I recently spent a fascinating few hours with Amelia Lewis walking around the ski resort on Mt Ruapehu on New Zealand's North Island and observing the architecture of the various ski lodges. I have a long history of love for all things winter and especially snow sports. In my youth I spent a few years working the ski lifts at Falls Creek in Victoria and more recently a couple of trips to Canada to ski on their amazing winter slopes. My vision of ski resorts in the summer season is one of fresh green grass and carefully place hay over rocks to make the most of early season snow falls - not this resort.It is on the side of one of the most active volcanos in the world. Volcano warning signs are everywhere including maps of where to go when the sirens are blasting and an eruption is imminent. The last major eruption occurred in 1996 with several smaller events since then. The summer landscape is quite surreal with various lodges clinging to the side of the mountain with minimal vegetation eking out a living amongst the rocks. For my money the best business in town must be ski repairs with the amount of rocks that would exposed through the snow during the early or late season.