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Mountain Turk Club members battled deep snow and worsening weather to install three huts along the Mahu Whenua Traverse earlier this week.
The four-bunk huts — built using plastic water tanks as a shell — are being placed along the spine of the Harris Mountains.
They will provide shelter for ski-tourers — and trampers in summer — on a 45km route between Coronet Peak and Treble Cone skifields.
Club founder Erik Bradshaw, who designed the huts as well as their separate toilets, said he and "four of the strongest blokes I could find" moved about 16 tonnes of snow and gravel in eight hours to do the job.
Encountering snow up to 2m deep, they had to use avalanche probes to find two of the huts’ foundations, Mr Bradshaw said.
A Heli Glenorchy helicopter was used to lower the huts on to the pre-positioned wooden foundations.
Huts were now in place on Vanguard Peak, Mt Saint Just and Mt Hyde, and he hoped to have the final two huts installed — and all five fully commissioned — by late August.
A sixth Turk that was not part of the Traverse was installed near Mt Sale, above Arrowtown, a fortnight ago, replacing an older version, Mr Bradshaw said.