TTC note: you can upload with a pack on the Sky Waka or Rangitira at any time if you are on skis
New Rules and Conditions for use of Rangitira Lift at Whakapapa Skifield
For the 2019 season RAL is allowing under a trial agreed with the RMCA.
It is important that everyone understands the rules and conditions that have been stated by RAL concerning the Trial.
- There are significant ramifications, including suspending the Trial should any Club member, their guest or a Custodian demonstrate bad behaviour toward the RAL staff in relation to the Rangatira Trial.
- There are ramifications should club members, their guests or custodians deliberately seeking to damage RAL’s reputation over this trial.
- Uploading on skis or snowboard with one manageable bag less than 80 litres volume OK at any time. Please adhere to the bag limit.
RAL agrees to undertake a trial for the 2019 winter season whereby we operate the Rangatira chairlift for uploading foot passengers immediately following closure of lift operations on a daily basis. We propose that the trial operates as follows:
Foot Passenger Uploading Times
Following Normal Operating Day
- Foot Passengers arrive at 3.55pm for foot passenger safety briefing and footwear/gear inspection;
- Uploading to commence following closure of the lifts to skiers, scheduled for 4pm;
Following Night Skiing (typically Friday and Saturday evenings, and July School holidays)
- Foot Passengers arrive at 7.55pm for foot passenger safety briefing and footwear/gear inspection;
- Uploading to commence following closure of the lifts to skiers, scheduled for 8pm;
- Given the reduced reliability of Night Skiing compared with daytime operations (due to higher safety threshold), it will be prudent for those relying on a Foot Passenger upload to be ready for the 3.55pm briefing in the event that Night Skiing is cancelled due to weather.
RAL staffs do their best to update our snow report with this status as soon as possible but often we’re monitoring wind/weather conditions right down to the last 30 minutes before having to make the final call. We acknowledge this lack of certainty may not suit everyone and there will be instances when club members will need to walk up to the club due to variable weather.
Foot Passenger Uploading Conditions
- All uploading will take place subject to weather and operational requirements – if lifts close early for any reason no upload will take place;
- All Foot Passengers will need to attend a safety briefing and equipment inspection each time they upload.
- This will take place at the load area for the Rangatira. Passengers wishing to ride the lift must be present 5 minutes prior to lift closing time to ensure they make the briefing and receive their ‘hand stamp’ following their equipment inspection.
- Any passengers who miss the briefing and equipment inspection will not be permitted to upload under any circumstances – stamps will need to be shown to the lift operator at the load area to confirm individuals have been briefed and had their equipment inspected;
- Foot Passengers may carry a pack or similar bag with sturdy handles up to 80L volume securely under their control. Maximum of one item per person permitted.
- A pack or bag will be considered to be a ‘seat’ for the purposes of determining chair capacity i.e. two people with a bag each will be the maximum permitted on a single quad chair;
- Foot Passengers must be sober, of good physical fitness and ability in order to ride the lift as a foot passenger. Dismounting the lift onto a potentially soft, uneven, slippery surface requires an appropriate level of fitness and Lift Attendants should not be put in a position where they have to turn people away who are not physically capable of safely dismounting the lift.
- Passengers must be wearing warm clothing appropriate to the conditions noting that there is a possibility of an extended wait in the event a lift evacuation needs to occur due to the timing of the upload (during daily sweep which occupies most Patrol staff). Passengers wearing insufficient warm clothing will not be permitted to load the lift.
- Sturdy footwear (hiking boots, snowboard boots or similar) should be worn with high ankle for support on soft or uneven snow. Persons wearing low-ankle street shoes, smooth soled boots, high heeled shoes or similar will not be permitted to load the lift.
Downloading will not be available
- The highest risk operation undertaken with Foot Passengers is downloading and the modest convenience this provides to a small number of people does not justify the risk. As such we confirm that general public will not be permitted to download the lift.
- Trained and appropriately equipped RAL staff (e.g. Maintenance team) may download the lift for operational reasons – this will not be a publicly available option and should not be misconstrued as such.
- No combustible materials of any kind may be transported on the lift. This includes gas bottles, solid waste (rubbish), high alcohol spirits, fuels, explosives, aerosols or similar.
- Any evidence of an attempt to conceal combustible items within packs/bags or clothing will result in this trial being terminated immediately and indefinitely.
- Passengers must have a valid Season or Life lift pass or a Rangatira Upload Pass.
- The Rangatira Upload Pass prices, terms and conditions will be determined shortly and advised to RMCA if this trial is accepted by RMCA to proceed;
Terms of this Trial
Suspension of Trial
This Trial will be suspended immediately pending investigation if any of the following occurs:
- An injury occurs due to an incident involving a foot passenger uploading irrespective of fault;
- A serious near-miss occurs which could have caused injury to a foot passenger uploading irrespective of fault;
- Threatening behavior of any form towards RAL staff will not be tolerated under any circumstances during the course of their work (in relation to Foot Passenger uploading process, passenger briefing or similar);
- A Foot Passenger attempts to deceive a staff member including by concealing a combustible substance inside a bag or clothing, or fails to follow any lawful safety instruction issued by a staff member;
- A Foot Passenger attempts to gain access to the Chairlift without a valid Foot Passenger lift pass, with another person’s lift pass, or any other fraudulent use of a pass. Any evidence of pass fraud will follow our Pass Fraud procedures which include trespass for the individual committing the fraudulent act and the individual supplying them a pass (unless theft of the pass can be proven i.e. a Police report has been filed for theft/loss or it has been reported as missing to RAL staff prior to the fraud occurring);
- A Foot Passenger arrives late and attempts to gain access to the lift without receiving a briefing, equipment inspection and stamp or otherwise attempts to persuade/cajole/coerce a staff member to allow them to ride the lift after the briefing process has concluded;
Review of the Trial
Following completion of the 2019 trial, the results from the season will be analysed including number of persons using the service, willingness to participate actively and come appropriately prepared for the briefings, number and severity of incidents and near misses, effectiveness of the methods put in place to improve the safety of the loading and unloading areas specifically for foot passengers, nature of loads/bags carried on the chairlift and any other operational considerations worthy of note.
Particular attention will be given to how quickly and effectively RMCA address any action intended to damage the reputation of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Limited or its staff and the extent to which any such action is supported, promoted or endorsed by the RMCA or a member of any affiliated Club Committee in relation to the use of chairlifts by Foot Passengers, this trial, or previous engagement/discussion on this matter.
A decision will be made on whether to extend or cease the operation of the Rangatira Express for Foot Passengers following this review.
Interface with Clubs
RAL’s preference is to continue to work directly with the RMCA on this matter as the representative of the clubs.
Uploading on skis / snow board is ok with a manageable backpack at any time and remains unaffected.