Giants Hut

26 Aug 2008 21:50 - 26 Aug 2008 21:51 #130 by intrepid
Giants Hut was created by intrepid
This thread discusses the Content article: Giants Hut

A decision not to restore the hut would be a sad day for the Berg.

A functional hut somehow does not interfere much with the wild feel to the Berg. But a ruin is an eyesore and a scar, and there are several in the Berg already. Not that I believe more huts should be built, but rather that the current ones be maintained, especially ones such as Giants Hut which such a classic. It also does not lie in a wilderness area (which theoretically should be pristine and free from man-made structures) since the area is a game reserve.

The huts can be made a lot more rugged and robust which would shield them against damage. The roof should be metal sheeting, frames and doors should also be metal, and even glass windows are a luxury - shutters could be used instead. I've never understood why they bothered with toilets and basins in these remote mountain huts - they require too much maintenance. These days the Basotho dismantle the water pipes leading to the huts anyway. Tables can be bolted to the floor or even made of cast concrete. And bunks beds, well, a luxury too, but ones that have boards - as opposed to springs which require mattresses (which get stolen) - and which are too big and heavy to be stolen seem to work OK.

Some time ago Bannerman Hut was in a bad state of disrepair too. Though some maintenance is needed now again, it is still quite functional today, with bunk beds and wooden table intact.

So, here's to restoring Giants Hut!

As for the other huts and ruins out there, that's another topic for another day.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 26 Aug 2008 21:51 by intrepid.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
29 Aug 2008 19:30 #132 by domsmooth
Replied by domsmooth on topic Giants Hut
Intrepid. While you mention that the hut is not in a wilderness area, the world heritage values for which the Berg was granted its status, are wilderness, and the heritage value (for the bushman relics and paintings). In other words, in terms of management, the entire Ukahlamba Drakensberg area is considered a wilderness area. True, there are some areas which are so called "wilderness" areas in which no new man made infrastructure is allowed. The same can be said for the non-wilderness areas though, where any new infrastructure needs approval from not only the management authority, but also the competent authority for Impact assessments, in this case the Dept of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT).

The hut, though, is an existing structure. It existed long before the area was declared, and as such needs no authorisation from DEAT to repair the hut to its former condition.

Steel roofs would be preferable from a fire perspective, since the previous thatch (I think) obviously has too much risk attached from a fire perspective. Furthermore, any water pipes would also be pvc and stand to be burnt in the next fire that moves through. It would be preferable to go for a more sustainable approach to repair the hut. Most who would use the hut, have also camped in a tent, and would be used to walking a little way to fetch water. Furthermore, they would also have used holes in the ground for ablutions. Other options are available for toilets though, although the location of this hut adjacent to the tarn for ablutions and septic tanks are not really considered enviro-friendly.

I agree that the hut is there, and that it should either be removed if it is not to be repaired, since the current status is an eye-sore. The concern is more about how to get a contractor to the site to do the work without impacting on the surrounds, or getting the materials there without an impact on the area. Vehicular access is not an option.

Personally, I hope the hut is repaired. It is perfectly sited for forays around the Giants area.

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
25 Jul 2012 05:26 #54699 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Giants Hut
This update on the hut has been circulating through the various MCSA updates:

If you are interested in assisting to refurbish Giant’s Hut during a weekend or two in September please reply to me. Dates are not finalised yet so in your reply, please include some dates on which you are available as this will help us to plan. We are thinking mid to late September at this stage.

It will be helpful (but not essential) if you have construction / handyman / DIY experience.

The Story :

The thatched roof on Giant’s Hut caught alight a few years ago and the roof was destroyed. The hut was very popular with hikers. In a private initiative, a Jhb based gentleman by the name of Rob Harley has secured funding for materials to replace the roof with coated steel tiles (Harveytiles) using a design similar to that used for Bannerman’s hut. The windows will likely be reglazed with perspex, as at Bannermans Hut. Ezemvelo and MCSA KZN will assist to arrange transport of the materials to the hut, hopefully by helicopter. Then we will need help with reconstruction as soon as possible after delivery..

This invitation has also been sent to other usergroups such as Mountain Backpackers Club and some other MCSA sections to advertise for volunteers within their own organisations.

Thank you

James Voortman

President KZN Section, MCSA


Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Wizman

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Mar 2013 11:00 #56194 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Giants Hut
Giant's Hut refurbishment plans update, as per message received from the Mountain Backpackers Club - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - on 07/03/2013:

Quoting:
>>
The stable weather of April and May offers a good opportunity to carry out the construction phase of this project so we are hoping to carry out construction during the Easter Weekend with a follow-up at end April / early May incorporating Worker’s Day public holiday.

Volunteers :

Volunteers are urgently requested for assistance with the construction activities.

