Mountain Safety

Safety up the Mountain

Mt Ruapehu is a special place. Standing 2797m at it's highest, it is the tallest mountain in the North Island. As a result, Mt Ruapehu is at the mercy to a range of factors only found when exploring the regions mountainous areas. This page is designed to help inform you of all the risks that you may come across here up on the mountain, providing you the information needed to stay safe and enjoy your time spent in the Tongariro National Park.

Below, you'll find information on our potentially unsavoury weather, our Mountain Road and more.

Plan your trip

It's important to make sure you are prepared for the alpine environment here at Mt Ruapehu. Use this simple and easy tool to plan your trip and find a recommended equipment list.

Volcanic Risks

Mt Ruapehu is unique in the fact that it is an active volcano! While this makes for an awesome riding experience, it does bring it's risks. In order to manage these risks, we have a number of systems in place. The Eruption Detection System (EDS) is operated by DOC and provides an alarm system to both ski areas including audible alarms in high risk zones, radio tones direct to staff two-way radios and text messages to ski area management. For this system to work well on the day, it needs:

  • You need to respond when you hear the alarm by moving to high ground! This means moving out of the valleys and onto the ridges as quickly as you can.
  • Remain there until ski patrol or other RAL staff member confirm it is safe to move.
  • If you hear these warnings, and you are in a building, take shelter and stay there until advised otherwise.

Urgent Care Clinic

If your day up the mountain doesn't end well and you find yourself in an accident, you'll be pleased to know that both Tūroa and Whakapapa have Medical Centres on hand to help you out.
Open every day the Ski Areas are 8:30am - 4:30pm.

Click below to see our Urgent Care services in action.

Safety On the Snow

Many situations can occur during your time on the snow and it's incredibly important to know what to do in an emergency. Check out the below procedures for reporting an incident or reporting yourself or someone else as lost.

Infant Safety

We want to ensure the Ski Areas remain safe for all guests including our smallest snow enthusiasts. Here you will find the policy for both Whakapapa and Tūroa regarding infants in back / front packs.

Avalanche Safety

While we love the snow, it has it's own risks that need to be recognised and respected. Avalanches can move quickly and suddenly, causing great risk to people and infrastructure.

It is important then that you understand what we do to keep you safe when on the mountain. Follow the link below to watch what we do to negate this risk:

Trail Safety

Riding on a volcano has it's risks, all sort of hazards are identified and marked by the Ski Patrol team.

Watch this video to make sure you can identify these hazards whilst on mountain.

Also check out Trail Forks and download the app to plan ahead and familiarise yourself with our trails to keep yourself safe whilst skiing or riding.

Road Safety

Tūroa's Ohakune Mountain Road and Whakapapa's Bruce Road are the two tar-sealed roads that give you access to our beautiful ski fields. They can, however, become snowy and icy, so be aware, have your headlights on and drive to the conditions.

Ski Bike and Kite Policies

The slopes aren't just enjoyed by skiers and snowboarders, with Ski Bikes and Kites also popular amongst snow enthusiasts.

As these two disciplines are a little different to skiing and riding, there are policies in place to ensure that you and other ski field users remain safe. You'll find these policies below.

After Hours and Uphill Access

Getting the Mountain up and running for the season is no mean feat, with the team working hard after hours to get the trails and chairlifts ready to go!

Follow the link below to find out more info about after hours and uphill access: