking advantage throughout the season – you only get a booking advantage for two days – then the priority booking opportunity falls away. Obviously those who participate in the early booking and then don’t participate in a mountain program will be referred to the Committee.

  • In both school holiday periods, bookings will be limited to blocks of 4 nights from the time bookings open in mid-April until May 4, a 3 week period. After May 4 the restriction will be removed.  This will allow a greater number of families access to the lodge during these peak times (as long as members get “active” and book before May 4!). You must book for 4 nights – not more or LESS – you cannot just book for the weekend. The holiday periods will be:

July school holidays (the reference to dates below are the nights you will be staying):

 ·         Block 1: Friday 6 July to Monday 9 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Tuesday 10 July
·         Block 2: Tuesday 10 July to Friday 13 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Saturday 14 July
·         Block 3: Saturday 14 July to Tuesday 17 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Wednesday 18 July
·         Block 4: Wednesday 18 July to Saturday 21 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Sunday 22 July

Sept / Oct school holidays (again, the reference is to nights):

 ·         Block 1: Friday 28 September to Monday 1 September (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Tuesday 2 September
·         Block 2: Tuesday 2 October to Friday 5 October (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Saturday 6 October
·         Block 3: Saturday 6 October to Tuesday 9 October (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Wednesday 10 October
·         Block 4: Wednesday 10 October to Saturday 13 October (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Sunday 14 October

 Note: members who are signing up to a mountain program (as set out in clause 1 above) can book for the period of their ski or board program – the 4 night restriction does not apply to them.

Please remember, especially new members: When booking make sure that each stay of consecutive nights is made on a separate booking, i.e. has its own booking number. This will save enormous amounts of admin for our heroic Bookings Manager, Jenny Muir, if you want to change your booking.
Please also note that last year’s access codes are no longer valid.  If you are wanting to book some off season time (Easter trip to the mountain, anyone?), please let me know and I can issue a temporary code.
 ·         Are family members going to participate in a mountain program?
 ·         Do you want to be at the lodge for a part of the school holidays?
If so, start thinking about your dates NOW!


CSC Bunkum #4 2018 - Invoices have been sent!

April 4, 2018

All invoices for 2018 subscriptions have been sent – if you have not received yours, please contact me as soon as possible!

As per Bunkum #3, once payment has been received, your access codes to the booking system will be emailed on either Tuesday April 10, for members who have priority booking rights, or Thursday April 12 for the rest of us.
Mt Ruapehu has a new look website, which includes information on 2018 Programmes.  For those of you wanting to participate in a program, now’s the time to start planning. 


CSC Bunkum #5 2018 - We're open for business!

April 13, 2018

The weather is reminding us it’s time to put away the summer toys and dust off the winter goodies.  Brrrrr …
Access codes to members who have paid their subs have been sent and booking for the 2018 season has begun in earnest.  Remember, if you haven’t paid your subs, you can’t use the booking system!
Booking restrictions are in place until May 4, limiting any one stay during the July and September/October school holidays to a block of 4 nights only.  Full details, including specific block dates, are in Bunkum #3 below.
A few things to remember please when making lodge bookings:

  • Please alter or transfer a booking rather than cancelling wherever possible. Mistakes happen but using your booking reference number (record it when you make the booking) you can change your existing booking. Cancellations create manual work for the booking officer and refunds are not straight forward.
  • All alterations/transfers, just like cancellations, must be made prior to 96 hours of your booked bunk date. This gives fair opportunity for all users and dissuades misuse such as "weather-watching".
  • In your booking please make sure you include:
    • Names of all people being booked in
    • Ages of any juniors
    • Your estimated arrival time - this helps catering plans and allows for safety follow-up if someone is really late

Then check all details before confirming - alter it rather than cancel it if you later find it’s wrong.

  • If you’re going to arrive at the lodge much later than you estimated please make a courtesy call to the lodge to give an update.  Otherwise the party leader will worry/respond unnecessarily.  Lodge number is 07-892-3829.
  • New members - If you want an escort to the lodge, ring in advance so the party leader can send a volunteer to meet you and guide you up.

Speaking of new members, we have a few.  Welcome to:

  • Rolf and Blake Boswell from Cambridge
  • Mark and Sean Young from Te Pahu
  • Kate Yeo and William Mcvicar from Hamilton
  •  Kerry, Amanda, Zoe and Lachlan Jones from Hiwinui

One last thing – for parents who have enrolled children in mountain weekend programs, don’t let the little critters show you up - -there are weekend programs available for adults too!


