Friday, October 06, 2006

Moving a Dream to Reality

Alpine huts are expensive as there construction must stand up to the rigors of the mountain environment. Also climbers are not the most gentle of occupants, and they are of course located in areas where construction material must be air lifted into place. The cost of a new hut depends on many vaiables including size, design, voluntary labour input, donations of materials, etc.

Currently the financial cost of building a new Erica Hut may fall between $300,000 and $400,000. No one source of funding is able to cover this considerable outlay and so more creative thinking is required. Splitting the cost four ways would spread the cost and possibly enable the dream to move to reality.

The Erica Beuzenberg Trust has an amount of money available for the project and is keen to move forward with further fundraising and planning.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) who owned and managed the old huts in the area has always expressed support for a new hut and this view was confirmed in the recently updated Aoraki Mt Cook National Park Management Plan. It is hoped that they are able to contribute financially to the project.

The New Zealand Alpine Club has a future club project fund which could be devoted to this important climbing location. As a leading provider of alpine accommodation around the country, the Club is well placed to provide, along with DoC, the administration and support required for running such an alpine hut.

A further sum of money would still be required and could perhaps be gained from funding sources such of lottery and community boards. Commercial sponsors and other supporters could also be approached to make up the shortfall. Two architects, one a CMC member from Christchurch and one an NZAC member from Auckland have both volunteered their services.

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