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Blizzard strands students on Ruapehu

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/09/2016

A group of Wellington High School pupils and others are holed up in huts at Tukino ski field in blizzard conditions.

A group of Year 13 pupils will be staying a second night on Mt Ruapehu as the roads are all closed, Wellington High School says on its website on Friday.

"They are happy and healthy and there is plenty of food. They are enjoying the exceptional levels of snow and doing modified assessments to take advantage of it."

As many as 80 people are trapped at Tukino, a club field with three lodges, located on the eastern side of Mt Ruapehu, about 35km from Waiouru.

The field is only accessible with 4WD vehicles and the road to it is currently closed.

A spokesman for Whakapapa ski area, one of the big commercial fields on Mt Ruapehu where people can get trapped in lodges on the mountain, says its access road is open.

"It's a blizzard with gale force winds blowing but cars are coming up and down," the spokesman said.

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