Skier cleans up on slopes

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A prolific skier is feeling “stoked” after clocking up more than 1.3 million vertical metres at Queenstown’s skifields this season while working full-time.

Queenstowner Natalie Urbani, 35, didn’t plan on being one of the busiest skiers on the mountain when she first slipped on her skis in June, but has since completed 3558 runs in total at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.

Urbani says she was “pretty much up and down all day” each time she went skiing.

She nipped at the heels of longstanding record-holder Tomoyuki Imada, who achieved the most vertical metres this season across Coronet Peak, The Remarks and Mt Hutt, with a total of 1,437,886m.

The hotel room attendant achieved the astonishing number of runs over 110 days – a vast improvement on her 740,000 vertical metres last season.

She managed to spend so much time on the slopes this season due to working a lot of late afternoon/evening shifts and by making sure she was one of the first people on the chairlift.

“Nothing held me back this year,” Urbani says.

“I literally just kept going and going.”

Urbani tracks her progress with the MyPass electronic ticketing system used by NZSki Ltd.

She rarely stops for lunch to keep her momentum going and usually carries snacks in her pockets.

Despite only getting about four hours’ sleep and skiing all day when she went up the mountain, Urbani still managed to work full-time throughout the season.

“The conditions this year have been great – you can ski everywhere,” she says.

“The snow just kept coming

“We didn’t have any hot spells like we sometimes do, which can cause snow to melt.”

Coronet Peak staff congratulated Urbani for her achievement by presenting her with a panoramic canvas print of the skifield, which she has proudly hung on her bedroom wall.

Coronet Peak ski area manager Nigel Kerr says: “This is enthusiasm and dedication exemplified.”

Urbani also got to share a ride on the last lift of the season with Coronet’s ski patrol team.

She says she won’t be here during the school holidays next season but still hopes to reach the one million vertical metres mark.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz