The ski and ride season on New Zealand's North Island will be almost 1 month longer this season thanks to RAL's (Ruapehu Alpine LIfts) purchase of an all weather snow making system called a "snowfactory". The snowfactory will begin producing snow at Whakapapa snow field on Mt. Ruapehu's Northern slopes to prepare for the early opening of the Happy Valley beginners area which is set to open on June 3rd with one magic carpet and one double chair. The rest of Whakapapa is scheduled for a progressive opening later on in June and July as conditions permit.
RAL manages 2 of the 3 ski fields on Mt. Ruapehu, Turoa and Whakapapa which combined provide the longest snow season in the country. Besides the Snowfactory, RAL has invested in more traditional snowmaking as well that will double their snowmaking capacity for the 2017 season. Mt. Ruapehu has enjoyed long snow seasons for many years as several glaciers exist on the mountain and the Turoa side consistently extends the season into November while most other New Zealand ski fields close in early October. With the largest lift accessed terrain, the highest lift in New Zealand and a massive 722m (2,368ft) vertical descent; Ruapehu is quickly becoming a major player in the Southern Hemisphere.
Turoa Ski Field on a rare sunny day.
Whakapapa Village, NZ
New Zealand's longest snow season just got longer!
Mt. Ruapehu's Whakapapa Ski Field adds an all temp snow making system to be able to open up to a month sooner.
West Ridge chair at Whakapapa Ski FIeld