Ruapehu skifields rejoice as fresh snow blankets slopes

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This photograph on Ruapehu was taken on Tuesday morning after two major snowfalls.
This photograph on Ruapehu was taken on Tuesday morning after two major snowfalls.

The bitter cold of recent days had a silver lining - well, white covering.

There is plenty of snow on the region's skifields.

After big snow falls yesterday and over the weekend, the upper mountain bases are sitting at a healthy 181cm (Turoa) and 212cm (Whakapapa).

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) chief executive Dave Mazey said yesterday morning that more than 15cm of fresh snow fell in the past 24 hours at Turoa and 10cm at Whakapapa. This is on top of the metre that fell over the past four to five days.

"It's great to see the mountain now fully covered with snow, especially with clear days forecast this weekend at Turoa and Whakapapa," said Mazey.

"Turoa opened with light southeast winds and blue skies this morning. Most facilities, including the freestyle terrain parks are now open. We hope to open the Nga Wai Heke just after midday, once de-icing and avalanche control work has been completed.

"At Whakapapa, Happy Valley and the Rangatira Express are open today, with the upper mountain on hold due to strong winds and de-icing.

"This latest snowfall has provided us with a lot of snow to work with and will provide some superb skiing and riding for our visitors.

"The grooming fleet will be will working around the clock to get more trails and park features open over the coming days," said Mazey.

For real-time snow progress, live webcams at Whakapapa and Turoa show up-to-the minute updates.

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