Mountain Safety
Exploring and playing up the Mountain can be dangerous, check out all the important information here!

Safety up the Mountain

Mt Ruapehu is a special place. Standing 2797m at it's highest, Mt Ruapehu 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 everything you'll need to know about visiting the Central Plateau, with information on our potentially unsavoury weather, our lovely Mountain Road and everything you need to know about safety on the mountain!


With it's position in the North Island's Central Plateau, Mt Ruapehu is certainly susceptible to some interesting weather conditions. With the ever-changing weather up the mountain, it's certainly something that you need to be prepared for.

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.

On the Snow

Getting on the snow means respecting and knowing your surroundings. We work hard to have the mountain ready for you each day and there are a number of things you need to know to make the most out of your time up the mountain.

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.

Medical Centre

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 Facilites on hand to help you out.

Click below to find out more about our facilities on the mountain.

Trail Safety

Riding on a volcano has it's risks, with all sorts of different hazards that have been recognised and marked by the Ski Patrol team.

Watch this video below to understand what each sign means and why it has been put in place.

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:

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:

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.
Our Sponsors