Weekend - Friday 23 March 2018 to Sunday 25 March 2018 (3 days)

Photos by Chris Burnett

The scene at Memorial Hut at its opening Easter weekend 1950 (the photograph has been transferred onto the cake made by Chris Ashton for our final weekend). Compare the outline and size of the hut as erected 68 years ago with that as it is today in photograph at the end of the article.

Memories of times spent at Memorial Hut - Ian Roberts

The imminent transfer of Memorial Hut to the Central Plateau Schools and the final official club weekend at the hut at the end of March stirred up memories of times spent there over the past 52 years.

Working Bees

· Bunkroom extensions - my first working bee

· ‘Bog bailing’ - a gender specific task reserved for males

· Driving the truck from the Bruce Road to the hut and breaking the shock absorber mounting bolts

· Overheating the truck clutch when pulling rocks from the rear tank site

· Carpet laying, painting, washroom improvements, lounge extensions, digging the trench for the telephone cable.......the list goes on.....and all done in the spirit of ‘working bees are fun!’

Instruction weekends

· Self-arrests on the slopes of Te Iringa Ridge

· Abseiling into the stairwell

· Prussik loops to the loft

· Ski lessons and havoc on the learner slopes


· Putting on storm gear to visit the long drops

· Tar melting on the road at the top of the Bruce in September

· The picture window flexing in a storm and snow being driven into the ceiling space so that it snowed in the lounge

· Coping with an influx of ‘refugees’ - day visitors skiing in Happy Valley who were trapped on the mountain when a sudden storm closed the road and who had to be accommodated and fed for the night. A snowmobile with stock trailer attached took them away next morning!

· After a storm going to dig out my car but not finding the Bruce Road until I noticed I was standing on a car roof

Volcanic Events

· Watching ash clouds sweep across the summit and lahars racing down the snow like black rivers as Ruapheu erupted at 5pm one Saturday in the 1995 ski season - the lahars cut through ski tracks made only an hour previously.

· Glacier shelter peppered with rocks; the rocks crashed through the roof and left charred holes in the floor as the rocks burnt their way out

· Lahar damage to the café at Hut Flat in a 1970s eruption


· Climbing Tahurangi and Girdlestone one summer’s day

· Climbing the Pinnacles with Rick Davies

· Crossing the park from the Desert Road to Ohakune via Waihohonu at Easter and seeing nobody except at Park HQ

· Skiing from the Crater rim to Scoria Flat

These are just some of my memories of times at Mem Hut, and most Club members will have their own of time spent at the Hut and on the Mountain.

For some of us Mem Hut has always been part of our lives......but times change and we move on.

Ian cutting the cake

A younger generation can make their own memories - Central Plateau Schools, welcome to our world!

Ian locking the door

Ian, being the longest standing club member present (52 years) got to cut the cake and lock the door.

Leaving Mem hut on Sunday morning - Anna, Brian, Graham

Loading Big Blue ; Ruapehu looming over the scene.

Club members who attended the weekend (L to R) :

















Noel Ashton, Jeanette Howie, Chris Ashton, Cherie Cook, Keith Ayton, Liz Eden, Teresa Janssen, Graham Macgregor, Barbara Fish (partly obscured) Liz Ware, Chris Burnett, Phil Ware, Tony Walton, Colin Tubbs, John Minson, Jim Morrow, Hazel Walton, Brian Alexander. Ian Roberts lying in front with Rob de Jong squatting alongside. Absent from photo - Anna Roberts (photographer) and Jean Barton