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Massive weekend for Methven

Massive weekend for Methven

Methven and Mt Hutt was thumping for Mt Hutt's 50th anniversary celebrations over the weekend.

Ski area manager James McKenzie said the celebrations were "absolutely fabulous" with a wide range of activities that covered all the bases.

The party kicked off on Thursday with tractor and lantern parades followed by iconic Kiwi band Dragon rocking into the night, with about 2500 people in Methven for the event.

"There was a phenomenal atmosphere, with everyone from young kids to oldies. The whole community was engaged and behind it," McKenzie said.

This was followed by the Mad Hutters Tea Party on Friday.

"People who had a part to play in Mt Hutt's 50-year history shared stories about their time on the mountain."

Saturday brought "fantastic conditions" for the all-day White Out music festival with bluebird conditions for both skiers and party-goers.

An inflatable ice rink and rail jam in Methven provided hours of fun, while hardcore ski enthusiasts tried to carve their way through a 50-hour endurance challenge, tackled the multi-day 50,000m vertical challenge, or put in quick turns through the 50-gate slalom course on the slopes.

McKenzie said there were about 200 entries in the slalom competition.

A total of 20 hardy skiers completed the 50-hour ski endurance challenge which ended at abut 8pm on Sunday.

A couple of competitors were too tired to drive down on Sunday and spend a third night on the mountain, McKenzie said.

Sunday's moonlight ski event was postponed due to cloudy and snowy weather - and will now be held on Wednesday.

The snow on Sunday night had allowed Mt Hutt to open every bit of terrain on the ski field on Monday. It was the first that a few runs on the edges of the field had opened this season, McKenzie said.

by Sharon Davis