CSC Bunkum #6 2018 - We're open for business!

June 1, 2018

I’ve been scraping ice off my windscreen this week, winter seems to have come early.  Happy Valley opens tomorrow and there’s a bit of snow on the upper mountain – things are looking promising!
Booking restrictions were lifted at the start of May and, while we have a good base of bookings, there are still lots of bunks available through both school holidays and all weekends.
Payment of subscriptions is at 75%.  Remember, if you haven’t paid your subs, you can’t use the booking system!  We have a number of unpaid members who hold lockers and/or ski racks.  Please be aware that, as we have a waiting list for these, if you haven’t paid your subs, your locker and/or rack may be reassigned to another member.
Until recently Christie has had a tradition of kicking the season off with a mid-winter Christmas dinner.  This is run on one of the first weekends of the season, often the first Saturday of the relevant school holiday.  The evening is themed, there’s lots of food and fun, even Santa comes out of hibernation.  It’s a great way to start the season, particularly fun for groups of new families.  Unfortunately there hasn’t been a lot of interest for the past 3 years and the tradition is in danger of being lost.  Is anyone interested in attending or getting involved with the event this year?  If so, please let me know.  It’s pencilled in for July 21, but this could be moved with enough interest. 

Are you looking for a sponsorship opportunity?  Christiania is looking to replace its aging set of race bibs – the current set has been around for decades, no one’s quite sure how many!  If you’re interested in getting your business or brand name on the new bibs, please contact Kirk at

Pedro and Dallas will be returning as Christie Custodians for 2018.  They’ll be in the lodge sometime in late June or early July, the exact date is still to be confirmed and is dependent on bookings.  If you’re planning to stay at the lodge before this, and expect a custodian to be present, please contact Bryan Clements as soon as possible.
Start dusting off the gear people – it’s coming!!


CSC Bunkum #7 2018 - Derby and the Few Days ...

July 7, 2018

The season has begun and the school holidays are upon us.  Pedro and Dallas have been in residence for a couple of weeks and the lodge is running smoothly.  There’s a great base of snow building at Whakapapa with more forecast in the next few days.  Dallas tells me the skiing’s been great and, according to the Mt Ruapehu website, the Knoll T and West Chair are opening soon.  Certainly the best start to the season for a few years.   There are still loads of bunks available right through most of the holiday period.  I’m predicting they’ll be snapped up soon …
Mid-winter Xmas – I’m afraid this won’t run again this year - it can be a great event but needs a few people to get involved.  My thanks to the one member who offered to help – maybe next year!
We do have some important club events coming up:
The 61st Christiania Derby will be run on Saturday August 4.  For newer members who may not be familiar Derby, it’s the first in a series of inter-club races held at Whakapapa each year, normally attracting 150-200 entries, and free for club members.  You don’t need to be a racer, it’s a lot of fun just to take part.  The highlight of the event for many is prize giving and the after-match function held at the lodge in the evening.  Please let Kirk Hannaford know if you’re interested in participating -  There are still a couple of bunks available and, if Christie is full, our bookings officer, Jenny Muir, will investigate accommodation options at one of the nearby lodges.  Please email if you want to pursue this option.  For new families, we love kids, but because of the after-match, Derby weekend is probably better suited to teenagers than youngsters.
We also need volunteers to assist with the running of Derby – timekeepers, gate marshalls, people to run registration etc.  If you’re coming, please put your hand up – it’s fun and many hands make light work.  You’ll still be able to compete, or in my case, participate in the racing!  Please let Kirk know if you can help out.
Following on from Derby are Men’s Few Days, Monday and Tuesday August 6 & 7 and, the following week, Ladies Few Days, August 13 & 14.  The Few Days are a great way to enjoy the lodge and mountain without bothersome interruptions from the opposite sex.  Many stories of food, fun, friendship, and even some skiing, abound from previous years.  Plenty of beds are still available.  Ladies, it’s about time your Few Days outdid the Men’s – put your foot down with a firm hand and take a couple of days off – get your group together and enjoy a couple of days at the lodge without spouses, children and other such annoyances.  I’m sure hubbie or partner will gladly run the home to facilitate your enjoyment.
As a special incentive this year Committee has agreed a special Guest rate for both Mens and Ladies Few Days.  You book in your guest using a separate booking to your own, making sure to change the “membership type” to non-member and select Junior Guest (this gives you a rate of $48 per night). In the details write “adult guest” and include their name. This means you can do it all yourself without Jenny having to any of it for you.  There are still lots of bunks left for both Few Days – grab some friends and have yourselves a few days to remember!
We hope to see you up the mountains soon.


