The ski season in New Zealand isn’t over yet, there’s plenty of snow on Mt Ruapehu.
Spring is one of the best times of the ski season. It’s often warm and sunny, there are minimal lift lines (even on the weekends), and every run is in play once the snow releases.
Mt Ruapehu ski season
Mt Ruapehu gets some of the biggest snowfalls of any field in New Zealand, and therefore has the resilience to handle rain. If you’re in the Southern Lakes in Spring with 50cm base (if you’re lucky) and the rain comes – it’s game over for the season. People lose interest and they’re off to the beach.
Mt Ruapehu ski season lasts well into Spring, often with a 2+ metre base. A few more rocks might appear lower on the mountain, but up high it’s business as usual.
There is always plenty of snow, and in past years Mt Ruapehu ski season has often run into the first week of November. This year it’s all done and dusted after Labour weekend, the 21st/22nd October.
The change in Spring snow conditions
Spring snow conditions change dramatically throughout the day, demanding a constant shift of skier and rider technique.
The melted afternoon snow freezes overnight so we’re greeted each morning with a bulletproof surface on which only the best-tuned gear will be effective.
Fortunately, the Spring sunshine gets to work, and by late morning the snow “releases”. This allows your edges to slice through the snow easily, giving you grip and the confidence to turn predictably. At the end of the day, the snow softens to the point of being slushy and unmanageable.
Daylight Saving also has an impact.
On the downside, the magic “release” time is delayed an hour. On the upside, if you’ve had a big night then a relaxed start can work in your favour, and the good stuff lasts an hour more!
Planning your Spring skiing day
If you’re setting off first thing in the morning, the going can be hard on the groomed trails. It’s better to stay low as these runs will soften faster than the higher altitudes.
As the morning progresses and warms up, those in the know will seek out slopes and runs facing the sun. These will be soft and a lot of fun, especially off trail. At this stage of the day, even a few metres can make a difference. Move off the sunny aspect and you’ll be reminded very quickly to get back to the sunny side.
As the lower slopes soften, move on up the mountain. The higher altitudes will retain their consistency and you’ll be skiing and riding runs all over the mountain.
Another wonderful thing about skiing in Spring, is that it doesn’t matter what gear you’ve got on. Whether it’s narrow, under foot slalom skis, or big, fat powder skis, they all work and they’re all fun.
So which side is best for Spring skiing, Whakapapa or Turoa?
With all things being equal, Whakapapa will soften faster, while south facing Turoa will hold its condition longer. Ultimately personal preference and weather conditions on the day will be the deciding factors.
Hit the slopes one last time for the Spring ski season!
So, if you want to catch the end of the Mt Ruapehu ski season, here’s a quick beginners’ summary to get the best out of the day;
Start low on the mountain and stay on the trail. You can venture off as it softens, but keep to the sunny slopes first.
Later in the day you can take full advantage of the optimum conditions and can go anywhere. This might mean an early or late lunch depending on how soon the snow is softening, but work it to your advantage, and towards the end of the day go high and shady when the snow really softens up.
Now is the perfect time to go, with special discounted rates for Spring, including 50% of flexi passes!
Grab your deal now, and book your stay with us.
We’re only a 15-minute drive from Whakapapa ski field, making it too easy to get going in the morning, and return after a perfect day on the slopes to relax in one of our hot tubs!
Our friendly and helpful staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Or you can go ahead and book your room right now by clicking here.