CSC Bunkum #2 2020 - Covid-19 update
23 May 2020
We hope that all our Christie whanau are staying safe and well through these challenging times!
The government’s recent lowering to level 2 is good news for us, and of course for your families and your livelihoods. Ski fields were given confirmation that skier numbers did not need to be restricted at level 2, whilst they still need to maintain other measures. Mt Ruapehu's latest info release is here.
The committee is closely studying these requirements, and hoping that further easing of restrictions occur soon. We are not yet in a position to announce how Christie Lodge will operate this ski season, but remain hopeful and prepared for a season that is not too severely impacted. It might still require things like reduced lodge numbers, physical distancing, different cleaning procedures. We will announce that decision in June. Info on the government alert level details is available here.
We have unfortunately decided not to run this year’s Christiania Derby. The uncertainty around how the mountain will operate, particularly in the early part of the season, combined with the challenge of social distancing a lodge full of post Derby party goers, make running the event unfeasible. I believe we will be the 4th club (out of 5) to cancel their annual events.
As outlined in April’s bunkum, one of our challenges is to fund around $40,000 yearly fixed expenses. Repeated for you below is 2020 subs information, which attempts to soften the demand on you, but still provide some necessary income for the club:
- Membership subscription invoices will be sent out soon
- There will be no work party levy included in 2020 invoices – this is a reduction of $160 per senior member
- Work party credits that were due this year will be credited to 2021 membership
- 50% of your subscription invoice will be due on receipt of your invoice.
- The remaining 50% will be payable when we have confirmation of Whakapapa opening dates. Access to the booking system will be given on receipt of payment.
- There will be no change to Associate memberships subs.
We are mindful that for some this may still present a greater challenge than usual. If so, please do not hesitate to contact the committee to discuss options. We do not want to lose members because of this!
At the same time we are aware that some of you may be in a position to support the club in meeting some of its costs. We invite any help in this way, for example by:
- Making a one-off donation
- Life members paying a one-off “sub” this year
You are very welcome to contact the committee to make this offer or suggest other ways you can help.
Expect more updates in the next few weeks.
CSC Bunkum #5 - we're getting there!
14 July 2020
There has been skiing, honest. The Rangatira has been running this week and RAL staff are busy preparing the upper mountain. By the look of the mountain cams today, it’s starting to look good up there. The lodge has been in school holiday mode – it’s good to see the club faithful and some new members in residence.
You may have heard of some changes to car parking at Whakapapa. RAL are introducing a booking system for weekend day parking between July 25 and September 27 – if you’re coming up for the day, and don’t have a booking, you may be turned away. There will be 400 overnight parks available for clubbies, using carparks 2 &3 and various roadside locations. RMCA have prepared an overview of the changes that also includes information the Bruce Road management and closure policy. A map of where the overnight parks are located is also available. I strongly urge you to familiarise yourself with these changes – forewarned is forearmed! RAL also provide some FAQs on their website. There are still a few questions to be answered - we will provide more information as it becomes clear.
Some housekeeping, particularly for new members – please be aware that you may not be able to access your bunkroom until 4PM on the day you arrive. If you arrive before 4PM, you’ll need to either leave your gear in your car until the end of the day, or store it neatly somewhere in the lodge until your room becomes vacant. Please also note that lunch is not provided on your day of arrival – if you arrive early and want to have lunch at the lodge, you’ll need to pay the casual rate, currently $5 per person (although this is under review). Lunch is provided on your day of departure. If you are in any doubt, please talk to the Party Leader.
We have some upcoming events:
- Mid-Winter Christmas, July 25 – 13 bunks still available
- Men's Few Days, Monday & Tuesday, August 3 & 4 – 27 bunks still available – come on guys!!
- Juniors Weekend, August 8 & 9 – no bunks available – sorry, too slow!
- Ladies Few Days, August 17 & 18 – 29 bunks still available, come on ladies!
