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March 2018 Issue
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Hut gets makeover for 50th

An isolated hut in North Canterbury got a new lick of paint for its 50th birthday, thanks to volunteers from the Canterbury Alpine Club and DOC.

DOC visitor facilities ranger Jim Henderson helped with the project and said Glenrae Biv, in Sumner Forest Park, is the latest in a number of huts that the volunteers have repainted.

Henderson said the hut hadn’t been painted since it was first built in 1968.

“It is an incredibly well preserved example of an old forest service animal control hut and one of the most isolated huts in the region,” he said.

The two-bunk hut can only be accessed via an alpine pass from Coldstream Hut on the Jolly Brook Circuit, or about three hours upstream from Glenrae Hut.

“The Glenrae Valley is quite a spectacular place,” Henderson said. “It’s as close as you can get to a wilderness experience without being in a Wilderness Area.”

Henderson’s family (his wife Claire and their children Mari and Hamish) worked alongside Alpine Club volunteers Neil Pilbrow, Dave Kennedy, Carolyn Catt, and Rod Thompson on the project. The group has previously painted Unknown Stream and Moa Stream huts in the Wilberforce Valley, and Tarn and Youngman Stream huts in the Puketeraki Range.

“Because the huts are so isolated, they are all low priority for DOC, so they don’t get a lot of maintenance,” Henderson said. “Getting volunteers helping out like this means we are able to make a difference and bring them up to standard.”