Staff who have been assigned to work at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics have used the slopes of Mt Ruapehu for a training run.

A group of 35 Chinese visitors spent two weeks going through training drills and honing their skills.

Mt Ruapehu commercial manager Cesar Piotto said the three groups found it hugely beneficial, partly because the conditions on the mountain are quite different to China.

"Here there's more challenging snow, weather and terrain so if they can cope with what Mt Ruapehu throws at them, they'll be well prepared," Piotto said.


The training taught the group how to ski patrol and drive a ski groomer in harsh conditions.

Haozhe Wang, a ski patroller from Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, said the group was grateful to have an opportunity to get first-hand experience in New Zealand mountain rescue techniques.

"We quickly learned the foundation of a professional patrol rescue system and emergency rescue knowledge, which not only broadened my vision but also improved my professional skills.

"We met many great people, both at Whakapapa and in Ohakune, and we truly hope that we have the chance to return the hospitality in the future."

The much larger Chinese ski resort industry includes more than 400 resorts, compared with about 20 in New Zealand.

Chang Hong, ski patroller from Jiamusi, Heilongjiang Province, said a lot of professional knowledge was acquired on the trip.

"We realised as patrollers that we need not only the most professional rescue knowledge and techniques, but team collaboration and co-operation is critical as well.

"Personally though, I was so excited to visit such a beautiful place - all of my friends at home were very jealous.


"I definitely hope to come back again next year."

It's hoped the visit will help spread the word about New Zealand's ski industry and encourage more Chinese ski industry groups back to Mt Ruapehu.