Mt Ruapehu

The Snow Gauge

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Apr 24, 2002
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Spent a little time at Mt Ruapehu a few days back. Here's my take on a crazy, frustrating yet always spectacular mountain.

CQsm4JXUwAACBfl.jpg


http://thesnowgauge.net/new-zealand...-in-the-world-to-ski-or-snowboard-in-october/
 

Toto Warmlet

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It's not crazy. It's just another stratovolcano with snow on it.
Other mountains get snow on them and nobody complains about how exposed they are.
This is a trope.
You're not English are you?
You don't have real mountains there apparently.
 
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Donza

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It blows its top every so often, which makes it oddly cool.
 

GlenH

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This is such a great roundup of everything that is Mt Ruapehu.

I skied there first in 1992 and again in 1994, then more recently from 2011 to 2014, and have had all of the frustrations and joys that you describe, well, mostly within the boundaries except for one wonderful trip into Black Magic, the lift accessed backcountry.

My take on it is that it is a terribly unpredictable mountain for weather, but when the sun shines on it, there is nothing else like it.

The trouble is, from Australia it is very hard to jump on a plane for a week’s holiday on 3 hours notice when the forecast looks good! :)
 
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The Snow Gauge

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Apr 24, 2002
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www.thesnowgauge.net
This is such a great roundup of everything that is Mt Ruapehu.

I skied there first in 1992 and again in 1994, then more recently from 2011 to 2014, and have had all of the frustrations and joys that you describe, well, mostly within the boundaries except for one wonderful trip into Black Magic, the lift accessed backcountry.

My take on it is that it is a terribly unpredictable mountain for weather, but when the sun shines on it, there is nothing else like it.

The trouble is, from Australia it is very hard to jump on a plane for a week’s holiday on 3 hours notice when the forecast looks good! :)

Was '94 one of their seasons they were running in December?

Yeah, it is a little hard to do on a whim. But I guess you roll the dice a bit. If there's a good base late in the season that helps.

What really blew me away was the breadth of things to do in a short distance from there if you like some adventure. I have been to NZ around 20 times I reckon and I never really stopped to think about it. But within 2 hours any direction of Rotorua you wouldn't be bored.
 

The Snow Gauge

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Apr 24, 2002
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www.thesnowgauge.net
It's not crazy. It's just another stratovolcano with snow on it.
Other mountains get snow on them and nobody complains about how exposed they are.
This is a trope.
You're not English are you?
You don't have real mountains there apparently.

Irish/Scottish - my tan gives it away. I will defend the empire to the death!

 

GlenH

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Tropical

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I am heading to Rotorua in a few weeks time for a wedding. I convinced the missus that we needed a few days in Taupo first. Weather permitting we will head to Whakapapa for a day. Can't wait!
 

Draizuh

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I dont now if they still do but at some point recently Air NZ were running flights from Sydney to Rotorua. Probably a wee bit closer than flying into AKL/WLG and you get to enjoy that famous pong and if you are into riding bikes, some of the best trails in the southern hemi!
 

The Snow Gauge

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I am heading to Rotorua in a few weeks time for a wedding. I convinced the missus that we needed a few days in Taupo first. Weather permitting we will head to Whakapapa for a day. Can't wait!

Check out a place called Whaikapo Lodge, just brilli
I dont now if they still do but at some point recently Air NZ were running flights from Sydney to Rotorua. Probably a wee bit closer than flying into AKL/WLG and you get to enjoy that famous pong and if you are into riding bikes, some of the best trails in the southern hemi!

Alas they have been stopped for now.
 

Tropical

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I have checked snow.forecast.com & metservice and the weather is looking quite bleak this week ....... is there any chance of the lifts running this Thursday or Friday? We are staying in Taupo and are considering driving down to Whakapapa or Turoa for a few hours of skiing. Any advice is appreciated. Cheers, Trops.
 

The Snow Gauge

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Apr 24, 2002
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I have checked snow.forecast.com & metservice and the weather is looking quite bleak this week ....... is there any chance of the lifts running this Thursday or Friday? We are staying in Taupo and are considering driving down to Whakapapa or Turoa for a few hours of skiing. Any advice is appreciated. Cheers, Trops.

Keep an eye on reports and maybe decide on the day. A week out we were clear, two days out a big rain band then actual day started bluebird, rolling cloud after lunch and a little snow/sago in the afternoon. Dog's breakfast. But I wouldn't take reports as gospel at this stage as it is so changeable.
 

Kieran

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Was '94 one of their seasons they were running in December?

Yeah, it is a little hard to do on a whim. But I guess you roll the dice a bit. If there's a good base late in the season that helps.

What really blew me away was the breadth of things to do in a short distance from there if you like some adventure. I have been to NZ around 20 times I reckon and I never really stopped to think about it. But within 2 hours any direction of Rotorua you wouldn't be bored.
2 hours from Rotorua gets you to Hamilton.

If you're not bored in Hamiltron (City of the Future), then you're not trying.
 

Tropical

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Thanks Essjay; unfortunately my only chance to ski will be on Thursday or Friday :( I was thinking Friday afternoon may be a chance???
 

Tropical

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Unfortunately, I didn't. Sunday was the only day that the weather was good .......... I was at a Wedding in Rotorua on Sunday :(
 

essjaywhy

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Ruapehu Alpine Lifts is delighted to have received approval to continue operating the Whakapapa Ski field on Mt Ruapehu for an initial term of 30 years and six five year extensions.

