3 Jun 2016

Hut choppered to stable ground

3:39 pm on 3 June 2016

A 1700 kilogram hut, in danger of sliding into mountain bush, has been airlifted from an active slip to stable ground in Mount Richmond Forest Park in Marlborough.

A 1700 kilogram hut, in danger of sliding into mountain bush, has been airlifted from from an active slip to stable ground in Mount Richmond Forest Park in Marlborough.

The Defence Force helicopter lowers the hut to its new site. Photo: SUPPLIED/NZ Defence Force

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) NH90 medium utility helicopter shifted the Department of Conservation (DoC) hut on Mt Fell 300 metres to its new location, on Thursday.

"No civilian helicopter can carry out the task in one lift due to the weight of the hut and the altitude of its location, which is over 1220 metres above sea level.

"The RNZAF NH90 is the only helicopter in New Zealand that can lift that much weight at that altitude," Air Component Commander Air Commodore Darryn Webb said.

Built in 1964, Mt Fell hut has six bunks, and is situated below an alpine meadow a kilometre south of the summit of Mt Fell.

A 1700 kilogram hut, in danger of sliding into mountain bush, has been airlifted from from an active slip to stable ground in Mount Richmond Forest Park in Marlborough.

NZ Army and DoC prepare the hut for its brief journey. Photo: SUPPLIED/NZ Defence Force

The ridgeline above the hut, which is a popular stop for people climbing Mt Fell, offers scenic views of the Wairau Plains, Nelson Bay, Tasman Bay, the Pelorus Valley and Wellington.

The hut had been closed since March 2015 and will remain closed until Christmas to allow volunteers from the tramping clubs time to complete work on the foundations and gain code compliance certification to ensure the hut is safe for accommodation.

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