After most of the other ski fields in New Zealand have closed (Mt. Hutt and Cardrona are closing Oct 11th) Mt. Ruapehu stays open with some great spring snow. Conditions are firm and icy in the morning and soft and slushy in the afternoon. Lot of snow, that fell this winter, still allows us to ride most of the back-country terrain. Some runs, after they soften up under sun, offer really good corn snow.
The first weekend of October was not looking promising due to high wind and rain, but we’ve now gotten what Turoa spring skiing really looks like. Going either far-east or far-west from the top of the High Noon Express was the best you could do. Great skiing conditions and beautiful views. Slider and Raceline on the west and Hamilton’s with Muzzazone on the east were definitely the top runs of the weekend.
If you think that it’s just skiing between rocks and slush, you are mistaken. There are still some big wind-lips and drops that you can hit, with surprisingly soft and good snow below them. In the afternoon when it gets really slushy, especially down in gullies and on the west facing slopes, you can still find some decent skiable snow in shadows or on east walls. It’s looking to be a good few final weeks to close out the season.