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10 April 2009


Well done Frank - take a bow.

Thank you Adrian. You're very kind.

Hello Frank, I too had heard that getting to Big Tops was a mission and it had a mystical fascination with me for quite a while. I eventually make the trek in with another CTC member in March '06. I have never been to another hut with such a great range of accoutrements. It was a great weekend. I met you and Honora 6 months earlier at Ranger Biv. What a trip that is too, but that's another story.

Hi Craig, yes I remember you and Mike at Ranger Biv. Good to hear you've been in to Big Tops too. Townsend Hut and Minchin Biv are two more that might be right up your alley if you haven't been to them already.

Yes I did visit Townsend hut on the way out from Big Tops. I have visited 20 huts in Arthurs Pass up until now with a desire to do more. I now live with my wife and son in Hawkes Bay, but miss the South Island a great deal. I think the mainland will lure us back sometime, so many more places yet to discover. The Kawekas and Ruahines are quite good, but not as good as the south. Best wishes to yourself and Honora :-)

Congratulations Frank for all your good work with Koropuku/Big Tops.

It has been a long time since I have been back to this special location. My first trip funnily enough wasn't with CTC. Instead it was in 1973 when we were doing the official survey of the alpine plants of Arthur's Pass National Park for the Park Board. We hiked in by way of Townsend Hut and across the Main Divide tops and then down the Koropuku headwaters (in mist!) and eventually found the hut, stuffed full with Forest Service canned food. When we arrived into the ribbonwood clearing around the hut there was deer sitting out side the hut. We unkindly shot it and feasted on venison for the next week!

I went back a few times in the 1970s. But, although we have lived in the Upper Waimakariri on Cora Lynn Station /Wilderness Lodge since 1995, I haven't yet had the chance to return to the magical Koropuku.

Keep up your great work saving historic heritage.

Gerry McSweeney gerry@wildernesslodge.co.nz

Is there a feasible route from Koropuku Hut up Koropuku valley and then onto ridge near Mt Koeti and down to Townsend hut?

Yes, Tui, the Koropuku above the hut is delightful travel, with only a couple of large glacial boulders to scramble around. The two large basins in its head are open tussock with easy scree access to the ridge. On the other side the two basins are easy to walk around at mid basin height, before descending through scattered small dracophyllum scrub to Townsend Hut. Thanks for prompting me to put up some detail on this.

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