Avalanche at Mt Ruapehu damages High Noon chairlift, no injuries

Snowboarding at Turoa

This morning during routine avalanche control work a significant avalanche was triggered at Turoa, Mt Ruapehu on the North Island of New Zealand

Ross Copland, Chief Executive of skifield operator Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) says that at approximately 0830 a number of start zones responded simultaneously with a large flow through “Gliding Gladys”.

This avalance control work is carried out daily before the scheuduled ski field opening time of 9.00am.  No-one was injured and all RAL staff are accounted for.

The High Noon Express chairlift has suffered damage and engineers are responding to assess the extent.

The upper mountain is closed at both ski areas today, check mtruapehu.com snow report for the latest details.

UPDATE:

Ross Copland, Chief Executive of skifield operator Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) says that the avalanche struck the top of the High Noon Express chairlift.

“I’m on site now with our engineers and can confirm Tower 15 will need to be replaced. We’re working to inspect the haul rope and other components to determine how long the repair work is likely to take.

“At this stage I can confirm the lift will be inoperable for at least one week. If the Haul Rope is damaged that could require us to import a new rope from Europe, which could take months. We will keep you updated on repair progress as we know more.”

All backcountry tourers are urged to check the latest avalanche advisory before venturing into the back country at www.avalanche.net.nz

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