A dose of severe spring weather has snowed in skiers on Mt Ruapehu.
The blizzard-conditions have dumped more than 20 centimetres of snow on the mountain side but has confined a number of skiers to their digs high on the Whakapapa ski fields.
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts commercial executive manager Simon Dickson said about 20 or 30 people were this morning taken in two convoys of snow grooming trucks back to their cars at the ski field's main car park. Many of these had to get back home for work or school tomorrow.
"A lot of people have chosen to stay and potentially get fresh tracks for tomorrow."
The weather forecast for tomorrow was "ugly", however, but the snowfall promised to keep the Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields with good cover into October.
"From our perspective, it's fantastic," Mr Dickson said.
Today they're shut and the temperatures are an icy -1C at Whakapapa and -4C at Turoa.
"All though the night it was pretty stormy. It's been a good 12 hours of pretty substantial wind."