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March 2019 Issue
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Busy summer for Backcountry Trust

A team from Permolat West Coast stripped, re-clad and re-roofed Crystal Biv in the Toaroha Valley. Photo: Rob Brown

The oldest hut in Fiordland is one of many to receive maintenance during a productive season for the Backcountry Trust.

Stage one of the rebuild of the 1928 Hankinson Hut was completed in early February by a team from Fiordland Wapiti Foundation.

The floor, subfloor and piles of the 14 bunk hut were redone, the framing was fixed and the hut re-clad around the original iron.

It was discovered during maintenance that much of the interior linings will need replacing, and grooved plywood reconstruction is planned to retain the aesthetic of the historic hut.

Backcountry Trust manager Rob Brown says the hut is back functioning, but a completion date is not known.
A rebuild of Upper Nina Bivvy in Lake Sumner Forest Park was another highlight for the trust, with five volunteers spending eight days working on the project in early December.

The hut was re-roofed and re-lined, and a new toilet and woodshed were built.

Other projects include restoration of the 1964 Crystal Biv in Toaroha Valley, a complete rebuild of Mingha Biv in Arthur’s Pass National Park and maintenance of Broderick Hut in Ruataniwha Conservation Park.

Brown said the summer had been a productive one, and he hoped a number of projects will be ticked off by the end of the season.

“Things usually quieten down after April and then start up again in October,” he said.

The trust is currently seeking donations to help fund around 70 active projects.

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