Mt Ruapehu is busy gearing up for the upcoming winter season.
For the past week or so the crew have battled the elements to pull a new High Noon Express cable up the Movenpick, across Blyth Flat, all the way up and around the High Noon Express. It’s been no small task!
With splicing complete, followed by straightening and tucking, the team will now finish a few other tasks on the High Noon lift before moving down the mountain to complete the lower lifts. The slopes will then be ready for the winter ahead at T≈´roa – as soon as snow allows.
“Our summer team have done an amazing job through a particularly complicated piece of work and we’re proud of their commitment to doing the mahi so we all can enjoy an epic winter ahead," says T≈´roa ski area manager Mat Jonsson.
On the other side of the mountain at Whakapapa summer maintenance work has progressed well after the COVID interruptions of last year.
“The biggest job was the shortening splice of the sky Waka Gondola which meant closing shop for five days last week," says Whakapapa ski area manager Steve Manunui.
“This is normal for a new lift where the cable stretches significantly over the first two years of its life.
"This is a highly specialised job and the 'splicer' had to come from Northern Italy via MIQ as an essential worker to complete the work.”
The Sky Waka has been a popular summer attraction and is now ready for the winter season ahead.
“Thousands of Kiwis headed up the maunga to ride the Sky Waka over summer, which offers spectacular views over the Tongariro National Park, paired with a fabulous lunch in the Pinnacles restaurant,” Steve says.
“Weather forecasts for winter are looking great. Here at Whakapapa we’re programmed to start our all-weather snowmaking system up from mid-April. Interest and excitement amongst staff and locals is growing for the season ahead.”
And to add to the excitement of the upcoming winter season Mt Ruapehu has some incredible pricing this year for skiing and boarding, especially during the week when it’s perfect to escape the crowds. And there’s also new family package pricing.
Weekday passes are just $74 per day and there’s also some great family packages where two adults and two youth can ski any day of the week for $299.
Mt Ruapehu offers the longest winter ski season in New Zealand on its two ski fields, Whakapapa and T≈´roa. The Happy Valley beginner slope is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 5, and Whakapapa and T≈´roa on Saturday, July 3. The season – snow permitting – runs through until Monday, October 25.