Sierra Mountain Center

California’s premier mountaineering school and guide service – Bishop, CA

Hokitka on West Coast in New Zealand- Jan. 2013

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The Wet West Coast
West side of the South Island has always had a reputation. Annual rainfall here can be up to almost 60 feet of water. The forest is rainforest and often a battle to get through. Rivers come up and people are stranded for days. A bridge on the main highway washed out here three weeks ago after over two feet of rain in six hours.
So getting around is a problem.
With a flight to catch in a few days I could not afford to get stuck so I took a short hike up to the Mt Brown hut, a short but steep four hour hike. In the 1960s and 1970 the NZ Forest Service built a lot of backcountry huts. Over the years these slowly deteriorated, but as is the case with government departments everywhere there is little money available these days to maintain them. Consequently there has been a move to allow local clubs and interested people to maintain them. This is the case with Mt Brown which was completely rebuilt by a group of locals from Hokitika using some materials from an old nearby hut and then lots of new materials flown to the site. It makes for the perfect place to go quickly with few of the problems of the west coast.
The hut even has it’s own Facebook page.
Had the place to my self except for a curious weka. A perfect sunset with the sun slanting in under leaden skies and a small coal stove to chase the chill away.
Doesn’t come much better.
SP
Hokitika Hokitika 1 Hokitika 2 Hokitika 3 Hokitika 4 Hokitika 5

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Written by SP Parker

January 16, 2013 at 12:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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