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Merry Christmas, Downhill Ski Club snow bunnies!
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Hi snow bunnies! We want to wish you a very merry Christmas and hopefully there'll be some treats under the Christmas tree - for those of you who've been good this year, of course! A few members are off to the Northern Hemisphere to enjoy some skiing over there - Kevin Frost said not to mention it because he'd get jealous, so now's a good time to mention that Marie and Bernie are off to Canada and Hazel is off to Copper Mountain. (Bernie reckons she's actually off to Cooper Mountain, a little-known field with only one rope tow and a snow cave for accommodation... we'll see.) Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, have a good one - and make sure you pencil in some of our 2015 pre-season events to your diary. Check them out below.

Working bees 2015
You'll notice the annual subscription for 2015 has been adjusted to include a maintenance fee of $50 for a single and $100 for a family. This is discounted if you come along to a working bee in the same membership year. Working bees are always great fun and social occasions too, so make sure you get along to one - see the dates below. 
2015 pre-season summer/autumn events
4WD on the 42 Traverse, February 14-15
Neil Green is running this trip and last time it was incredibly popular, so email him to register your interest ASAP: ngreen@xtra.co.nz. We'll be staying at the lodge in National Park. And yes, February 14 is Valentine's Day, but Neil's running the trip on a strictly BYO romance basis. 

2015 working bees - National Park and Ruapehu lodges
We're running working bees on March 7-8 for the Ruapehu lodge (wet weather backup March 14-15) and March 21-22 for the National Park lodge (backup March 28-29). Remember if you come along to a working bee, your maintenance fee ($50 for a single, $100 for a family) will be waived. We'll also organise carpooling to help keep petrol costs down, and accommodation and food is complimentary of course! Let us know if you can make it to either or both working bees - email clubcaptain@skiclub.org.nz.

Tramping weekend and Tongariro Crossing, April 18-19
Our Tongariro Crossing trip last November was canned due to bad weather, so this is Tongariro 2.0! We'll stay at the National Park lodge, walk the Crossing on the Saturday, enjoy a BBQ on Saturday night and visit the Tokaanu hot pools as well. We'll also have some shorter (and easier) walks happening, such as Silica Rapids and Taranaki Falls, for those not interested in doing the full Crossing. Email Hazel if you're interested in coming along - hazel.phillips@gmail.com. 

Alpine and tramping weekend, including crater walk, May 29 - June 1
Does what it says on the tin! We'll spend Queen's Birthday weekend down at the mountain, going tramping and possibly alpine climbing if there's enough snow. Mountain biking will also be on offer and Mac will lead a tramp to the crater (see last year's pics). Probably based at the National Park lodge like last Queen's Birthday (check out the photos here), but might be shifted to the Uphill lodge if there's loads of snow (start doing your snow dances now, it's never too early). Email Hazel if interested and for more details/questions.

Winter solstice celebration dinner and alpine skills weekend, June 20-21
Come up to the top lodge and celebrate the shortest day of the year with a roast dinner and drinks, plus snuggling around the fire. This weekend will also feature an alpine skills component - so if you've ever wanted to put on crampons and swing an ice axe, this is definitely for you. We'll practice some basic alpine skills such as walking in crampons, using an ice axe, kicking/cutting steps and self-arresting on snow. Depending on snow levels, we'll venture further up the mountain and tool around with our new skills - and maybe even do a snowy tramp to the top. Later in 2015, we'll be running some alpine trips such as Ngauruhoe and up to the Ruapehu summit plateau, so make sure you come along to this if you're keen for those trips. Gear (including ice axe and crampons) is available to borrow or hire. Email Hazel if interested and for more details/questions.

Mountain biking weekend, April 3-6
Bernie's running a mountain biking weekend over Easter, trails TBC but open to suggestions. Of course, there'll be Bernie's regular BBQ Bonanza and Bernie has also promised to dress up as the Easter bunny and hand out Easter eggs*. Get in touch with Bernie if you're keen to go along: Bernie.Prendergast@ac.toyota.co.nz. *We might have made this bit up.   
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