Without being derogatory this structure would be flattered to be termed “hut”.

It doesn’t have any internal lining other than old fertiliser bags, nailed under the corrugated steel, and the concrete floor doesn’t extend to the further reaches of the room area, or under the bottom plate, the main structure is locally bush hewn, perhaps bivvy might be more accurate terminology.

Despite being renovated in 2010, with new cladding, bunks now numbered four, and a polycarbonate window, she’s a bit on the basic side. One of the few still retaining an open fire, so at goodie.

The most memorable shelters of the trip are these older style, free NZFS huts, the West Harper with its dirt floor and the four person wooden tent of Minchin Bivvy. Then there’s the Olivine and Lake McKerrow Island which have both character and ambience. Of the new huts, Poulter in Arthurs Pass and the previous hut to this, McKellar, would be top of my charts, discounting the company in both instances.

No sign of that snow this morning, clear skies, a big southerly from which we are protected, but later in the morning there was an hour or so of something that couldn’t quite be described as snow, and too fluffy to be hail, just somewhere in between.

The track at the upper reaches of the Greenstone Valley has not undergone the full DOC makeover, yet, there’s plenty of rock hopping in sphagnum bog areas to skirt.

I’ve suddenly developed a pain on the inside side of my right knee, must’ve strained it in yesterday’s crazed efforts, maybe it’s been just too long since I’ve had a genuine rest day. I guess I could have stayed at McKellar, but, last to leave, I shuffled off down the Greenstone.

At some point back in Nelson I had contemplated the detour up to the Steele Creek Hut and after a leisurely lunch and perusal of the map I ended up deciding that a couple of nights seclusion might be the way to go, just a two hour detour.

Voilà, a lovely track, a great little hut, the first night of this Labor Day weekend, the start of the usual summer tramping season, I’m on my lonesome for the first time in a while.

Neat indeed.

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