I have little sympathy for those who complain about snoring in a public hut.


What do you expect in a hut full of strangers. And, man, if it’s a problem, wake them up.

There was a lot of giggles when I asked if everyone had slept well, the seven-person family all sitting up in their occupied top bunk, still in their sleeping bags.

At least I have my tiny radio to listen to which covers any extraneous noise.


As good as you might expect at this time of year: the single word, fine.

I sat around drinking coffee and munching my muesli, chatting away about things various. The change in the vegetation since my plant survey days, there’s now plenty of undergrowth due to the cull of the deer via helicopter. The succulent species are making a major comeback.

Eventually everyone left and I had the hut to myself, and then I left, well, before 10.

It was five hours up to John Tait Hut, thinking that if I made it there before 2 pm I would continue on my march up to Cupola.

There were five women and a bloke in the hut, fire going already and I consulted the map. A surprise, the turnoff was a kilometre up the valley, much closer than I had remembered. Then it was a question of whether it was 2.5 or 3 hours up the hill, it’s quite a climb from 800 m at John Reid to almost 1400 m at Cupola. Despite the welcoming nature of the hut occupants I thought, humm, what’s the time?

2 58 pm, someone said.

Thinking I could get up there before dark, actually it would be just on dark, it was on with my boots again and away. If the sign said three hours I could always come back.

Yay!! 2.5 hours!!

A steady plod up the little valley, a good track, just up, up and up and then the last bit, 200 m straight up.

No worries, maybe I had some remaining conditioning from Mt Fell a few weeks ago.

Oh, still climbing, maybe not.

Eventually I stumbled in, four bodies already resident in the six bunk hut: a climber who had spent the day going up the gnarly Mt Cupola, 2260 m, a mother/daughter combo mucking around for three nights, and a hunter going for early morning and evening walks, no game sighted.

The wood burner was going.

Cosy as.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Cupola Hut

An oldy, but a goody. | Cupola Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park
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