Trapped in lodges - hundreds 'trying to survive' at Mt Ruapehu

Dealing with the conditions on Mt Ruapehu.

Dealing with the conditions on Mt Ruapehu.

Over 400 people are trapped in lodges around Mt Ruapehu due to bad weather.

"We are just trying to survive" says Skotel Alpine Resort general manager Rebecca Dalgarno at Whakapapa Village.

There are 120 people trapped at that resort. Nearby Chateau Tongariro has 250 guests on Friday, with no one able to leave until State Highway 47 reopened, hotel manager Brad McGlynn said.

At least food is no longer a problem after two large trucks reached Whakapapa Village during the morning under police escort. They brought in supplies for the Chateau, Skotel Alpine Resort and other operations on Mt Ruapehu.

Storm live: Slip city
6000 homes are still without power
Keep up to date with severe weather warnings here
* The big storm: what you need to know here


"The big trucks with big chains on them, they can cut through most things," McGlynn said.

Mt Ruapehu - winter wonderland.

Mt Ruapehu - winter wonderland.

"We carry about two to three days of supplies here. Another day and it would be getting interesting."

The trucks had a lot of support around them, including a snow plough.

At the Skotel Alpine Resort, Dalgarno said they were "trying to get through the day. Taking it hour by hour".

Snowed in on Mt Ruapehu.

Snowed in on Mt Ruapehu.

"It's horrendous weather. Absolutely nuts up here." She said they had landlines and power but a surge overnight had "fried" their Eftpos and internet.

Ad Feedback

She said guests had been pretty good, and they understood there was nothing that could be done about it, but some were worried about international flights they are meant to be catching today and tomorrow.

The mountain itself was closed. "It's stopped snowing but it's blowing a gale. There's lots of blue sky," McGlynn said. "Some people have gone out for some fresh air and a bit of a walk around."

At the Takapuna Ski Club above the Whakapapa ski area, the eight occupants are hoping the storm will be over in time for some good skiing, at least by Saturday.

"There are patches of blue sky but the winds are pretty much gale force, whipping up the snow," club member Sharon Carthew said around midday Friday.

"We're looking at blue sky coming over the top of the mountain, and thinking 'maybe that's our afternoon'."

Sun shining now.

Sun shining now.

She was at the lodge with her husband and two children, and there was another family of four there. A further 21 people were booked in for the weekend, filling the place up.

"We're all just hunkered down, basically looking out the windows. It's beautiful to watch, very noisy."

Her family arrived at Wednesday lunchtime just as the storm was starting, Carthew said. Electricity went off at times on Thursday but seemed OK on Friday.

"We came up to get extra food to the club. My kids and husband climbed up through waist deep snow up to the clubhouse with backpacks full of food." They made two trips on Wednesday and one on Thursday.

In any case, the lodge had plenty of food. "We've got freezers full of meat, tinned food, UHT milk."

One group who are refusing to let the conditions get them down is the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club lodge up Mt Ruapehu.

Martijn Verhoeven said they were really enjoying themselves.

"Pantry with food for a month, we're playing games and really having a lot of fun. We've just had a cooked breakfast and are going out for a walk later this morning.

"We've run out of cheesecake though."

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts marketing manager Matt McIvor said there were also people staying in other ski club lodges on the mountain but he was unsure how many. However he said they are well equipped for staying on the mountain.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts staff have been busy working on the mountain - they are equipped with skidoos and were busy pushing snow into the right places so they can groom trails for when the skifield reopens.

Whakapapa has had 40cm of snow in the past 24 hours. Turoa Skifield has had 50cm of snow in the past 24 hours. 

It is hoped the ski area will be back in operation on Saturday.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

NZDF to the rescue video

HMNZS Endeavour heads for Marsden Point oil refinery, to help ease the fuel shortage crisis.

The army, air force and navy will redistribute fuel across the country by land and by sea.

Ten dentists take $30m Lotto prize

Tina from Taupō and nine of her friends won Saturday's $30 million Lotto jackpot.

Tina from Taupō and her posse are all smiles after winning enormous Powerball jackpot.

