'Ski addicts' get early run

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 07:34 06/03/2012

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Four "ski addicts" were able to get their fix on Mt Hutt after the weekend's weather bomb coated the mountain with snow.

Methven resident Ryan Grice, 32, has spent the past two days snowboarding down the deserted Mt Hutt Ski Area trails.

He has been snowboarding for about 17 years and said it was the first time he had "rode the mountain" in March.

"Being a snowboarder, you hang out all summer for snow and you never get a whole mountain to yourself, so it's pretty awesome," he said.

"We were pumped driving up the access road, and when we got to the snow line we were just fizzing."

The New Zealand ski season usually runs from June to October, but last weekend there was a snowfall of about 50 centimetres over Mt Hutt.

Grice shared the mountain alongside Duane Schroeder, 36, and James Collins, 34, who had brought his father up to ski the mountain for his birthday.

Paul Collins, who referred to himself as a "ski addict", turned 63 on Sunday and said it was a "pretty awesome" present to head up Mt Hutt.

He has been skiing the slopes for about 25 years but had never had a birthday ride.

Mt Hutt Ski Area marketing manager James Urquhart said it was a "big novelty" to have such a heavy snowfall at this time of year.

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- The Press

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