The future of an alpine hut on Aoraki/Mt Cook extensively
damaged in a rock avalanche last month will not be known
The Department of Conservation has temporarily closed its
37-year-old Gardiner Hut, until a detailed, on-site
engineering report can be carried out to accurately assess
the level of damage caused by a rockfall from the south face
of Mt Cook about July 14.
Doc media adviser Lizzy Sutcliffe said the assessment could
not take place until the summer months when the snow had
melted away from the sides of the hut so the entire structure
could be viewed and the foundations inspected.
The GNS Science assessment report from aerial inspection and
supplied photographs said Gardiner Hut was partially buried,
possibly moved on its foundations and deformed because of
burial weight and projectile rock damage.
The hut's toilet has been destroyed and cables installed on
nearby Pudding Rock to aid access to the hut may also have
been destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
''As for whether the damage to the hut is terminal requiring
replacement will depend on the type of damage inflicted and
the cost for repairs,'' Miss Sutcliffe said.
Climbers were advised to keep out of the Noeline Glacier
region of the upper Hooker Valley area while the avalanche
area stabilised, as there would be a period of heightened
The situation would remain unchanged until at least late
summer-early autumn 2015 and could worsen. firstname.lastname@example.org