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Mt Ruapehu to Close Ski Fields on 30 October

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Ruapehu snowboarder Leroy Christensen riding the new "Shark Fin" rail at Turoa's Terrain Park on Saturday 15 October (Photo by Robert Hollis)

Immediate release 17 October 2005

Mt Ruapehu to Close Ski Fields on 30 October
-- 2005 second best season in more than five years --

Labour Weekend to be spent on the slopes -- skiers and boarders only have two weeks left to fit in the last run of the season at Mt Ruapehu.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), operators of Mt Ruapehu, announced today that both the Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas will be closing on Sunday 30 October 2005. Mt Ruapehu will be the last ski area in the country to close this season.

Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager, Mike Smith, says that while the snow quality is still good on the upper mountain, weather conditions have been so changeable this spring that closing at the end of October should guarantee a top end to the season.

"We've had a very good season and both sides still have decent snow bases -- Turoa's base is at almost 2m and Whakapapa has more than 1.6m. Given the weather's recent unpredictability, we'd rather make the most of the quality snow we have now and finish on a good note."

"The success of the 2004 season was quite a hard act to follow, as that year we experienced the best spring snow conditions and skier numbers in a decade. This season we haven't been too far behind with visitor numbers at Turoa almost the same as last year, and Whakapapa only ten percent lower," says Mr Smith. "These good numbers were certainly helped by the perfect skiing weather throughout August and September which ensured record open days over this time."

Mt Ruapehu season passes for 2006 will be going on sale on 1 April next year and, at this stage, the scheduled opening for Mt Ruapehu is 15 June 2006.


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