Crisp, clear weather welcomed visitors to Mt Ruapehu at the weekend for the official opening of Whakapapa and T≈´roa ski fields.
Almost 5000 people visited over the weekend, enjoying sightseeing on the Sky Waka and welcoming the return this year of the Double Happy chairlift in Happy Valley at Whakapapa, and the Alpine Meadow beginner’s area at T≈´roa.
The opening of these ski and snowboard areas adds to the beginner’s ski area at Happy Valley, which opened a couple of weeks ago.
“It was tremendous to see the families with kids out and about over the long weekend and enjoying some beautiful conditions on the maunga, from first timers, regular skiers, through to sightseers, there was something for everyone," says RAL CEO Jono Dean.
“There’s a likelihood of more snow Tuesday night followed by more good snow making conditions for the remainder of this week, which will hopefully set us up to open more terrain in time for the school holidays – this will be the lower mountain chairlifts first.
“Looking further ahead there is snow forecast for the first Monday and Tuesday of the school holidays as well so it’s shaping up well.”
Jono adds that the ski season will start to get busier from now on and encourages visitors to ski mid-week if possible, to avoid crowds and take advantage of some great prices.