My new summer job in Mt Aspiring National Park

It’s all been a bit serendipitous how after lightening my journey of baggage and possessions, how I was “ready” [for what some asked, and I had no answer], that I now find myself being the new summer warden of the iconic Aspiring Hut .

It’s in the West Matukituki Valley, Mt Aspiring National Park, near Wanaka., and is owned by the New Zealand Alpine Club and managed by the Dept. of Conservation.

Built in 1949, and in those days was about 6 hours walking from where early mountaineers left their cars. Now it’s about a 2.5 hour walk and frequented more by family groups and/or overseas backpackers…
Aspiring Hut

My humble abode for the summer. Note the Aspiring Hut wall on the right. I’ll be over there in the mornings cleaning when everyone is gone, then later in the day and evening to track parties, collect huts fees and/or tickets, and answer questions. The person in this photo is my friend and fellow volunteer Martin Curtis, a well known Cardrona folk singer, especially famous for his song about the Gin and Raspberry mining days of old up there www.ginandraspberry.com
Aspiring Hut Warden's Quarters

I won’t have a cat or dog for company, but these are some friends I made last year at this time. Hopefully they’ll be back soon…
Aspiring Hut

There is 4wd truck access across the farmland leading the hut and the National Park. Although I’ll be walking back to the car-park every couple of days to clean the toilets there, and can have food left in a little cupboard, other workers will be up the valley regularly in vehicles, so I won’t have to carry heavy loads too often…
DOC truck in Mt Aspiring National Park

The winter view up valley from the warden’s quarters veranda/deck. Mt Aspiring on the right…
Mt Aspiring from Aspiring Hut

The same view a few days ago, with a very active and violent front coming in. This will be a regular sight in summer…
Mt Aspiring in cloud from Mt Aspiring Hut

Cascade Creek is about 10 mins walk from the hut…
Cascade Stream near Aspiring Hut

The view up the Rob Roy Valley to the glacier of the same name. It’s the most popular side walk in the valley, with 23,000 visitors annually. However I won’t see much or them unless I walk up there. It does make the car-park busy though, and I’m sure I’ll be asked many questions when I’m there in my uniform, looking like Yogi Bear…
Rob Roy Glacier Mt Aspiring National Park

As mentioned a lot of my time will be spent on the farmland as I come and go…
Mt Edward, Mt Aspiring National Park

Every 10 days either myself or my relieving warden will have to go up to French Ridge hut. It’s a bit of a grunt up a steep track, but it then flattens a little. This photo from above the hut a little way is typical of the wonderful views…
French ridge

The main Matukituki River, West Branch near the car-park and Rob Roy track…
West Matukituki River, near Rob Roy Walk, Mt Aspiring National Park

This change in life-style has all been a bit sudden, but that is how it is with opportunities. There has been a mass of paperwork to address, uniform fitting and a First Aid course update among other details, so I’ve been a bit slow getting word out.

Should you need to contact me while I’m away messages could be left with DOC’s Wanaka office, and they’ll relay them to my radio. Or I’ll be checking my email every couple of weeks when I’m back in town. When I see the pattern and get in my stride I’ll probably post my schedule on the top right of my work web site: www.icommunicate.co.nz/

About this Like Minds Blog Donald Lousley

Concepts on how New Zealand landscape photography and fine art can be used to stimulate our imaginations to make the world a better and more gentle place. With photos, and some words, we explore with nomadic tendencies and inherited wizardry, all that is New Zealand, and it did not all begin with Lord of the Rings! Cheers Donald Lousley donald@icommunicate.co.nz PS my work site iCommunicate and MacAssist:

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