Well-honed first responder skills are crucial for the Mt Ruapehu team and they recently spent a week up the mountain refreshing their team work before the winter season gets into full swing.
About 50 patrol and lift operators, and the maintenance team, pushed through some challenging scenario drills to ensure that they’re ready for the winter season ahead.
“A wide variety of incidents can occur on the ski areas each winter season so we aim to prepare our team to handle them all," says RAL general manager safety and environment Andy Hoyle.
"These range from a lift evacuation through to injuries from incidents on the slopes.”
The training involved a lot of at ‘heights’ work including a tower rescue, chairlift evacuation, rope rescue and cable riding. “It’s been an epic week, lots of new skills were learnt and the teams are now prepared and confident to help if ever needed,” Andy says.
The training is held annually prior to the main ski areas opening for the winter season.
The winter season is underway at Mt Ruapehu with the Sky Waka gondola and Happy Valley beginner ski area open, and the rest of Whakapapa ski area and T≈´roa scheduled to open on Saturday, July 3, weather dependant.
And to add to the excitement of the winter season Mt Ruapehu has some incredible pricing for skiing and boarding, especially during the week when it’s perfect to escape the crowds. There’s also new family package pricing.
Mt Ruapehu offers the longest winter ski season in New Zealand on its two ski fields, Whakapapa and T≈´roa. The season – snow permitting – runs through until Monday, October 25.
Mt Ruapehu is an easy drive from the New Zealand’s main centres of Auckland and Wellington and close to the popular holiday spots of Rotorua & Tauranga. There are two ski areas on the mountain, Whakapapa and T≈´roa, including the New Zealand’s longest and most advanced gondola Sky Waka on the Whakapapa side.