Bluebird conditions sees Ruapehu at capacity

Photo: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas/Facebook.

Skiers and snow boarders were treated to some bluebird spring skiing over the weekend – with both Whakapapa and Turoa at full capacity.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts chief executive officer Jono Dean says thousands of people enjoyed the snow safely, with the majority adhering to alert level 2 protocols.

But the teams at Turoa and Whakapapa are urging visitors to remember to take responsibility for their actions and play their part.

“We’re not the enforcement of the COVID-19 protocols, our job is to educate, encourage and endorse the plan, which is all about keeping people safe,” says Jono.

They are reminding people to get their rental equipment from a local hire company off-mountain before heading up.

"Unfortunately under COVID alert level 2 we have limits on the rentals buildings and this can in some cases this can slow the rentals process causing delays getting onto the snow.”

Visitors must also book a carpark before heading up the mountain.

The new bookable parking system operates seven days a week and proactively helps the mountain manage visitor numbers under the current COVID alert level 2 restrictions.

RAL works closely with the Ski Association of New Zealand helping to determine and set best practice operating guidelines for the ski industry

In a COVID-19 context mountain visitors are being asked to do the following:

-Physical distancing - maintain a 1m distance from others outside your ‘bubble’.

-Practise good hygiene - wash hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitiser stations are also located throughout the ski fields.

-Cover up - wear gloves and scarves to not only keep warm but to also prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.

-Buy passes online in advance - then use your QR code at the Click and Collect machines on mountain.

-Stay home if you’re sick - pre purchased tickets are valid for any day during the season.

-Movement tracing - scan the QR code on mountain or provide your contact details if asked,

-Sign in using the NZ COVID tracer App.

-Wear a mask on all lifts during COVID Level 2.

"As long as everyone sticks to the guidelines visitors will be able to enjoy the rest of the winter season safely," Jono says.

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