2 Sep 2016

Saving Sir Ed's hut

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:20 pm on 2 September 2016
The Tractors on Mt Ruapehu, where Sir Ed first experienced snow.

The Tractors on Mt Ruapehu, where Sir Ed first experienced snow. Photo: Antarctic Heritage Trust

Al Fastier's vintage tractor expedition from Piha Beach to Aoraki Mount Cook has cracked more than 600 kilometres.

The company, which is known as Expedition South, is about a third of the way through the journey and is due to arrive in Feilding today.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust is raising funds for Sir Edmund Hillary's hut at Scott Base.

Al says people have been generous with their donations, especially with the $5 notes with Sir Ed’s face on them.

"We're over halfway so we need a few more Ed's dropped into the tin"

The Trust is hoping to raise $1million, with the money covering the cost of conservation work and the ongoing maintenance of the building.

Once the 2,012km journey reaches Mount Cook, Al will take a month off to refresh before heading further south to Scott Base.

"I’ll be [at the hut] with heritage carpenters and three conservators and we’ll be making the building both structurally sound and weather tight.

"Probably the most important job is removing the asbestos from the building. The paint is flaking off inside, exposing the asbestos lining."

In the meantime he’ll continue on the slow journey down the country, travelling about 100kms a day.

“We still don’t know if we’ll get to Mount Cook but with a bit of number 8 wire and Kiwi ingenuity, I have a degree of confidence.”

Approaching Otorohanga

Approaching Otorohanga Photo: Antactic Heritage Trust

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