Newsletter, April 2015

Tim Tyler, Sally Ward, Joe & Sharon Bretherton


  Download the printed version of the newsletter (8 pages colour), as a small 1 megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)


After the death of Ruth Hesselyn in March 2012, the club decided to take on the refurbishment of Flora Hut as a memorial project. The first working bee was held in March 2013 when the roof was renovated.

This year we have undertaken the next stage of the project which is renovating the walls of the hut. There have been three weekends when people have worked on the hut. The first involved replacing the rusted gutters on each of the two chimneys. The second and main working bee of 14 people got the exterior walls painted and lining installed in the woodshed to protect the walls from damage. The third weekend completed the interior roof insulation and lining of one bunk-room.

This year we have been assisted financially with a $6,500 grant from the Outdoor Recreation Consortium administered by FMC. The creation of this $700,000 fund was announced by Nick Smith at our AGM last year

There is still plenty of work to be done at Flora Hut. Some fire-damaged wood next to the fireplace needs replacing; both fireplaces are to have firebricks installed and the rest of the interior lining is waiting to be done. Some of this will be completed soon, but there will be more work required next summer.

It has been satisfying to have families with young children, even one baby, staying at the hut while we have been there. This hut is ideally sited for introducing boys and girls to the mountains.  I have found participating in this project to be fun, sociable and satisfying. Thanks to the people who have contributed their time, energy and skills to achieve the great results so far.

See you at pub & club nights....

Ian Morris,


1 Place of birth:  Hokitika, although I grew up in Christchurch

2 Occupation:  Retired IT manager

3 Been a member for:  2 years

4 How have you benefitted from being a member?  Making a new network of friends since I have moved to Nelson recently.  Going tramping to places that I didn’t know about.

5 Best tramp was: Everest base camp.

6 Worst tramp was: On the northern slopes of Mt Hutt when I jumped down a bank onto a scree slope that proved to be hard, not soft.  I took the skin off my finger tips trying to stop.

7 Funniest moment was: 1971 down the Hollyford with an Aussie mate. It rained on the second day and he announced that he doesn’t walk in the rain!  We didn’t get very far on that Fiordland trip.

8 Scariest moment was: Camped in Svalbard where the risk of polar bear attack meant that our guides always had loaded rifles at their sides, and we slept with trip wire and detonators around our tents.  You had to be very careful going to the toilet.

9 Favourite tramping hut is: Ministry of Works Historic Hut, Kahurangi National Park.

10 What wild place would you put at the top of your ‘bucket list’? Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile.

CLUBNITES > Put on your calendar!

Monday 13 April > Pub Night

The Free House | 95 Collingwood St, Nelson | From 7pm onwards...

Catch up with club members and talk about upcoming trips.

Bring along maps and ideas so that we can fill the programme.

Email: Kate Krawczyk for info.

Monday 4 May > Club Night > Rock Wren

7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, Nelson South

Speakers: Tristan & Anya Rawlence / DOC

"Study of the elusive Rock Wren, hidden on the Garibaldi Range, Kahurangi National Park".

DOC are funding a study of the Rock Wren in the wilderness section of Kahurangi. This area has no huts or tracks. Come along and listen to the work being done and see a spectacular portion of Kahurangi that few trampers ever venture in to.

Monday 8 June > Club Night > Project Janszoon

7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, Nelson South

Speaker: Devon McLean / Project Janszoon

Devon is the Director of Project Janszoon, the organisation that aims to get Abel Tasman National Park free of predators. He will speak on the progress so far and the Project’s aims for the future.

Monday 6 July > Pub Night

Venue to be advised

Monday 10 August > Club AGM > Aat Vervoorn

7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, Nelson South

Speaker: Aat Vervoorn

The AGM is an important annual event for the club to review the status and plan our future.

Regarding the committee, please consider putting your or another name forward for the Committee. Nominations close in late July so you cannot be dragooned at the AGM. Contact the Secretary Pat Holland for a Nomination Form. We keep the AGM very brief but functional. Come along and contribute, then be entertained with our special guest speaker.

Aat Vervoorn is best known for the books he has written. Perhaps the most famous is entitled Mountain Solitudes, a sequel to Beyond the Snowline. The epic draws on 15 years of solo mountaineering and tramping in the rugged South Westland section of our Southern Alps; country that includes the high peaks of Cook, Tasman, Hooker, and such wild and remote valley systems as the Landsborough, Paringa and Copland.

In a reflective and original style, Vervoorn explores a number of central themes, particularly that of gaining mastery in, rather than over, the mountain environment, and a rejection of the notion that a good mountaineering trip has to have close shaves and suffering to be successful.


Organiser: Ian Morris

Following on from the previous working bee in March 2013 when the Flora hut roof was renovated, this year our objective was to line the woodshed, paint the exterior walls and line the interior. 

Work started a fortnight earlier when a small group accompanied Tom Bruce, a roof flashing expert, to replace the rusted gutters on each chimney.

On 14–15 March the activity commenced with shifting all the firewood out of the woodshed and excavating about half a metre of rotten wood debris that had accumulated underneath. It would have been perfect garden mulch – Kate wished she had brought a trailer.  Bob took on the responsibility of designing and installing the woodshed lining which he did very neatly.  The walls are now well protected from flying lumps of firewood and even over-vigorous use of the axe!

Brian took charge of preparing the iron walls of the hut and had several assistants removing rust and filling holes, prior to applying the galvanising undercoat. Pat controlled the team preparing the woodwork for painting. Most of the painting was done on Sunday and Michael Kirwan, who is a professional painter, gave us invaluable advice.  It was a relief to have warm sunny weather after the frost, ensuring both coats of paint dried quickly.  The walls are now Bowman (creamy yellow) and the doors and windows frames are Nelson Red.  The colours were chosen to be historically accurate to match an old 1928 black and white photo of the hut, strangely enough!

Kate took the lead clearing the drainage trench across the back of the hut utilising her gardening skills.  Marilyn arranged flat rocks beneath the eaves where the water drips without any gutters on the roof.  Brian and Mark put polyurethane on the plywood ready for lining inside the hut.

One week later Silvano installed polystyrene insulation and plywood lining on the ceiling of one bunk-room, not an easy job, because nothing was square. This bunk-room should be slightly warmer this winter – it will be better still when we get the walls insulated and lined.

Participants on 28 February: Tom Bruce, Simon Ridgen, Ian Morris, Marilyn Morris, Lawrie Halkett, Kay Halkett, Bill Fergie.

Participants on 14–15 March: Ian Morris, Marilyn Morris, Pat Holland, Chris Louth, Marie Lenting, Mark Grasser, Joe Bretherton, Sharon Bretherton, Kate Krawczyk, John Whibley, Brian Renwick, Tim Tyler, Bob Janssen, Michael Kirwan.

Participants on 21 March: Silvano Lorandi, Ian Morris

FACEBOOK PAGE > Join in the fun!

Kate Krawczyk has spearheaded another great initiative... this time it’s our very own virtual pub night, a.k.a., a club Facebook page.

Yep, we’ve finally embraced the digital age, so get used to it, Luddites!
On this social networking website you may:

  • Share your photos / videos of a tramping trip
  • Share your opinions & trip ideas
  • Keep up-to-date with what’s happening

Remember, ‘sharing is caring’... so keep all your comments positive on this forum. Here’s the link:


3-11 JULY – Wanaka, Cromwell & Queenstown

This year marks the 13th year of the NZ Mountain Film Festival. A favourite event amongst mountain enthusiasts, filmmakers and adventurers, the Festival will return to Wanaka, Cromwell and Queenstown on July 3 to 11. The Wanaka 5-day programme includes several new shows and the Queenstown programme has been extended to 3 days. The Photography & Movie Competitions are also a huge draw-card.

Keynote Speaker extraordinaire : Alex Hannold

This world famous climber has featured in a bunch of movies. This phenomenal athlete holds many records for free solo ascents of big walls, most notably the only known solo ascent of the Yosemite Triple Crown. It is not only Alex’s physical feats that are memorable; his calm and cheerful character is infectious. His warm smile and cheeky demeanour are sure to captivate the audience at this year’s Festival.

Tickets: Tickets to the festival go on sale on, June 3, mark your calendars! The Festival opens in Wanaka July 3rd, and closes in Queenstown on July 11th.

Trevinos Conference Centre, 22 Riccarton Road, Christchurch 

A brief AGM will be held in the morning followed by three speakers:

   Robin McNeill, President, FMC

   Hon. Maggie Barry, Minister for Conservation

   Lou Sanson, Director-General, Conservation Department

After lunch there will be workshops:  

– Achievements from Partnership: the new Huts & Tracks fund and how to do more of it.

– Intro to CCPF and H&T (Robin McNeil).

– Around the Country: Slide show and brief presentations from projects from around the country.

– Restoring old huts for use: The experience of getting on with the job, sorting the bureaucracy and practical issues.

– How Permolat operates, how it evolved, and tips and tricks for hut and track work.

– Practical tips from restoration of Tunnel Creek Hut, Paringa River (Geoff Spearpoint).

– The land managers’ perspective: key DOC staff.

Panel Discussions with audience participation:

– Panel 1:  Getting going - tips, tricks and other ideas to save reinventing the wheel.

– Panel 2:  What can go wrong? Are you going to court when it does? HSE, OSH and contracts in practice.

– Panel 3:  Websites, Facebook & Wiki. Can we share our ideas better?

– Panel 4:  Where to next for the H&T fund?

Discussions, information sharing and chats over drinks.

NTC members are very welcome to attend this event. Pat Holland will be going as a current member of the FMC Executive and can provide transport.


CLICK HERE to view the best of our annual photography competition, displayed as a slideshow on our club website.

Thank you to Mark Graesser for his dedication in designing this feature.


> Nelson area

The Dun Mountain Track is closed due to slips. The entire Brook Sanctuary is closed during weekdays for the predator fence construction. See closures.

> Mt Richmond Forest Park

Mount Fell Hut has finally been closed due to its hazardous location, prone to slips or rockfall.

> Kahurangi National Park

Balloon Hut Renovation

Waimea Tramping Club were suc-cessful in its application to the Outdoor Recreation Consortium.

Their application was approved in March for $12,863.50.

These funds will pay for the replacement of the gas heater, a new wood burner, along with a flue, hearth and woodshed, plus associated costs.
(Not sure what the 50 cents will pay for – Ed.)

> Nelson Lakes National Park

The atrocious windfalls in the lower DÚrville Valley have now been cleared. The work took over 300 man-hours over four days. Thanks, DOC!














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