Wellington Scoop

Ski-ing starting a month early in Ruapehu’s Happy Valley

News from Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL)
Whakapapa’s Happy Valley will be the first ski area in New Zealand to open for the 2017 winter season. The first day of Happy Valley’s season is Saturday, a full month before its usual scheduled Opening Day.

RAL will be offering ‘Opening Week Specials’ for the first 7 days of Happy Valley’s 2017 season to celebrate the early opening.

The purchase earlier this year of New Zealand’s only Techno Alpin SF210 All-Weather Snowmaking System has allowed the ski area to make sufficient snow to open the Double Happy Chairlift for Queen’s Birthday Weekend, in spite of recent rain and warm temperatures.

Newly purchased carpet lifts will open when conditions allow, but Opening Day will see Happy Valley’s chairlift operating. The Snow Factory will also blast a snow pile into the Happy Valley Plaza for guests who aren’t skiing or snowboarding to get their first touch of snow for winter 2017.

Special rates for the first 7 days of the Happy Valley season will apply for guests 18 years and over.

Adults will be able to access the Youth rate on Happy Valley lift passes, rental equipment & packages. These rates will be offered for 7 days ending Friday June 9.

Happy Valley Bistro has been completely transformed over summer and to celebrate the first 50 people through the doors tomorrow will receive a complimentary Breakfast Pizza Slab. The Bistro will be showcasing its new menu & entertaining guests with live music. The first two skiers or snowboarders on the Happy Valley access chair will win a free t-shirt & a pair of Dragon goggles each for riding the ‘First Chair in New Zealand’ for winter 2017.

Sightseeing chairlift rides to the upper mountain will operate at usual prices and the Knoll Ridge Café will open on Thursday June 8. The scheduled opening date for both Whakapapa and Turoa Ski Areas is on July 1 st .

Mt Ruapehu CEO Ross Copland says, “We’re extremely proud of the hard work the whole team has done to completely transform Happy Valley and to open over the long weekend. Locals & visitors now have the unique opportunity to come skiing & snowboarding over Queens Birthday weekend.”