Ruapehu Family Week September 2012 


September Family Week was a literal blast!  13 adults and 8 kids (including three 3 year olds and a 2 year old) made it to the lodge despite 60-90km hour winds.  We strongly suspect that we were the first trip to Hutt Valley Tramping Club's Lodge to make use of RAL's Snow Cat taxi service - which got us as far as Hut Flat.  11 of us arrived on Monday and battled the stong westerlies and snow in the dark at 7 pm as we headed from Hut Flat into Tenants Valley.  We were relieved to get out of the wind and into the lodge!  We toboganned and slid around on Tuesday in the high winds and snow, and picked up our additional 10 members from Hut Flat around 6pm - safely delivered by the Cat.  The kids loved the Snow Cat ride!  The two year old and three year olds were ferried across to the lodge via kid-carriers (back-packs), cosily wrapped up in layers of jackets and overpants protecting them from the gale force winds.  High adventure!  Wednesday we dug out some platforms and tunnels at the end of the new bunkroom - nicely sheltered from the strong westerlies - and had some snowball fights.  Thursday the field finally opened - well at least Happy Valley, and one of our three year olds tried skiing for the first time, while some departed to try out the chair lifts at Turoa on the way home.  We all had a great time, with excellent food and company, and can thoroughly recommend using the Snow Cat to get pre-schoolers up to the lodge (or at least Hut Flat) in 60-90km/hour winds!