Murray Gribben, Chair of RAL, said: “The licence includes all the existing activities, buildings and structures and new plans that have previously been approved for construction.

“As a result of that support we can announce today the decision to replace the Centennial and Rockgarden double chairlifts with a new quad Express Chairlift that will run on the same line as the Centennial double chairlift. This will be completed over the summer and be ready for our customers next winter.”

“We have also purchased a used fixed grip quad chairlift which will replace the Waterfall T Bar and run on the same line. This installation is planned for the summer of 2016/17, and we plan to have it operational for the 2017 winter. Over the next few months we will be lodging applications for the necessary consents and approval.”

“RAL is a key contributor to employment in the region and contributes $15 million annually to local GDP from its mountain operations as well as substantially boosting the off-mountain economy in regional tourism and recreational activities”, Mayor Cameron said.

RAL was established in 1953 and has been a constant presence on the mountain since that time contributing to the stewardship of this World Heritage site, operating both the Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas within the Tongariro National Park.
 

glenplake_fan

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Jul 12, 2011
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Yes they reopened for a few weeks at Christmas.

I was there in late October and they had a 4m base!

I remember the bus driver saying that areas you normally skied down into, you instead went straight across!

I just found out that they ran ski lifts for Christmas 2002 as well........
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=3006962


They certainly did have a massive snow base that season. Over 4m. You could ski from the top lift all the way to the Chateau. They reopened in Dec. I was there Boxing Day for a few nights and then was water skiing 2 later back up in Auckland....crazy stuff! Of course It all went bad the following season in 95 when Ruapehu blew its top.

Amazing mountain!
 

essjaywhy

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yep i heard that, some posts on the NI BC fb, south facing Wahianoa in condition.

still,
Kiroro bc today , 10cm fresh pow ...
 

Draizuh

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yep i heard that, some posts on the NI BC fb, south facing Wahianoa in condition.

still,
Kiroro bc today , 10cm fresh pow ...
Yeah it was looking prime, very upset i didnt take my gear up with me, Mangatoetoenui Glacier was looking incredible from the Desert road. Looked rideable from the top down to the highpoint 2198 below Te Heuheu. Got a crappy phone photo which looks like Wahianoa is good too!
 

Toto Warmlet

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Yes over summer RAL are going to put a 4 seater quad from the base.
This has always been an embarrassment at W'papa.
It follows on from an extension of their lease for quite a while.
Rids the mountain of a quite irritant lift problem, especially in the early Winter months.
This is actually very good news.
 
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glenplake_fan

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Jul 12, 2011
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Yes over summer RAL are going to put a 4 seater quad from the base.
This has always been an embarrassment at W'papa.
It follows on from an extension of their lease for quite a while.
Rids the mountain of a quite irritant lift problem, especially in the early Winter months.
This is actually very good news.

Come on man...that two seat First Chair beauty from the base is a classic... Nostalgic...Slow and such a rewarding experience :)

I hope it's in by winter 2016. A good excuse to return to the Magic after 5 years away overseas!
 
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Toto Warmlet

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I've experienced it many a time and never felt rewarded.
Late season is not really a problem.
Will smarten the place up
.Coming down/across on the now seemingly defunct National, yeah that was rewarding.
 
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GlenH

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Coming down/across on the now seemingly defunct National, yeah that was rewarding.
A home run down past the National is one of my favourites, but often even the run is closed for lack of snow and you are right the chair never operates.

After season 2014 curiosity got the better of me and I asked Mt Ruapehu why that was, their answer being:

"Unfortunately the National Chair is now out of commission. From my understanding it took some damage during a particularly bad weekend a few years ago and has been unusable ever since. "
 

Toto Warmlet

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So I should feel privileged.
Turns out after much interogatiion of my current PC some images have been preserved.

PA020137.JPG



PA020138.JPG


PA020140.JPG


P9280128.JPG


Seemed just normal at the time. If not plain sailing on the overland route.
RIP The National.
Scenic, but silly.
 
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essjaywhy

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skiied the Nat chair line bunch of times last season, great terrain,
took a noob skitouring the 1st time below the Amphitheatre to Scoria Flat, lovely conds to head to /when its blasted up above the top Ts;
will be a few abandoned lodges underneath the chair there as members drift off

the ol Rock chair, well it had its qualities - on fine days with big demand , it would slow the upload of late comers so that the early grinners were winners

the dreadful plan is to remove the Valley T
 

Toto Warmlet

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“We have also purchased a used fixed grip quad chairlift which will replace the Waterfall T Bar and run on the same line. This installation is planned for the summer of 2016/17, and we plan to have it operational for the 2017 winter. Over the next few months we will be lodging applications for the necessary consents and approval.”

Not the Valley I think. Unless this quad goes a 100m above the T current let off will be a yawn.
Skiers have lesser fall line needs.
 

essjaywhy

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The valley t is proposed to go
The approved resource consent lift plans are online
I hope ! new mgt aftrr mazey leaves will retain it
 

Toto Warmlet

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Yes, well there was that plan to put a lift up higher above the Valley. It was part of the RAL forever pass teaser.
I think it died a death back then, because of the usual stuff.
 

Undies

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I love Ruapehu. I reckon Whakapapa is the best ski hill in NZ. In terms of terrain, vert, and quantity of snow, I can't think of a better resort. It's downsides are wind, cloud, and crappy ski town (Ohakune is getting better for the Turoa kids, but Whakapapa still sucks for nightlife). But on it's day, it's the best place in NZ to be.
 
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