Volunteers should be prepared to hike up to the hut, stay a few days in tents and put in some manual labour.

It will be preferable if you have some construction or DIY experience.
If we do not get enough volunteers, the budget is insufficient to hire a labour force for the work and the project will fail.

Before making a commitment to purchase the materials, Rob needs to be sure of having sufficient volunteers to complete the work. If you wish to volunteer, please read the section on “Communication” below and follow the instructions there.

Progress Report :

Since last year, Rob has put in quite a bit of work. A recce was undertaken to the hut, plans have been drawn and approved and a bill of quantities has been prepared. These will be circulated to those who volunteer to assist (see '”Communication” below).

Scope of Work :

There will be three main areas of work.

1) It is necessary to carry out some masonry repairs to the hut where the walls have been damaged. This must be done in preparation for the anchoring the new roof. We are provisionally planning to do this over the Easter Weekend.
2) Assembly of roof. This is provisionally planned for a weekend at the end of May, possibly incorporating the Worker’s Day holiday.
3) miscellaneous repairs as far as the budget will permit, including possible plumbing, water supply and reglazing with perspex to be carried out during the two work meets referred above.

Materials :

We are liaising with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for delivery of materials and tools to the site but this is not confirmed yet. More information to follow.

Backup plan :

There is a long weekend in June that could be used as a fallback opportunity to complete outstanding work.

Communication :

It is difficult to co-ordinate messages between all the different people and clubs that are involved. To this end, I have created a group mailing list on GoogleGroups. If you wish to volunteer your assistance please send an email containing only the words “subscribe” in the Subject line and without the apostrophes to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I am hoping the GoogleGroups method will work. If anyone has a better idea, please let me know. There is a possibility that some corporate computer networks will restrict messaging to this group. If this happens, please use your private email address to subscribe to the group or email me directly to establish a workaround.

Please consider the following matters of group etiquette :

1) to avoid cluttering the group, consider carefully before posting. Each message will go to all members because I have not restricted posting rights at this stage.
2) delete irrelevant previous messages when you reply – otherwise we end up repeating long strings of messages with each post
3) keep it civil...several organisations involved here...remember we have a common purpose.
4) if you wish to be removed from the group, send an e-mail with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line to the group


Best Regards
James Voortman
President – KZN Section
Mountain Club of South Africa
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Below is the follow up reply from Rob Harley to James Voortman's email:

Hi James,

I have no problem if the hut is worked on over the easter break but at the moment DRA are planning on working on the hut from 21 st March to 24 th March, and we are planning 2 phased trips between the 26 th April and 5 th May. I tried to “subscribe” without success it appeared if the fault came from google . If anybody has manage to get set up please let me know.

Regards,

Rob Harley
>>
The following user(s) said Thank You: ghaznavid

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 Mar 2013 13:05 #56260 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Giants Hut
Herewith an update for those interested in the Giants Hut Refurbishment...

From James Voortman:

My apologies for incorrect instructions given in my previous email attached below.
To join the e-mail group that has been set up you need to do the following:
1) send a blank email to Giantshut+subscribe@googlegroups.com (This has been tested by a prospective volunteer and it works)
2) The moderator will then approve your membership request
3) to post messages thereafter you use the address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
4) to unsubscribe in future you post a blank message to Giantshut+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

Regards
James Voortman
President – KZN Section
Mountain Club of South Africa
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
21 Jun 2013 12:56 #57425 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Giants Hut
Giants Hut looking good B) (stolen from Dave Sclanders / Bergfree)


Please login or register to view the image attached to this post.

The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, JonWells, plouw, kliktrak, ozymandiasza

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Jul 2013 18:13 #57834 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Giants Hut
Chatted to Matt Jackson (Giants Castle manager) this weekend, all the equipment for the inside of the hut is ready, just waiting for a helicopter to carry it to the hut.
Meander Hut is next on the repair plan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Aug 2013 14:50 #58009 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Giants Hut
I heard the same from Matt recently. However he also indicated that their budget for that sort of thing is stretched fairly thin and that he wasnt sure when they would attend to Meander hut. Interestly I phoned Giants this last week and was told that Giants Hut is not yet ready for occupation. Unfortunate as I think the MBC had a hike scheduled for there and Bannerman Hut this weekend.

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Sep 2013 16:22 #58482 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Giants Hut
Anyone know the current status of Giant's Hut? Also, is there any rule stopping people from staying there before it is ready for general use? If it has a roof and walls its probably good enough to use IMO - just don't want to offend the guys who are putting all this hard work into fixing it.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Sep 2013 18:36 #58483 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Giants Hut
Not sure about the current status but they seem to be allowing people to stay there. Offer to carry a bed up on your head ;)
The following user(s) said Thank You: ghaznavid

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum