There are 46 clubs on Mt Ruapehu, with 48 lodges based at Whakapapa. There are between 14,000 to 20,000 members within these clubs, many of whom are both life pass holders and shareholders. The clubs have operated since the 1950’s on a low-cost model by members coming together to help, whether it be daily chores or working bees.
This promotes and teaches children the value of teamwork, camaraderie and creates lifelong friendships. It also helps to bring in a large amount of revenue to the ski field operations as well as the wider the region.
These clubs have provided thousands of families across multiple generations the ability to access, enjoy and experience the mountain and learn about its unique environment. The clubs also provide on-mountain accommodation to hundreds of school groups and special needs groups from all over the North Island whom they host each year at low cost. A number of these groups could not afford their Mountain trip without the clubs subsidised rates.
Two of the Save Mt Ruapehu group core members Mike Jones and Jason Platt have been involved in mountain clubs for many decades. Both are also past presidents of clubs and have a thorough understanding of the club community.
The Save Mt Ruapehu group are liaising with the Ruapehu Mountain Clubs Association (RMCA) as well as other club members and leadership to canvas their views and understand their priorities.