Centenary Hut Restoration

16 Mar 2016 21:28 #67372 by Biomech
Replied by Biomech on topic Centenary Hut Restoration
I'd also like to participate as best as possible. I have not used the hut before, but would like to do Corner Pass at some stage next year, so it would be great to chip in. One question I would have is which camp to use as the base for lugging all the materials to? Injisuthi or Giants?

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16 Mar 2016 22:10 #67375 by john mark 1
@ Biomech: IMO, I would definitely say Injisuthi camp.

Whilst I cannot run with this idea at the moment (i.e. be the 'champion'), please also keep me in the loop if anything is ever organised to sort this out. Depending on work commitments I may be able to (hopefully) make it.

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16 Mar 2016 22:14 - 16 Mar 2016 22:17 #67376 by john mark 1
Another idea. Why not just send all the tools and materials with Andrew P who is going to be there over the Easter weekend? ;) He seems to like challenges in the Berg. He can make a dump of about 10-15kg worth of equipment and tools for a party to do the work at a later date :P
Last edit: 16 Mar 2016 22:17 by john mark 1.

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16 Mar 2016 22:22 - 16 Mar 2016 22:26 #67377 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Centenary Hut Restoration
Definitely Injisuthi. It is much closer to the hut. Bannerman Hut is about 12km from Giants, then add another approx 8km from there to Centenary Hut,including that slog up to the base of Judge Pass around 2500m.

Ps. shockingly I am yet to do a pass at Injisuthi :ohmy:
Last edit: 16 Mar 2016 22:26 by ghaznavid.
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17 Mar 2016 06:57 #67378 by diverian
Replied by diverian on topic Centenary Hut Restoration
Count me in, I can back up Tony that replacing those small panes is very time consuming and needs some skill with a putty knife, I have done a few cottage pane doors in the past.
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17 Mar 2016 09:59 #67382 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Centenary Hut Restoration
As John Mark pointed out, I am there over Easter. Load will already be a bit heavy, but I assume there must be some mess such as broken glass I can try carry out...

Should I maybe carry some putty up and stash it?

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18 Mar 2016 05:35 #67390 by Fitness
Replied by Fitness on topic Centenary Hut Restoration
I'm loving this idea
@ghaz, knocking frames straight and removing old putty as already been stated is a lot harder than one thinks, nonetheless many hands make light work and with a decent group we can tidy it up on phase one and then go from there, count me in ( work dependent and son dependent)

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18 Mar 2016 19:17 #67396 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Centenary Hut Restoration
For those that have been to the hut lately, I'd be interested to know how much sign there is of recent smuggler traffic past the hut? For this reason it may not be the best idea to stash tools and supplies at the hut.

Since there appears to be interest and support for this initiative, I will contact EKZNW and formally secure permission to do work on the hut, and I think we should wait for this to be granted before any work is done. Cleaning up the hut and carrying broken glass out would be totally appropriate in the mean time though.

We still need a person to lead the project and see it through to completion (ideally someone who is handy with this kind of work, but this is not a must). I am unable to fill this role myself currently.

I'm not sure how much the materials will add up to, it may be sufficient for all of us here just to contribute a small amount. If anyone would like to sponsor the materials as an individual or as a business, please let me know. You can chat to me privately. We will seek permission to put up a discreet sign inside the hut crediting the team and the sponsor. This was the case for Tseketseke Hut (the sign is not up yet though).

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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18 Mar 2016 21:27 #67397 by BobbyStanton
I have approached the committee of the Mountain Backpackers Club on this matter and although they have not all replied, it seems there is a fairly positive response to sponsor the materials for this project. An amount of a few thousand rand has been suggested by me but they would like a more definite figure.

Some of you may know Dave Sclanders of bergfree.co.za . He restored Bannerman Hut about ten years ago out of his own pocket, with the help of a few friends. Bannerman Hut was in a similar decrepit state at the time and being a professional guide he wanted to take his clients there. He replaced all the windows with transparent polycarbonate sheet, epoxied in place. You can now throw a large rock at one of the window panes and it will just bounce off. He rawl-bolted or chained all the bunk beds to the adjacent walls and replaced the springs with chipboard sheets, also bolted to the beds. There is now nothing to steal in Bannerman Hut and the door is left unlocked at all times, with just a catch to keep it closed. It can be locked from the inside when someone is staying there. I spoke to him recently and he is prepared to be an advisor on the restoration of Centenary Hut.

He suggested that the first step would be to visit Centenary and measure the size of each window pane. There are a few different sizes apparently. We could then have the new polycarbonate panes cut to size ready to be epoxied in place, which would be on the following expedition there. Dave mentioned that it is very difficult to cut the sheet without power tools. The repair of the bunk beds would then follow, and then the ceilings, which have been ripped out. There is some cement patching to be done and the pillars supporting the veranda roof need repair, although there is a central steel pole inside each one.

Someone on this thread mentioned replacing the broken windows with glass. I don't think this is a good idea as they will just be broken again.

As said we need a champion handyman to lead the expeditions to the hut and supervise the work. It would be an advantage if this person was an MBC member who could handle the financial side of things as well. I believe there is an MBC member who regards Injasuti as his favourite Berg area and frequents this forum as well, but I will keep quiet as he might just volunteer.

Dave Sclanders has approached the EKZNW Officer-in-Charge of the Northern Berg about this project plus the use of the Jeep track from Giant's Castle which comes very close to Centenary Hut. I don't think he has had a reply on this yet.

I'm sure this will all happen in due course once the project leader has been identified. We are relying on VE members to volunteer for much of the work but several MBC members are likely to join in as well. I will mention this to someone on the committee of the MCSA, who originally built Centenary Hut back during the 1980's I think. They may also want to help.

Bobby
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19 Mar 2016 07:42 #67398 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Centenary Hut Restoration
Sounds great Bobby, very grateful for all that. Also great to have participation and input from MBC and MCSA. I was aware that Dave Sclanders made it all happen for Bannerman Hut and his advice will be valuable. I hadn't voiced it much yet, but I did have some thoughts on theft and vandalism, so to hear how strong the poly-carbonate is, and that it can be epoxied on instead of using putty is very good to hear.

Anyone headed to the hut over the next while, please take detailed pictures of pretty much everything and if possible measurements too - thanks!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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