Evening light at Mt Saint Just Turk with Mt Hyde to the north.

Turk Status – and a small adventure

Last Wednesday I left work at 5pm, drove up Skippers Rd to Maori Point Saddle and walked to Vanguard Peak Turk arriving just before dark. My pack was full of power tools to do some finishing jobs and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t workout how to plug the batteries into my legs to give me super assistance.

My original plan was to drive to the upper Shotover and walk into Mt Hyde but road closure on the Skippers Rd meant some additional exercise was the call of the day. On Thursday morning I continued to Mt Saint Just Turk and completed the guttering downpipes so there should be water for the next visitors after the recent rains. I continued onto Mt Hyde with the intention of doing more work but instead decided numerous cups of tea and deciding what needed to be done was more relaxing than actually doing anything. I thought of trying to sort out the toilet but at 150+ kg I wasn’t in sumo wrestling mode. Since I only had one day off work I spent the evening walking all the way back to Vanguard. The next morning I got up at 6am and made it back to work by 9am.

The moral of the story is if the road up Skippers is open the more southern Turks are quite accessible. I plan to write up more detailed notes for the website but for reference:
Maori Point Saddle -> Vanguard: 3.5 hrs (5.5 hrs with our 8 and 10 year old kids on a different trip)
Vanguard -> St Just 2.5 hrs
St Just -> Mt Hyde 3.5 hrs

Arm chair at Mt Hyde. A good place to relax with a cup of tea. The art on the wall is by Linde Lanjouw. The pipe in the floor is part of the planned ventilation system.

I still have a long list of small things such as the ventilation system. For the normal mortal that doesn’t have an excessive eye for detail, here is a status of the turks:

Polnoon (Motatapu) Saddle – complete but missing water taps on the tanks hence no water. The closest water is about 700 metres away in the head of of the Motatapu.
Mt Hyde – Toilet not installed but otherwise complete. The left hand water tank is not connected but contains water (was loaded with snow). The right hand water tank is functioning.
Saint Just – 100% complete. I connected up the water tanks so there should be water for the next people who visit.
Vanguard – 100% complete – both water tanks are full.
Deep Creek (Coronet Saddle) – 100% complete but problems with the left water tank. Plenty of water in the right tank.
Crown Basin – 100% complete. The fan system is a bit noisy when the sun is shining. I plan to quieten this down on my next visit.

Vanguard Peak Turk at sunrise with Mt Aspiring on the horizon and the upper Shotover and Branches Station to the left

Wilding Pine control weekend

The club is organising a wilding pine control weekend on the 5/6 of December.

The south slopes of Vanguard Peak have been identified as needing some attention with saws and other malicious tools to beat the pine trees into submission. How the weekend will work is still evolving, with luck and charm we might have some help from a helicopter. I also have no idea how many people are interested but I anticipate more than can fit in a Turk so we will be camping at the Deep Creek/Coronet Saddle site. The plan for the weekend is roughly:

  • Meet at the Coronet Peak car park at 9am on Saturday
  • Walk over Coronet Peak and down to Deep Creek arriving around lunch time
  • Chop and poison trees in the the afternoon.
  • A good social evening
  • Chop some more trees on Sunday morning
  • Head home back over Coronet Peak

I will be there with my family. If you are interested please email me with “Wilding Pine weekend” in the caption.  admin@mountainTurk.nz

Mt Hyde Turk with a sleeping toilet. It was too heavy for me to lift by myself but I am hoping to get it sorted in the next week or so. Mt Aspiring is on the skyline in the background.


The club had a successful AGM with 55 people in attendance. A huge thank you to b.effect brewing in Wanaka for keeping away the dangerous condition of dehydration. There was a lot of discussion around the operating manual not because it was contentious but more because it is new. Click here to read the minutes.

Erik Bradshaw
027 241 8571