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Flattering: a press release from NPWS --

24 April 2012

Volunteers Easter efforts give historic mountain huts some much needed TLC


Whilst many visitors to Kosciuszko National Park over Easter enjoyed their time relaxing and recreating within the park, an intrepid band of volunteers from the Illawarra Alpine Club continued their Easter tradition of putting something back into the Park that they love to enjoy.

 The club which operates its Club ski lodge at Smiggin Holes, also operates as a volunteer Hut Caretaker Group under the auspices of the Kosciusko Huts Association, helping to maintain and preserve the iconic mountain huts within Kosciuszko National Park.

 NPWS Snowy River Area Manager, Pam O’Brien said ‘the Illawarra Alpine Club has a long association with the Tin Mine, Cascade and Teddys Huts, carrying out extensive restoration and maintenance works in conjunction with the KHA and NPWS since the early 1980’s.’ Ms O’Brien added ‘it would be fair to say that if it wasn’t for the efforts of this group of volunteers, led by local Jindabyne resident Pat Edmondson, that these historic huts that are enjoyed and treasured by many visitors would probably not be standing today.’

 27 volunteers from the club spent 4 days of their Easter holidays doing much needed maintenance and repair works to the State Heritage listed Tin Mines Mess Hut and Managers Hut, deep within the Pilot Wilderness Area  of Kosciuszko.

 Work carried out by the volunteers included dismantling the chimney structure of Mess Hut also known as the ‘Barn’ in preparation for chimneys planned reconstruction next spring. Repairs to the doors and window shutters, and drainage works around the hut were also carried out. The ‘Managers’ hut also known to many as ‘Carters’ hut, benefited from the renewing of the rammed earth floor, re-lining the internal walls and renewing the  chimney timber frame structure. Both huts interiors were also treated with a fire retardant coating and a general clean and tidy.

 Ms O’Brien added, ’ the excellent work carried out by the volunteers and dedication of volunteer groups such as the  Illawarra Alpine Club was phenomenal, and were an important  component in assisting NPWS to preserve the important heritage links of the huts and the mountain landscape and past land uses.’

 The Tin Mines Mess Hut and Managers Hut were originally built in 1936 by the Mount Pilot Tin Mine Syndicate to accommodate workers for the alluvial tin mining operation which only operated for 2 years before going into liquidation because of difficulties in access and poor returns.