Oversight needed for strategic assets

It's believed a digger blade scored the pipe, causing the leak.

Call for new infrastructure commission in wake of airport fuel line disruption.

Fight for 'exceptional' Okura

The land is owned by Okura Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Todd Property.

"If we lose this, what on earth is left?" Residents of seaside Okura fight a 1000-home development in court.


Craft brewery 'swansong'

Whistling Sisters co-founders Bede Roe, left, and Russel Scott.

Man behind Ombra and Belgian Beer Cafe Leuven to open new rooftop bar and brewery.

Gully earthworks error

Initial estimates were that 6.5m cubic metres of earth would need to be moved. The motorway partnership has now applied ...

Project miscalculates extent of digging needed - but says it's still on schedule.

Man on fire at Parliament grounds video

Police cordon off the scene outside Parliament House.

Man who set himself on fire at Parliament grounds may have brought sign with him.

Blue whale washes ashore gallery video

A blue whale carcass washed ashore at Glenburn Station in Wairarapa on Wednesday.

The carcass of a blue whale has washed up on a beach near Flat Point in Wairarapa.


Main parties may get licked video

210917 NEWS Photo: Joseph Johnson/Stuff
India Curtis of Rollickin Gelato with a mixture of their new party ice cream, ...

What's your flavour? Billy Boy or Jacinda Fever?

Victim fled gunshots

Police guard a Andrew Cameron's house near Hanmer on Tuesday morning.

With a gun held to his neck, kidnap victim jumped from the car he was forced to drive.

Westport water crisis eases

Westport and Carters Beach residents are on essential use only meaning use is restricted to drinking water, water used ...

Emergency supplies and restricted use help ease West Coast town's water crisis.

Compo claim 'doomed to fail'

Associate Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Nicky Wagner is confident the Crown has met its obligations in ...

Property owner seeking more cash after being forced to give up land hits legal roadblock.


Annoyed motorists pan pollies

A New Zealand First supporter promotes the party from a Hamilton traffic island in an image captured by a disgruntled ...

Every street corner features a human political billboard, it seems. But are they legal?

Paint stripper mystery

The car will likely need a new paint job.

In tree-lined suburban Hamilton, a couple scratch their heads as their two cars flake onto the driveway.

Moorby's Top 5 this weekend

The Waikato Cherry Tree Festival will be held on September 23 and 24.

It's election weekend but there's an array of other events on if politics isn't your thing.

Library fix approved

Councillors approved $635,000 to earthquake strengthen the Hamilton Central Library. Another $87,000 will be used to add ...

Hamilton's central library will be brought up to earthquake standards.


Literary icon at KFC?

An artist's impression of what a statue of author Ronald Hugh Morrieson might look like at the site of his Hawera home, ...

Will South Taranaki's womanising literary larrikin be immortalised in a statue?

Shoplifter stole under staff's noses

The Bunnings store in New Plymouth was targeted twice by a shoplifter, who brazenly walked out with thousands of dollars ...

A shoplifter's booty included a fireplace, clothesline, chainsaw, tools and plumbing gear.

Ever-changing face of Pukeiti gallery video

The Misty Knoll is a "secret garden" with a spiraling path that leads to a tunnel and a grass bowl.

A project costing nearly $5 million has changed the face of a Taranaki garden. So what's all the fuss?

Lifestyle capital

The  Te Huinga Taumatua committee met on Thursday night.

New Plymouth District Council are aiming to turn New Plymouth into a lifestyle capital the iwi committee heard on Thursday.


Reward for precious memorial

Flowers and notes were placed as tributes on a lamp post at the scene of the horrific car crash in Levin.

The family of young men have offered a cash reward to get memorial items back.

MP v farmers round 2

Palmerston North Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway maintains he was shoved at a heated meeting.

Iain Lees-Galloway maintains he was shoved. Farmers don't agree.

One killed in crash

Ambulance leaving scene of a fatal crash on state highway 1 near Foxton.

Road reopened after state highway crash that killed one driver.

The perils of Government

From left, National candidate Adrienne Pierce, Money Free Party candidate Scott Andrew and Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway ...

OPINION: National's candidate was ganged-up on and faced tough questions.


Blue whale carcass washes ashore gallery video

Blue whale carcass washes ashore at Glenburn Station in Wairarapa.

A dead blue whale first spotted off d'Urville Island has washed up on a Wairarapa beach.

Sexual abuser jailed

A Nelson forestry worker has been sentenced to prison for a number of "serious" sexual offences.

A Nelson forestry worker has been sentenced to prison for a number of "very serious" sexual offences.

Voters angry voting station closed

Victory Community Centre.

Victory voters are angry an advance polling station was not open as advertised.

Gold miners knocked back

Judge Pope, of Canvastown, is pleased the gold mine resource consent has been turned down.

Canvastown mine application expected to make its US owners $7m a year is rejected.


Netballer not ready to call time yet

What it's all about. Former team mates, Bridget Gane and Tokomaru rival Tash Ford, share a laugh in the heat of battle ...

You can't put a price on loyalty.

Miners knocked back

Judge Pope, of Canvastown, is pleased the gold mine resource consent has been turned down.

Proposed mine in the heart of a historic gold rush town expected to make its US owners $7m a year is turned down.

When one door closes..

Business owners Holly Bonnington, right, and Kay Nicholls (centre) at the Sneaky Beach Cafe in Havelock.

The Sneaky Beach Cafe opened this week in Havelock, much to the excitement of locals.

'Taylor-made' for trees

The first planting event in 2014 saw  Marlborough Landscape Group members, from left, Helen Ballinger, Ralph Ballinger ...

 It began as an idea to enhance the river and has branched out into something much bigger.

South Canterbury

A toast to the bicycle video

Graeme Simpson is preparing to take a collection of old bikes to Waimate to celebrate 200 years of the bicycle.

Bicycles of all shapes and sizes to be celebrated in 200th anniversary event.

Air plan approved

South Canterbury Regional Air Plan Liaison Committee chairman Mark Rogers with committee members Doug Cleveland, centre, ...

Grey Power president says it was "too much" to expect woodburner rule to be ditched.

Swaps for councils, schools

Aoraki Development CEO Nigel Davenport, who was invited to go on the delegation to sign the agreement, said it was "a ...

MOU will allow council staff to exchange with  sister city and could bring raft of benefits.

Fundraising for course underway

Riding for The Disable riders and volunteers have been given the opportunity to mix and mingle with one New Zealand's ...

Organisers of fundraiser for new eventing course hope event will be a roaring success.


Highlanders land prop early

Tyrel Lomax played his first game for Tasman last weekend.

Son of former Kiwis league player will join Highlanders next year after Melbourne Rebels cut him loose.

Fears community heart will be lost

Queenstown Arts Centre coordinator Andie King said an art gallery, community groups and workshop spaces should be ...

The council says the location could provide "a combined Council office and a community heart."

Riley Baker memorial to stay?

Dunedin photographer Riley Baker with his partner, Amy McPherson. He died in hospital from injuries after a tourist ...

Mayor tells Dunedin crash victim's family his ashes can stay put, but NZTA says that's not confirmed.

Taylor taking on players half his age

George Taylor plays a shot during the Southland Town vs Country match last season.

Sixty-two-year-old Southland tennis ace George Taylor will be up against players half his age as he prepares for the Seniors World Team Championships in Miami.


Bluff sign bluff

Scottish tourist Geoff Mumford a little confused by the directions for Wellington and Cape Reinga which pointed in ...

Bluff's famous signpost is all over the place.

Voters harassed

Entrance to the polling booth at the Menzies Building on Esk St.

Early voters in Invercargill have been subject to intimidation and verbal abuse on their way to cast their ballots.

70 years and still going strong

John and Joan Welsh with their wedding day photo from 1947.

On September 22, John and Joan Welsh celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Police investigation continues

The police investigation into Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay continues.

Police won't say whether they have interviewed Clutha Southland MP Todd Barclay.

Ad Feedback