More information on these events is available in Bunkum #4 – if you have any other questions let me know and I’ll make sure your query gets to the right person.
Once the snow started falling, we had a rush of membership applications – please welcome to the club:
- Don Draper from Auckland
- Tania Sievwright and Diedrik Oomens, with Lucas, Isabel and Thoomas, from Auckland
- Jason Buchanan and Akanksha Biradar from New Plymouth
- Harriet and Dayle Filer, with Dominic and Charlotte, from Taupo
- Jess Walker from Cambridge
- Mark Kenyon-Slade from Tauranga
A correction from Bunkum #4 – I introduced one of our new members, Peter Wynne-Jones, incorrectly. Apologies Peter, it won’t happen again.
See you soon!
CSC Bunkum #6 - Covid-19 restrictions
13 August 2020
A short Bunkum in response to the Covid restrictions put in place yesterday. At Level 2 the lodge is able to operate normally, with appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices. Party Leaders will be advised of any extra requirements and will communicate these to members and guests in the lodge.
As per Bunkum # 4: “As we all continue to keep NZ COVID-free, we stress the need to not go to the lodge if you have cold or flu-like symptoms. Please follow the Ministry of Health simple rules. Although our normal 4-day cancellation policy applies (no refund if cancellation is within 4 days of a booking), if you need to cancel at shorter notice due to illness, you can contact the committee to ask for a credit/refund. If you do know in advance that you cannot attend, the more notice you give, the more chance someone else can use the vacancy.” I would add that being prevented from leaving your region due to Lockdown would also be a valid exception to the policy. As always we would ask that you consider transferring your booking to an alternative date rather than cancelling.
Please also be aware that, as of yesterday, Mt Ruapehu have extended their Bookable Parking System from weekends only to 7 days a week. Bookable Parking information is available here and specific alert level 2 parking guidelines are available here.
Possibly most importantly, we’ve just been made aware that DoC are restricting access to the Bruce Rd as of tomorrow evening. The info we have is somewhat confusing but our understanding at this stage is:
- the Bruce Rd will be CLOSED from 6PM each day until 7AM the following morning
- all vehicles are required to have a booking for each parking day
- you’ll need to show your booking confirmation to the person on the Barrier to get up the road
So, if you’re coming up on Friday afternoon before 6pm for the weekend, you’ll need to book parking for the Saturday and Sunday. If you arrive after 6PM, or don’t have your parking booked, you won’t be allowed past the barrier. This may affect clubbies already booked into the lodge who don’t already have carpark bookings.
We will update you with more information as it becomes clear.
CSC Bunkum #7 - Fun & games, Covid and Bruce Rd updates
21 August, 2020
It’s been fun and games at the lodge over the last month with a number of well attended events:
The Mid-Winter Christmas Party was a merry time. We had a Xmas decorated themed dining room and everyone came in Xmas dressups. There was a beautifully cooked ham with all the trimmings, Santa graced us with his presence plus presents! and we had after dinner games. Fun for everyone. Plus the Valley T opened the next day. Christmas Magic! Have a look at the pictures on the Christie Facebook page
The Juniors Weekend was a big success with a full Club and lots of improvement in the skiing ability by many of our kids. 17 juniors participated in our private ski lessons and fun group skiing with our in-house instructors Matt, Ella, plus Hamish and Rachel. On Saturday afternoon, the juniors built an igloo and ski jump and Saturday night we did Limbo dancing and played Spoons. Wonderful friendships and memory making for our Juniors.
Thanks to our club captains, Rachel and Ella for organising, promoting and revitalising these events.
I haven’t heard a lot back from Men’s Few Days this year, I think in keeping with the maxim “What goes on MFD stays on MFD”, but what I have heard indicates another roaring success, with many of life’s enduring questions having been answered. Sadly no-one there can now remember those answers. We’ll try again next year …
Ladies’ Few Days was held in perfect weather with a record turnout. Have a look at the pictures on the Christie Facebook page: “A fabulous group of us enjoyed some amazing skiing and weather and then awesome aprés ski fun back at the club.” Our condolences to the Auckland set who weren’t able to attend because of lockdown – once again, there’s always next year!
