The Snowline Ski Club was formed in 1966 principally by students of the Auckland Technical Institute. The club was then aptly named the ATI Ski Club. Within three years a lodge had been built on Mt Ruapehu on the Whakapapa side of the mountain. The lodge itself was fabricated in Auckland by apprentices at the Auckland Technical Institute, then dismantled and re-erected on site. The club changed its name to the Snowline Ski Club in 1975.
The lodge is the second-to-last building on the left as you travel downhill from the top of the Bruce. The lodge can comfortably accommodate 32 people at any one time, with bunkrooms made up of four or six bunks. There is a large kitchen, dining and lounge area – complete with wood burner fire, which provides ample space for relaxation and conversation, even when the lodge is full. Other facilities available include a drying room, separate male and female bathrooms, lockers, ski/snowboard racks, ski & snowboard-waxing equipment, an outdoor balcony, and of course, many friendly and welcoming members.
The club membership is made up of many families with age groups that vary from 2 years to 82 years. Membership is limited to 250 members so that all members have the opportunity to enjoy the club. Continuous regular maintenance and upgrading is carried out, mainly by members on various work parties throughout the year. All members are encouraged to participate in at least one work party each year. Work parties are generally a lot of fun and a good way to catch up with old friends or make new ones. Voluntary wardens are responsible for organising the duty roster at the club each day and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those staying at the club. The wardens test things such as fire and evacuation procedures.
Snowline Ski Club Incorporated is a legal entity under the Incorporated Society’s act and has a legal and formal constitution. Like any organisation there is a requirement for all members to adhere to the constitution and the rules of the club. An annually elected committee of 11 members manage the club. The committee always welcomes suggestions and feedback concerning the club.
During the ski season, a Custodian is employed to oversee the physical running of the lodge. Usually, the custodian will cook dinner and be present during the week when a warden may not be available.
Social events both on and off the mountain are organised regularly. During the season “theme” weekends, such as an Italian or Greek night, are held at the lodge and you are encouraged to become as involved as you feel comfortable. Being a ski club there are of course a number of ski-related events, for example, races, held during the season. Members are also kept involved in the club by way of regular newsletters, and once again, participation is encouraged.