CSC Bunkum #8 2018 - Derby and the Few Days ... are close!

August 2, 2018

A quick reminder that the Christie Derby is this Saturday!  Currently we only have 20 people booked in for the weekend, so plenty of space left.  As well as volunteers to assist with running Derby (not onerous, many hands make light work), we also need people to participate.  It’s fun, you don’t need to be a serious racer and there’s no entry fee for Christie members.  Plus there’s a party!  Be spontaneous – go to Derby!
Straight after Derby is Men’s Few Days on Monday & Tuesday, August 6 & 7.  There’s a solid crew booked in, but bunks are still available.  Much fun to be had - occasionally there’s even skiing.
And Ladies Few Days follows the week after, Monday & Tuesday, August 13 & 14.  The Ladies need help - currently there are more men than women booked in - I’m not quite sure what’s going on there!


CSC Bunkum #9 2018 - Derby debrief

August 20, 2018

I’m writing this from a closed in day at the lodge after a couple of stunningly beautiful days skiing – my first trip up this year.  The mountain has as much cover as I’ve ever seen, the lodge is running well and is truly ski in, ski out – it’s looking like a bumper season.  There’s been a great crew up here - it’s really good to meet some of our new and enthusiastic members.  The Christie spirit is strong!
The Christiania Derby was run on Saturday August 4 – here’s a recap from our Club Captain Kirk Hannaford:

Derby 2018 was a great success! Good snow and pretty good weather – just a bit of passing cloud and a great course set. A very good turn out by other clubs saw 153 registered to race and then to the prize-giving function.
Many thanks to the Christie members who booked in to help out - disappointing that only 17 members were in the lodge so thanks to those who took on the load and made it all happen. Seriously folks, it is a fun weekend with a lot of history and a fantastic chance to try out a race course with no pressure on so I’m looking forward to a much better turn out by members next year.
We managed to cobble together a pretty average masters team who outperformed all expectations and took out 3rd position. Another shield for the wall. Well done team (Mark Farrell, Kirk Hannaford, Rachel Ward, Bryan Clements).
If you happen to be at the club over a weekend that other clubs are running their evens it would be good to support them and get a few entries in, Christie pays for the entry fee.

Please keep in mind our annual Club races are on Saturday September 29 – this a fun event for Christiania members only. 

Mens Few Days followed on from Derby.  17 of our larger and hairier members gathered for 2 days of feasting and fibbing.  Bob treated everyone to crayfish, thanks again Bob! Unusually this year there was even some skiing, some members crossing over to the dark side for an afternoon (perhaps in search of those rumoured free sausages?) as well as a fantastic afternoon on the bright side.  It’s good to see this annual event continues to be well patronised – it brings together a great group of new and established members and friends.  Many thanks to Pedro and Dallas for their support and hard work.

Ladies Few Days unfortunately was a non-starter. It’s been a few years since this has been well attended.  Ladies – any suggestions on how we can reinvigorate this?

The North Island Primary School Championships are being run over the next couple of weeks so the Lodge is busy with school groups.  We still have 6 bunks available for the coming weekend but I don’t this they’ll last long - guess what the forecast is?

Our favourite!


CSC Bunkum #10 2018 - Booking and lodge rules and reminders

August 20, 2018

Please be aware that the Christiania Booking Officer role is voluntary and can be very time consuming.  Jenny Muir has been in this role for many years and does a fantastic job – not only does she oversee all of our member bookings, she also deals with all of our school and private group communications, a significant chunk of work.  YOU can make Jenny’s life easier:

