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Aspiring Hut, edited by Paul Dowden

11 May 2010

50 years of climbing and adventure: collected stories of members of the Otago Section, New Zealand Alpine Club


Aspiring Hut is a tribute to the vision, strength and energy of the Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club immediately after World War Two. We value their legacy. This publication celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of Aspiring Hut in the West Matukituki Valley in 1949″.

The booklet is a collection of brief stories, reminiscences and poems by notable figures who have had a long-term connection with the Matukituki Valley, and the Aspiring Region in general.






Contents are:

  • Building Aspiring Hut, by Angus Black
  • Aspiring Station Life, by Phillis Aspinall: a brief account of farm life in the Matukituki, and the cherished connection between the Aspinalls and the Otago Section club members
  • The Establishment of Mount Aspiring National Park, by Felicity Speight
  • Gluttons for Punishment, by Sandy Legge: reminiscences of a hut warden
  • Mount Joffre South Face, by Allan Uren: a climbing story
  • Aspiring Hut – How it all began, by Arthur Ibbotson
  • The “Dissent” of Mount Liverpool, by Martin Curtis: a climbing story
  • Sanctuary, by Rob Mitchell: reflections on the commodity of a hut, and memories from an epic trip
  • Visits to Aspiring Hut, by Graham Bishop: first visits to the Matukituki by someone who got to know this valley very, very well…
  • A brief history of Aspiring Hut, by Roger Barrowclough
  • The Lofty Peak he called Aspiring, by Paul Powell: a poem about Mt Aspiring, and its European “discovery” by John Turnbull Thomson
  • A Word or three from Chas, by Chas Tanner: about the “Matukituki Agreement”, a hut management agreement between the Alpine Club and the Department of Conservation


Dowden, P. Editor (1999) Aspiring Hut: 50 years of climbing and adventure. Published by the New Zealand Alpine Club. 28 pages

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