KOSCIUSZKO HUTS ASSOCIATION

photo of melbourne university mountaineering club hutLocated at North West Spur, Mt Feathertop and shown on the Bogong High Plains Map at GR112177.

Photo: Gary Duncan, 1993

Also known as Melbourne University Mountaineering Club Hut or "Mum-Cee".

History

MUMC was originally founded in 1944 by undergraduate skiers. MUMC is famous for their logo, created by Niall Brennan in 1946 showing a mountaineer carrying a wide pack and ice axe and known across the world as the Oxo Man.

The death of members Doug Hatt and Russell Judge climbing in NZ inspired the erection of this unusual hut as a base camp for climbers and skiers, learning their trade. It is in the shape of a geodesic dome, originally shiny silver. Its construction was an immense task.

Peter Kneen designed the building which was completed at Easter 1966. Tom Kneen also helped with the design. Tom (not Peter as previously reported) died in a snow collapse on Feathertop in 1985.

MUMC was also a stimulus for the other climbing across Australia. They also introduced orienteering to the country. The wood stove has now been removed ( a poor decision when other options are available), making it a very cold place in winter.

Construction

Building the hut was a real headache with the materials being carried up the spur for 3.7 miles. Some say that this came up the NW Spur, but this seems unlikely as others consider that it came along the road on the North Razorback, it being open (and relatively flat) at the time (compared to the NW Spur track which was overgrown by the late 1970's). NW Spur is also a very steep and nasty climb.

The hut is an aluminium geodesic dome and caused a considerable stir at the time being quite large at 6.4m diameter, double storied and including a cellar. It has now been painted a less visible green colour.

There are 15 equilateral facets at the base, allowing a mezzanine to be built in side. The ceiling height is 2.3m over a polished hardwood floor. There are 7 windows and a porch. Water is collected from the porch roof and stored in a tank under the floor. There is no lining!

References

  • Hueneke Pp102, 125, 241.
  • Butler p202 to 206
  • Holth p90
  • David Sisson - pers comm.
  • Andrew Oppenheim - pers comm.

Profile updated 31 March 2004.