Ski season underway at Mount Ruapehu

Opening day at Whakapapa last Saturday. Photo: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas/Facebook.

A good dump of snow during May should make for fantastic early season skiing at Whakapapa, says Ruapehu Alpine Lifts

The ski season officially opened last weekend on the Whakapapa ski area of Mount Ruapehu, with a record-breaking 3400 people taking to the lower slopes by Sunday afternoon.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts CEO Ross Copland says it's already shaping up to be a great season.

“With our snowmaking technology, and a big boost from Mother Nature which has blanketed Whakapapa ski area with snow, it should make for fantastic early season skiing,” says Ross.

“We’re not ruling out an early opening of Turoa as well if this weather keeps delivering snow and cold temperatures.”

The early start means skiers and snowboarders can polish their skills before moving on to other parts of the mountain as the season progresses.

The next ski area on Mount Ruapehu scheduled to open is Whakapapa’s lower mountain on June 16, with Whakapapa upper mountain following on June 30 and Turoa ski area on June 29.

The early season opening is thanks to Mount Ruapehu's new snow-making technology, offering skiers and snowboarders the longest scheduled winter season in New Zealand, operating through until Labour Weekend in late October.

RAL installed the Snow Factory at the beginning of the 2017 ski season and it’s New Zealand’s first all-weather snow making machine, capable of making snow in temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius.