Repairs ahead of schedule on collapsed lift tower at New Zealand ski area Turoa

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 27, 2010 6:03 am

Work to repair a tower on Turoa Ski Area’s High Noon lift is proceeding ahead of schedule, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts officials indicate.

The lift, which services Turoa’s summit terrain on Mt. Ruapehu, was damaged earlier this month when a natural release of ice and rime from the cables caused a tower to collapse. No one was injured, as the ski area had yet to open for the season when the incident occurred.

“We’ve had phenomenal support from our manufacturing contractors who’ve been working ahead of schedule. Galvanising and painting of the new tower is expected over the next couple of days, and we anticipate it will be delivered to Turoa on Monday. From there we’ll require a three fine days for installation,” says Mike Smith, Mt Ruapehu marketing manager.

“Following installation the lift will undergo several strict safety checks before being certified by SGS and a new operating certificate issued. We expect the High Noon Express to be fully operational sometime during the first week of the school holidays, which is great news.”

A full inspection of the other towers of the High Noon Express was undertaken by Doppelmayr Metal Specialists from Austria, and no damage or stress to any other towers was found.

Meanwhile, the other ski area on Mt. Ruapehu, Whakapapa, opens today. Whakapapa’s Happy Valley Beginners’ Area will be operating, with facilities on the upper slopes opening as conditions allow. Whakapapa’s Lorenz’s Bar and Cafe will also be open, as will the Vertical Retail Store.

“With snow in the forecast through until Tuesday, together with snow making we are hoping to open further lift facilities as soon as conditions allow,” adds Smith.