16 Sep 2008

Turoa ski field to stay open till mid-November

3:06 pm on 16 September 2008

A North Island ski field plans to stay open until mid-November as it enjoys the biggest snow base ever recorded in New Zealand.

Mt Ruapehu ski area's Turoa field snow base is just centimetres short of five metres.

The area's season was severely interrupted because of storms in July and August that often left Turoa closed at weekends, the peak time for ski field operators.

Spokesperson Mike Smith says Turoa has recovered well since the weather settled.

Mr Smith says 50,000 skiers enjoyed ideal conditions during the last week of August.

He says the Whakapapa field will close at Labour weekend but is likely to open again for traditional Christmas skiiing until early January.

South Island ski fields, including, Coronet Peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone, say they will close as scheduled early next month.

They say there are no plans to extend the season despite still healthy snow bases because demand simply drops off.