It seems RAL has some copped some flack this season on almost every issue, and then again today announced that the Far West T Bar is done for the season, but then …
They announced that Whakapapa will be open for Snovember, how good is that! To be fair, it was slow start, not just at Ruapehu but around the country, and many ski areas are now closing with record bases. So it’s simply awesome to see RAL committing to opening Whakapapa for weekends in November.
Snovember 2019 will be from 10am-2pm during fine weekends ALL November, for skiing and riding on the Valley T Bar at Whakapapa. It's FREE for all 2019 Season Pass holders and Life Pass holders. But also FREE for everyone who has purchased their 2020 Anytime Season Pass (sale ends Oct 31, buy it here). Day Passes for November skiing on the Valley T Bar (Adult $49, Youth $29) will be available for those without a valid Season or Life Pass.
You may not know that Snovember started life back in 2008, pioneering the sale of next year’s season pass at the end of the season. Turoa remained open until November 16 for “Snovember”, the sale started the next day. Yep, in 2008 the sale ran from November 17 – 30 and it cost $350 to buy a 2009 season pass. That same pass 10 years later sold for $399.
These days, Snovember is probably more associated with the extension of the season when snow conditions allow, rather than the per-season sale. And, it's always been free for current season pass holders, except for back in 2014 they tried to charge season passholders an “outrageous” additional $20 to activate the extended pass. There was a massive uproar (even an online petition was started) and it was reversed. It wasn’t until 2016 that the remainder of the Snovember season was bundled into the season pass deal. Which we'd have to say is a hell deal. So in 2016, another Snovember year, lift tickets were $49, and if you bought your next years season pass for $465, you got Snovember for free.
2019 then marks a major departure for Snovember. It’s still cheap at $449, it includes the remainder of the season like it did in 2016, and while previously it’s been a season extension rather than weekends, the big change this year is the location, Whakapapa instead of Turoa. It’s easy to understand why, the Sky Waka will be operating, so it’s just one additional lift to run, as opposed to Turoa when they are running at least 3 chairs. So operationally it’s much more cost effective and quite simply, at this time of year it's harder to keep staff on. Snovember purists might miss the run all the way back down Turoa (in a good season), and the longer hours typically which were 10am - 4pm. But then, it's November, and you're skiing, and it's warm and sunny, and well, just enjoy it!
It’s been a tough year for RAL, short of snow to start, then so much bad weather. So hopefully this Snovember the weather gods will make good and the season will end on a cracking note!
|Year||Snovember Season Pass Price||Snovember Skiing?||Snovember Day Pass Price||Full Day Pass Price|
|2008||$350||Yes! Turoa, 27 October to 16 November||$48||$83|
|2009||$350||Yes! Turoa, closing day 8 November||$49||$83|
|2010||$355||Yes! Turoa, closing day 7 November||$49||$86|
|2011||$385||Yes! Turoa, closing day 6 November||$49||$95|
|2012||$440||Yes! Turoa, 27 October to 4 November||$49||$95|
|2014||$535||Yes! Turoa, 27 October to 9 November||$49||$99|
|2016||$465||Yes! Turoa, closing day 6 November||$49||$95|
|2019||$449||Yes! Whakapapa, fine weekends in November||$49||$129|
Yep, don’t forget, both Turoa and Whakapapa are open to October 28, so there is tons of great spring skiing left. Check our Mt Ruapehu weather forecast or check the Whakapapa snow report or Turoa snow report directly before you go!