Whakapapa - Mt Ruapehu
Freeriders who know what's what, will be aware of the awesome area known as the Pinnacles. Simply put, if you're not a damn good advanced rider, then stay away. The Pinnacles are a series of colouirs and cliff lines, accessible with a short hike up a ridge known as Skyline, that will wipe the lights out for good if any rider mucks up. For the more mellow freerider try the areas and runs named Amphitheatre, Black Magic and Broken Leg Gully.
Freestylers of the beginner and intermediate variety will be pleased to know that Whakapapa hosts the Moro Terrain Park typically built on the upper-section of the Waterfall Express. They offer a range of fairly easy ride-on boxes and rails and a few slightly more advanced gap-on options too. The jump features leave a little to be desired and are not regularly shaped. Whakapapa also claim to have a halfpipe, which only seems to opperate for certain parts of the season - this isn't the place for pipe riders to let rip!
Carvers can carve away for days on the groomed trails and take a week to do them all a few times over. Runs like the Gut are good for a few cranking euro-carves.
Whakapapa is the perfect place for absolute beginner boarders to learn. Happy Valley is an area that is found right at the base and is physically separated from the main runs so beginners can learn in a safe environment without having to fear the faster riders wizzing past. Check out the Discover Snowboarding packages that include lift ticket, lesson and board hire.
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