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Snow Blankets Mt Ruapehu Overnight

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20 September 2005

Snow Blankets Mt Ruapehu Overnight

Half metre of fresh snow takes Turoa base to 2.35m

Mt Ruapehu is on a high after 50cm of fresh snow fell overnight at Turoa taking the ski field's base to more than 2m for the first time this season.

Whakapapa now sports a base of 190cm, with more snow expected to fall today.

Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager Mike Smith says it's a dream scenario with the school holidays starting on Friday this week.

"The mountain looks stunning. We could not have asked for a better snow fall in the lead up to the holidays," says Mr Smith. "It's been snowing off and on over the last few days, and we've now got a snow base of 2.35m at Turoa and we expect Whakapapa will have more than 2m by the end of today."

"We've got top to bottom skiing, and the learner slopes on both sides are packed with snow, the conditions are perfect for the school holidays."

Mr Smith says the Speight's ANC Cup, the richest ski race in the Southern Hemisphere with cash and prizes worth $25,000, was due to start at Turoa on Monday but as a result of the recent snow fall will now start Wednesday.

"We've got up to 110 international athletes here amped and ready to race, and snow conditions are perfect, Turoa's looking good for the competition."

Mr Smith says Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), operators of Mt Ruapehu, plan to stay open until the end of October, and it's likely that Turoa will continue to be open in November as per previous years.


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