Installing the foundation frame and deck at the Motatapu Site. Looking north with the Polnoon Burn in the background.

Motatapu/Polnoon saddle site prepared

Sunday the 23rd August saw 9 of us fly to the Motatapu/Polnoon Saddle armed with shovels, timber and tools to prepare the site. My initial plans had been to build on the flat land at the saddle but when working through the resource consent last year it became apparent that the northen tip of Coronet Station was on the slope above the saddle. Hence we needed to cut into the slope to make a level surface and build a low retaining wall.

The benefit of being on the slope is the amazing views looking up the Polnoon Burn. This view will be appreciated long after the digging effort is forgotten.

A huge thank you to Bill Day for flying us up there. We were careful not to exhaust him with too much digging since we wanted him to get us home again!

Mt Hyde Turk

This site was causing me some concern since the end of July when we flew it in because on the initial visit we couldn’t find the gravel required to secure the Turk. A good alpine storm could have blown the thing away. Fortunately the snow had melted and the white bags of gravel were obvious. At the tail end of our Polnoon Saddle we visited and heaved in the 3 tons but left them as frozen boulders which will hopefully thaw before the next visit.

Bill landing his Bo105 to take us home after moving 3 tons of gravel

Status of other sites

Crown Basin – this is completed (upgraded from the previous model) and is open for use. Until we get the booking system organised please email me.

Vanguard, Saint Just and Mt. Hyde – the Turks are in place but not commissioned. About 3 hours per Turk is required for completion. I am hoping to get this done before the end of the month.

Deep Creek/Coronet Saddle – foundation requires completion (2 hours work for a team of 4) then the Turk installed.

All-in-all we are almost there. I am currently watching the weather and trying to find a settled enough period to fly in the remaining Turks. My challenge is the current variability of the weather and the need to plan several days in advance with certainty.

Organising membership

Zane Kerse (Club Treasurer) and myself spent last Tuesday evening working through the membership list making sure we have people’s details correct. Another work session should see everything in order and we will be in a position to send out proper receipts/membership. Apologies for the delay – the issue rests entirely with me and is because I have prioritised building Turks over doing admin (might also be that I prefer making things to working on a spreadsheet!).

Booking system

We are making the final changes to the booking system and hope to have this live within the next week.

A thought of safety

A concern/nightmare for any small enclosed structure where people are cooking over an open flame is carbon monoxide poisoning. Each of the Turks is fitted with the following fire safety features:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fire blanket
  • Smoke/fire alarm (kitchen rated and carbon monoxide)
  • Digital carbon monoxide sensor

The carbon monoxide sensor is very interesting because it provides a readout in parts per million (ppm).

When cooking I found the CO levels would climb to the 30ppm range. At this stage I would open the window ajar. If there was no wind the levels could climb to 50ppm at which stage I would open the door and window and it would drop to zero.

Carbon monoxide is a serious and potentially deadly issue and it is pleasing to know we are using good technology to manage this hazard. Both the fire alarm and the carbon monoxide sensors have audible alarms when the level of this poisonous gas exceeds the recommended time/quantity limit.

Monitoring/renewing these alarms will be part of our regular safety checks.

Erik Bradshaw
27 August 2020