Monday, July 27, 2009

Ski touring on Mt. Ruapehu

What a contrast - a couple of weeks ago sea kayaking in warm, sunny Queensland and then a weekend of skiing fresh snow at Mt. Ruapehu. It isn't often that we get beautiful sunny clear, calm days at Ruapehu, so I jumped at the chance to go up ski touring with some friends for the weekend. The weather was perfect with fresh snow on Friday.

Helen skiing in the fresh powder

The drive up to Turoa ski resort was a bit epic - but we still managed 4 hours of skiing in great snow in the bowl out to the east of the main resort on Saturday afternoon and arrived back at the car just as the sun was setting. We had awesome views out to the west towards Mt.Taranaki.

Sunset with Mt Taranaki on the horizon

On Sunday we headed to Whakapapa and took the lifts up to the top of the resort before putting on our skins and heading up to the top of Mt. Ruapehu. The weather was sunny and cold, but we soon warmed up skining up the hill.

Skining up to the top of Ruapehu from Whakapapa ski field

We got to the summit plateau and had some lunch before skiing around Dome and over to the crater lake.

Sinova, Lawrence, Bec and Helen, having lunch at the top

The lake is never frozen as it is a balmy 30 degrees C, but unfortunately no swimming as it is rather acidic.
Crater lake at the top of Mt. Ruapehu

Absolutely awesome weekend of ski touring, weather and snow were great and the company pretty good too! Unfortunately Aaron decided not to come as snowboarding isn't that good for touring - but he would have enjoyed the scenery!

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