The day started gloomy. It continued gloomy, with showers.

This was the day that the predicted rain with a cold front came through, but mostly affecting the West Coast. Then again, just over the hill is the Glenroy River, which flows west.

I was at the hut for a measure-up and also to check on the structure. How it might be restored to last another 50 years.

I started by packing up my own gear so it wouldn’t get in the way, then stacked a new green mattress on my bunk, followed by an old white New Zealand Forest Service mattress, and then some old potato sacking from about 65 years ago. The chain wire underneath supporting the bunk was robust.

I had to dig away soil buildup to check the bottom plate. There didn’t appear to be much remaining, and the base of the treated pine stud buried in the ground had also started rotting away.

The treated pine is durable if kept dry, like in the rafters, but deteriorates over time when wet.

In between showers, I dug away at the outside to see the bottom edge of the cladding that was well buried.

I measured everything that was nailed together, and drew various elevations and sections.

All this was useful info for coming up with a viable restoration plan. The scope of work was clearly more than was initially anticipated, so I had to develop a coherent argument to justify the proposed work.

Seemed the hut had a few significant issues: dealing with the dirt floor dampness would need a moisture barrier that would need to be protected; the fill aspect of the cut-and-fill had slumped and the hut was on a 2º slope in two directions; the door and chimney openings weren’t tied together at the base and the north wall was opening up with a 75 mm gap at the door. As well as the bottom plate replacement, removing the lead-headed nails and replacing the bitumen-based building paper with fireproof building wrap. Painting the walls and roof after the surface rust treatment.

Interspaced were a few sorties around the hut. One to the camping site up the hill, a great place, but quite small. Just behind that scenic Wonderland, there was a much better water point than what I had previously found. I took photos of some lovely beech trees dripping with lichen, intense green after the damp conditions.

There was plenty of thinking about how to get out to civilisation, but the clear option was to go over to Nardoo Hut, as Nardoo Creek is generally wider and flatter than Burn Creek. There are just as many crossings, but at the end is a bridge over the Matakitaki River, not far from the car park.

That would solve the issue of crossing a major river as the small catchments will go down well before the massive Matakitaki would.

And that was the day.

← Day 4 | Burn Creek Hut Day 6 | Burn Creek Hut, Night 3 →