Despite the protestations of a certain long haired club member, oft quoted as saying “I’ve retired”, the Mountain House Hut was demolished by a Club work party ca. 2001. In its place, a pragmatic structure now stands known as Mountain House Shelter. This shelter was built off-site by club members under the close supervision of Gerard Galvin, before being choppered into place. A gallant few also dug the original hole for the long drop.
Wind the clock forward a dozen or so years and a Jumbo-Holdsworth family trip offered a chance for a quick inspection. Strange holes had appeared in the polycarbonate roofing causing water damage to the internal walls, graffiti of the non-artistic type was spreading and the long drop was perilously close to ‘topping out’.
A few old-timers involved in the demolition and new shelter construction came up with a plan to give the shelter a facelift after a short reccie trip earlier in 2014 to temporarily patch the roof and deal to the worst of the graffiti (Thanks John D, Stuart, Mike and Andrew).
Our team made for an interesting sight at Holdsworth car-park on 13 December armed with tools and hardware. The weather was not kind to us with some very cool temperatures and rain after lunch. But that didn’t stop the enthusiasm particualarly amongst those digging the new long drop.
By the end of the day we had:
- rat-proofed the roof with ply inserts;
- cleaned, resanded and touch-up painted the shelter’s internals;
- cleaned the shelter outside cladding and water tank externally;
- dug a new longdrop and relocated toilet building; and
- partially gravelled track to toilet.
Mountain House Shelter now looks like the day it was built. We will get back to do some tidy up work around the toilet, but otherwise it was satisfying to get the job mostly done.
A big thanks to John Duggan, Sarah Duggan, John Rhodes, Andrew McLellan, James Beard, John Thomson, Phil Kendon and Stuart Palmer for their help. And also thanks to the Tararua Aorangi Rimutaka Huts Commitee for covering the costs.