  • Please ensure that all required information in your bookings is entered correctly – your time of arrival, names of all staying, ages of juniors etc.  Incomplete or incorrect information particularly affects the custodians and Party Leader.  Take a moment to check your info is complete and correct before hitting the Confirm button.
  • If you’re asked to update any booking details, or add any information that has been omitted, please do so promptly.  Chasing non-responders increases Jenny’s workload significantly.
  • If you’re making a last minute booking, one placed within 24 hours of occupancy, a courtesy call to Pedro and Dallas at the lodge would be appreciated, mainly for catering purposes.  The Lodge phone number is in my signature below – please keep it handy.
  • Please also keep the lodge informed of any changes to your documented plans.  We are concerned about your welfare - if you’re late arriving, a courtesy call to the lodge is much appreciated.
  • Please keep your login details to the booking website handy – you never know when you might need them – usually when tomorrow’s forecast is Bluebird!
  • If you have a query about lost property, please contact the lodge directly.
  • Your committee welcomes your feedback.  While immediate issues that arise at the lodge are best directed to the Party Leader, other comments or suggestions relating to your stay, the lodge, or the club generally can be directed to any of our committee – we like, and need to hear from our membership.
  • Weekends – from our Booking Rules:
    • Two consecutive nights must be booked when making a booking over a weekend, either Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday nights.
    • If bunks are available, a single Friday or Saturday night can be booked from 4PM the previous day – i.e. you can book a single Saturday night from 4PM the Friday before
  • Guest and non member bookings – if you are booking guests into the lodge, please liaise with Jenny,, before making your booking.  Guest bookings can only be made 10 days or less before the first stay night.  Jenny manages a wait list of guest bookings outside of the booking system so they are correctly prioritised.  Once approved, Jenny will instruct you to book your guests via the booking system - don’t forget to book them in as non-members.

Booking rules are available on our website, please ensure you are familiar with them.  There’s also a step by step booking procedure here.

Thanks for your help in making the club run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.  And thank you Jenny for all you do, and have done, for Christiania.


CSC Bunkum #11 2018 - only a month to go!

September 19, 2018

Whakapapa was closed Monday and Tuesday this week, giving our crew a well-deserved rest from the fantastic spring skiing they’ve been enjoying over the last couple of weeks.  I had a couple of days as good as any I’ve had, met some great new members and got shown some new runs – thanks Mike and Sue!  The forecast for this weekend is looking good and there are still 13 bunks available on Friday, 16 on Saturday – unbelievable!  And we’re still ski in, ski out!  Next week also still has lots of space, right through into the weekend.  Now's the time to take a couple of days off and fill your boots – school holidays and season’s end approaches.
Two of our up and coming snowboarders scooped prizes in the recent Tongariro Junior Ski Champs – in the Open section Daniel Ward took out the Silver medal and William McVickers the Bronze.  Congratulations guys!  It was a great event with lots of our juniors taking part, all enjoyed the racing, prize giving and spot prizes.  Thanks Tongariro!

The Christie club races run on Sunday September 30, the date has been moved from Saturday due to the number of competing activities already running on the mountain.  This is a casual fun day that’s only open to Christie members, not to be confused with the interclub races that run during the season.  There are shiny trophies up for grabs – get your name on one!  Any queries on club races, please contact Kirk at

Some other dates for your calendar:

The End of Season Work Party will be held over November 10 & 11.  This is where we put the lodge to bed for summer - a big clean up with a few maintenance jobs thrown in.  While there's lots to do for younger members at the pre-season work party, the November work party is better suited to Seniors, or our older juniors.  Remember this will credit your 2019 work party levy - $160 per senior member.  Those that haven’t done a work party, please volunteer - the weekend will need at least 8 - 10 people to run.  Please register your interest with me -  More information closer to the time.
The 2018 Christiania AGM will be held on Thursday November 22, at the McMeekan Centre, Ruakura Research Centre (AgResearch) in Hamilton.  One item on the agenda will be the election of the Club Committee.  We're always looking for new faces to get involved with the running and organisation of the club.  If you would like more information on what's involved, feel free to contact one of the current committee.  Once again, more information closer to the time
Did you know you can buy Christiania branded clothing online, at very reasonable prices?  Tees, Hoodies, jackets and more are available at  Please note that any queries on sizes, performance, etc. must be made to Chris at Konstruct on 0800 566 787 or  Please also note that once you have chosen your size and made your order, there are no refunds.  We are very appreciative of Konstruct making this facility available to us - if you have any need for printed apparel and promotional products for any other occasion or corporate event please contact Chris.
The end of the season is a little over a month away – ‘sno joke – ski now!