An update to Bruce Rd restrictions mentioned in the last Bunkum. DoC have decided not to proceed with the 6PM road closure – the barrier arm will now remain open unless bad weather forces a closure. We’ve also been advised that 4PM is the latest time that carpark bookings will be checked. This makes things a lot more straightforward for members arriving in the evening.
Covid-19 Protocols – we’re all trying to do our bit to keep COVID at bay. Our committee has decided to implement some specific lodge protocols in response to Alert Level 2. They are:
- COVID tracing posters will be visible in the lodge. Members are encouraged to install and use the NZ Covid Tracker app.
- If you’re displaying symptoms the day of your visit, please stay home.
- If you develop symptoms while you’re at the lodge, please report to the Party Leader. You will be asked to leave the lodge as soon as is practically possible.
- Refunds – you will be eligible for a refund within the 96 hour period if you cancel your visit due to illness, or develop symptoms at the lodge and are required to leave. If you arrive at the lodge with symptoms and are asked to leave, you will not be eligible for a refund.
- Please do not bring casual visitors into the lodge.
- All shared areas in the lodge need a daily sanitising clean – this includes the lounge, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms, drying room etc.
- Sanitising wipes will be available in each bunk room. Members are to wipe down hard surfaces in their bunkroom as part of their exit clean.
- Where possible, keep bunkroom occupancy to 2 unless everyone is from the same family or bubble.
- Social distancing (1m) needs to be observed – this may be difficult when the lodge is at full capacity but please exercise best efforts.
- We recommend members bring and wear face masks.
Stay home if you’re sick - if you’re crook don’t book!
It looks like there’s snow in the forecast, and spring is nearly here – my favourite time to be at the mountain. See you there!
CSC Bunkum #8 - Covid updates, Booking guidelines
8 September, 2020
With Auckland now at Covid Alert Level 2 with extra restrictions, and the rest of us at plain old Alert Level 2, I’ve received queries from some Auckland members asking how this might affect their stay at the lodge. For clarity we have defined a few extra guidelines to deal with this difference in regional alert levels, based on the official messaging for Aucklanders considering travelling outside the region:
- We welcome bookings from Auckland members who are happy to practice social distancing or wear a mask when they can’t maintain a distance of 1m+
- We ask that Auckland members who aren’t happy to distance or wear a mask postpone their booking until after the alert level is reduced.
- Auckland members should share bunk rooms where possible.
- Auckland members will not be assigned food preparation or serving duties where possible.
Please be aware that these are in addition to the general Alert Level 2 guidelines communicated in Bunkum #7. We have made one small change to these earlier guidelines – we are not now making sanitising wipes available in each bunkroom. Instead we have supplies of virucide, microfibre cloths, and disposable masks and gloves on hand should we need to clean surfaces if a symptomatic guest has been in the lodge.
These guidelines may change as we move through different alert levels - we’ll communicate any changes as soon as we can. If you’re in the lodge and have any queries, please consult the Party Leader.
Every year we give a huge shout out to Jenny Muir, our booking officer, who has for many years done a huge amount of work behind the scenes managing and overseeing lodge bookings, liaising with school and other private groups, and dealing with many daily queries. We can all make Jenny’s life a lot easier by following correct booking guidelines, especially the following:
- Please ensure that all required information in your bookings is entered correctly – the names of all staying, the ages of juniors etc, and especially your time of arrival. 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, it’s important you do so promptly. Chasing non-responders increases Jenny’s workload significantly.
I’ve said it before – thanks Jenny for all you do for Christiania.
There’s snow in the forecast followed by fine weather for the weekend. There’s still a handful of bunks for Friday and Saturday, and lots of space in the weeks ahead. Time to head for the hill!