Raw video: Youth leader speaks of 'frightening' trip down Mt Ruapehu access road amid blizzard-like conditions




The head of a youth development organisation has spoken of a "frightening" trip down a snow-covered road leading from Whakapapa skifield on Mt Ruapehu.

The storm which is laying into much of the country saw Bruce Rd, which leads to the skifield, shut, amid "whiteout" and blizzard-like conditions. 

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Paula Kearns, the chief executive of Youthtown, which has a lodge in Ohakune, was in one of three vehicles used by the group that were trapped on the road due to the ice and snow.

The vehicle she was in was able to slowly get off the road with the assistance of a snow plow and grader.

She told 1 NEWS it was a frightening experience for the group of 18 youngsters and five staff, who are now all safely off the road.

Youthtown group

Youthtown group

Source: Supplied

The Mt Ruapehu company, which runs Whakapapa and Turoa skifields, said the day started off clear for skiing with about 1000 people on the field, but after getting reports of the incoming bad weather, they shut the lifts and started moving people off the mountain.

They said "many many" vehicles were slipping and sliding, and some people would be spending the night up the mountain. 

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Skiers are being shuttled off the mountain after conditions deteriorated.
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