Tyge and Christine return to the re-installed Crown Basin Turk.
The black thing with the angled top is a heat wall. The ventilation system will draw warm air through this to heat the gravel under the floor (not quite completed).

Crown Basin Turk re-installed

On the 20th of May the original Crown Basin Turk (the first ever made) was removed because it did not meet the consented design and engineering standards. Last Sunday on a stunning blue-sky day with no wind, it was replaced. 17 people were split into two teams – one group flew to “Coronet Saddle” (not an official name, between Deep Creek and Coronet Creek) to complete the vegetation assessment (requirement of the Resource Consent) and roughly position the foundation frame and deck before joining the other group at the Crown Basin.

Glenorchy Helicopters successfully lifted the Turk from Arrow Junction and lowered it gently into place. The positioning went well with the corner bracing of the pre-leveled foundation frame acting as location guides for the Turk. Next, 3 tons of gravel were poured onto the plastic tank base then the plywood floor fitted on top.

The toilet was also repositioned over a giant new hole (big enough for a small village of troglodytes) – no small task as the original ‘Powder Room’ is a lot heavier than the newer toilet design! The whole installation exercise took 3.5 hours – then most of the team ski-toured up to Mt Sale and enjoyed a great run down before heading home.

The opening of the Turk was celebrated with an excellent bottle of donated Cardrona Whisky with much gratitude. I had hoped to make the bottle last for 6 Turks but with 17 people it didn’t go far!

First night

My family spent an excellent first night in the insulated and double glazed Turk. When cooking, the inside temperature was about 17 degrees. This lowered to 12 degrees by the morning, but it was below zero outside when we went to bed so with just the residual heat the temperature stayed more than 10 degrees above ambient.

A treat of spending a night is enjoying great art and a small bookshelf of interesting books.

Each Turk has a unique work of art – the club has asked 3 artists (as part of being members) to decorate the walls. This wonderful creation is by Linde Lanjouw.

The next morning was not ideal for skiing (unless drizzle in a whiteout is your thing) but there were some small jobs to do and lots of food to be eaten. Luckily the Turk has a removable table designed by Anton Schmitz, which is excellent for playing cards and eating off.

Two kids happy to be missing the first day of term

Next steps

My original thinking was to scale up the Crown Basin installation – get a big team of people into the mountains and do the next 5 in one big day.

After discussing with people involved and thinking through some of the issues I concluded this was too ambitious and a better approach is to break installing the next 5 Turks into 3 stages:

  1. A small and focused team position the 3 high altitude Turks (Vanguard, Saint Just and Hyde) by digging out the foundation frames, positioning the Turk, putting in the gravel (which might be frozen).
  2. A team head in to prepare the Polnoon/Motatapu Saddle site (requires a bit of digging and creativity)
  3. Have a big day where as many people as possible can join in positioning the remaining two Turks, fitting the floor, outside water tanks and seats and celebrating their opening. I expect this will happen in late August.

I am hoping to get stages 1 & 2 completed in the next couple of weeks.

Erik Bradshaw
25 July 2020


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