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'It was my kind of crazy'

The finishers of Mt Hutt's 50-hour ski challenge run as part of Mt Hutt's 50th birthday celebrations.
A total of 22 hardcore skiers completed the 50-hour ski challenge as part of Mt Hutt's 50th birthday celebrations last weekend. Photo: Supplied.

A Mt Hutt regular has added another crazy feat to his ski career completing two gruelling ski challenges last weekend.

Brendan Lindsay was the only person to complete both the 50-hour ski challenge and the 50,000m vertical challenge run as part of Mt Hutt’s 50th birthday celebrations.

“It was my kind of crazy,” said Lindsay, who has been a regular at Mt Hutt for the past "10-or-so years".

Lindsay is no stranger to crazy challenges at Mt Hutt. This season he was one of two people to sleep on the chair lifts before the opening this season.

“I was up there 50 hours early for the opening of the 50th (season).”

Lindsay spent two nights sleeping on the chair lifts before opening day.

The other person doing the crazy yards on the ski lift with Lindsay heard him snoring. In the he morning demanded to know how Lindsay fell asleep.

But it was not Lindsay's first ski lift sleep out.

In 2019, Lindsay managed a hat trick. He slept out to be first on the ski lifts for all three NZSki’s fields - Mt Hutt, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.

This season, Lindsay has also skied all three ski fields on the same day.

The prize of a ski pass for next season was an attraction, but not the real reason Lindsay entered the challenges.

Lindsay said he would willingly do any challenge that involved Mt Hutt and skiing.

Going into the event, Lindsay expected the 50-hour challenge to be the hardest, with the lack of sleep.

He admits feeling “a bit loopy” at some stage but found the challenge easier than the 50,000m vertical challenge.

A total of 22 people completed the 50-hour challenge, with only a few entrants dropping out.

"Everyone was stoked to complete the challenge."

The winner of the ski pass had a hard fall early in the challenge and had thought of dropping out. Lindsay said he was pleased to see his name drawn out of the hat for the prize.

Lindsay said the Saturday and Sunday nights were the hardest part of the 50-hour challenge.

The cloud rolled in at about midnight on Saturday and between 2am and 4am conditions were "uncomfortable" with poor visibility.

"It was hard to see the edges. We had to wait for the groomers to clear the run and set it up so it was safer."

By Sunday evening the conditions deteriorated as the snowstorm blew in.

Only three people completed the 50,000m vertical challenge in the allotted five days.

The challenge required 108 rides up the Summit Six and down the mountain, Lindsay said.

One of the competitors completed the challenge in two-and-a-half days.

Lindsay took last Tuesday off work and got 51 runs in to get a good start.

He was back on the mountain on Friday afternoon to get some runs in before the 50-hour challenge started.

The runs for the vertical challenge had to be completed between 8am and 4pm to be recorded - so a number of his night-time runs did not count toward that challenge, Lindsay said

By Sunday morning Lindsay only needed four runs to complete the vertical challenge. He ticked that off by 9.01 am but still had hours to go on the 50-hour challenge and skied into deteriorating conditions.

Lindsay said the challenges were a "crazy idea" and he didn't think Mt Hutt would repeat them.

"Everyone appreciated the work of the staff.”

Those working overnight on Saturday had chosen not to take part in Methven's biggest party. Teamwork made it possible, Lindsay said.

by Sharon Davis

Brendan Lindsay sporting his first on chair shirt from Mt Hutt's opening day this year. Photo: Julie Moffett.