Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Avo, Geo and DoC Reports

When talking about a new project like this clearly there are steps to be taken first to ensure that such a proposal is in fact feasible in terms of current policy and planning documents for the National Park, and that avalanche and geological risks are acceptable. This work has been completed for the proposed Beetham Hut site.

Department of Conservation Management Plan for Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

This plan under went review and was approved by the Conservation Authority in 2004. It specificity includes Beetham Hut and treats it as an existing 'hut site' under policy 4.2.7(a) & (c) on page 90 of the plan..

Aoraki Mt Cook Management Plan Park Policies (1.7M pdf)

Geological Baseline Inspection Report

An inspection of the site in 2005 came to the following conclusions:

  1. The foundation rock at the proposed new site for Beetham Hut is strong and stable, and shows no obvious deterioration or foundation collapse.
  2. The proposed new site is located on an old glacial bedrock bench, which is almost flat and well clear of steep slopes above or below it. It is essentially free of active geological hazards such as rock falls and foundation collapse, and there is also little risk from snow avalanches.
  3. The greatest geological hazard that could possibly affect the site is a large rock fall from the rock bluffs upslope to the east during an earthquake on the Alpine Fault, but such a rock fall is considered to be an extreme, low-probability event. Overall, the Geological Hazard (rock fall, debris flow, foundation erosion and collapse) at the new Beetham Hut site is rated as Low, with a Danger Rating also of Low.
  4. Accordingly, it is concluded that the site is suitable for overnight accommodation in the new Beetham Hut, offering sound and stable foundation conditions and few geological hazards that adversely affect the site, as well as good access and views, and close proximity to local rock climbing and ski touring areas.
Geological Report (pdf)

Avalanche Report

A report commissioned by NZAC in 2005 investigated four possible site (with D being the site proposed in this project) and came to the following conclusion:

"Of the four sites looked at, site D is the preferred site for a hut. It will not need protective
earthworks or extra strong construction like sites A and C. Its access is acceptable in terms of
avalanche risk for people accessing the site from the Beetham valley."

Avalanche Report (pdf)

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