About twenty-something climbers ascended to the hut where Peter unveiled a plaque to reopen the hut. The opening was delightfully low key. All then descended through near whiteout conditions to the NZAC Christiana lodge at the Tukino skifield where the event was successfully celebrated.
As one who had been instrumental in starting the CNI section of the NZAC and had helped look after the hut for many years I was in a good position to appreciate the efforts of those who had put in the hard yards. From my days I was pleased to catch up with Dennis Sanders and John Woolford - consistent early helpers with the hut. The whole event was very well organised. The actual opening was quite low key with a little sun creeping through to warm the fingers about the Champagne glasses. That evening the black ties were out and entertaining speeches made for a memorable evening - to say nothing of the excellent food (thanks Lars, the Chef and his sous chefs) and wine. Peter Hillary, NZAC President John Cocks, hut designer from 50 years ago David Hoyle, and various CNI committee members, amongst others, spoke. Slides of the early days of the hut and its construction and reconstruction were presented. On the Sunday people skied, climbed and departed - some maybe nursing sore heads. Here are a few photos of a great weekend.
|The Sun Peeked Through|
|Peter Hillary Re-Opens Whangaehu Hut|
David Addison and Mike Greer - Saturday Briefing
|On Right John Cocks, Dennis Sanders and Nigel Roberts in Conversation|
|Peter Hillary - Dinner Speaker|
|Don French, Kim and Erik Duggan|
|Hut Designer from 1964, David Hoyle|
|Plenty of Food and Wine|