A fresh 35cm snow dump on the upper slopes of Mt Ruapehu at the start of the week has Tūroa ski area primed for opening day tomorrow.
The new snow has arrived in perfect timing for the start of the Tūroa season with large drifts around the base area, building nicely on the hefty snow dumps of late May. Those conditions helped Turoa's sister field at Whakapapa off to a record opening weekend last month.
With stunning weather forecast for the next few days, Mt Ruapehu marketing manager Matt McIvor said the scene was set for another great opening day.
"It's the forecast we cross our fingers for really, a grunty snow storm followed by blue-sky days. It should make for superb early season skiing and snowboarding at Tūroa."
New and returning staff at Tūroa have been undertaking the annual induction process preparing for tomorrow's opening, with the aim of having the upper mountain Giant Lift, the Parklane Lift and Alpine meadow all ready to go.
The Movenpick chairlift is also looking likely over the weekend.
McIvor said a much larger section of Tūroa was opening than they were able to offer last year, thanks to good snow dumps and snowmaking.
"The Tūroa team will look at opening other lift facilities during the weekend as well, depending on conditions."
Tūroa general manager JP Chevalier said locals were saying this winter opening was shaping up to be the best in many years.
"With great cover across the entire maunga and large accumulations of snow in the gullies after several snowfalls, Tūroa will have awesome conditions over opening weekend," he said.
Whakapapa ski area is scheduled to open more lift facilities this weekend, with night skiing scheduled to start on July 6.
"Winter's come early this year and we're stoked. It's the perfect time to learn or to just get the legs feeling good on skis or a snowboard again to set up for a long season. It's amazing to see so much snow in June, all signs are pointing to an epic start," McIvor said.