After being closed 3 out of 4 days (Fri, Sat, Mon) due to poor weather earlier in the week, Mt. Ruapehu got a much needed refill of the white stuff. Turoa got close to 30 CMs (just shy of a foot) during the closures, which gave us a really fun mini pow day on Sunday and two highly wind loaded spring days on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sunday had the best snow conditions of the week as we had a nice soft, wintery layer to ski on. Big Bowl, Little Bowl and the Why Nots were all left un-groomed, which was quite a treat. Hamilton’s Face was my favorite run that day, as well as the nice line-up of cornice drops on Clay’s Leap and Slider.
Monday’s closure dropped more snow than the other two closed days combined, but came with some pretty gnarly winds. The result is what they like to call ‘Turoa Pow’ – extremely wind packed snow in gullies and and solid ice on some exposed ridges. The good news is that it got pretty damn hot on Tuesday and Wednesday, so everything started to release off-piste by lunch and all of the Turoa Pow turned into springy goodness. The other good news with the high winds is that there are now cornices galore all over the mountain. My favorite area has been Slider and the Organ Pipes, where you could easily tally over 100 feet of cornice droppage in one run down (multiple drops) if you wanted.
With some South Island resorts starting to close this weekend, Turoa still has quite a good snowpack to work with. Let’s hope for some more sunshine and spring skiing so that I can break out my short shorts!