Avalanche above Turoa ski field
Sun, 05 Aug 2012 4:04p.m.
An avalanche on Mt Ruapehu has closed part of Turoa skifield but no one was caught by the snowslip.
Mountain manager Chris Thrupp said a natural avalanche near the mountain's summit came down about 2:15pm today, toward the western boundary of the ski area.
It was believed to have been caused by warm temperatures which stopped fresh snow that fell last week bonding to old snow underneath.
No one was near the area at the time, but there were concerns about a further avalanche risk above the ski area, Mr Thrupp said.
Turoa has closed its upper mountain lifts and brought skiiers down to lower levels on the mountain.
"There's no risk at the lower level. It's just above the ski area in some of the upper mountain slopes, potentially, but nothing has come down into those," he said.
A group of about 35 people was hiking through a high-risk area above the ski boundary toward Mt Ruapehu's summit, and patrollers had been sent after the group to turn them around.
Ruapehu Alpine Rescue had also been put on standby, Mr Thrupp said.
"They're just out of earshot, so we yelled at them but they couldn't hear, so these guys are taking a safe route, walking up the ridge parallel to them, and telling them to turn back."
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5/08/2012 8:14:17 p.m.
My friends and I were almost hit by the one to the left of the express chair it was so scary.
We also saw the hikers that were going to the summit.
We talked to our ski instructor friends and they thought it was crazy that they where hiking because the avalanche warning was on considerable.
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