Crown Basin Turk #2 after installation almost a year ago to today – 19 July 2020. The first version was installed on 16 July 2017.

Fork at Tap. 7pm Wednesday 28 July

Come join me at the Fork and Tapp for a beer and talk about who is hiding the snow. I will have just returned from 2 nights at the Crown Basin Turk with the family so will have an update on conditions.
The goals of the meeting are:

  • Catch-up with good people and discuss conditions, Turk status etc.
  • Get more organised with club communications (private Facebook group)
  • Make progress on other issues such as internal Turk signage.

On the topic of conditions, I tried to drive into Skippers today (Sunday 18th July) with the intention of visiting the Vanguard Turk but soon realised you need a serious 4wd such as a Hilux. Be aware that getting into Skippers is very variable in winter, if things are frozen and the ruts not too bad then most vehicles can get in but if it thaws and gets soft then it is serious 4wd country.

Web-cam at Crown Basin

The Crown Basin Turk now has a low cost (and low battery use) web-cam system that was put together by a club member (based on this website). It currently loads a photo every hour from 8am to 8pm via the cellular network. The camera is looking North East from the Crown Basin Turk and has a 90 degree view angle. The top of Mt Sale is almost visible on the right and Vanguard in the distance to the left.
The camera looked looked fine in my lounge but now it is in the mountains I wish for a better, more wide-angle lens and to increase the photo rate (easily done). I’ll also put something in the foreground the next time I visit.
Click here for the latest image
Click here for the image library (more useful)

Repairs, the police, fuel, coffee and toilet paper

In June I attended a regional meeting of the police, ski area and heli-ski snow safety staff and SAR/CIMS rescue people. Being the new kid/club on the block it was worthwhile explaining the Club, the Turks and how best to manage a rescue should an incident occur.

The Club will soon have a simple questionnaire that is sent to all people doing the traverse recording name, experience and a few other details. The police/SAR will be sent an email of people on the traverse at regular intervals. This means that any SAR response will be much more efficient. Also remember that a personal locator beacon is a must in this country.

Three weeks ago Bill Day who heads Wanaka SAR flew a small group of us around the Turks so we could drop off cooking gas, toilet paper, coffee makers and also do some minor repairs. Bill has also been flying around members of the SAR team and police so they are familiar with the traverse. A huge thanks to Bill for this and a wee reminder, if you are staying at a Turk and a helicopter arrives and the police jump out start with offering them a cup of tea before asking whether you are going to be arrested.

Bill flying into MtHyde Turk.


The club held two successful meetings at the start of June in both Wanaka (thank you Be-social) and Queenstown (thank you Cargo Brewery). Both were attended by 50+ people and were enjoyable social evenings. Key points:

  • Erik Bradshaw (me) re-elected as President and Zane Kerse re-elected as Treasurer.
  • John Schuitemaker elected as Acting secretary – he’s leaving the country in the next few months so we’ll need a replacement – let me know if you’re keen (many thanks to Mary Jowett the outgoing secretary)
  • Accounts and Presidents report approved.
  • Existing operating manual
  • Minutes can be found here Mountain Turk Club AGM minutes 10 June 2021

Tax status

Zane the Treasurer has been working his magic with IRD, their communication being: “The club had its income exemption approved on the basis it was set up to promote amateur Sport”. This puts us in the same category as similar organisations such as the NZ Alpine Club.

Reminder of what’s in the Turks

All the Turks contain the following:

  • Plates, bowls, cups and cutlery for 6 people
  • Pots, pans and selection of utensils including sharp knives
  • Dishwashing stuff
  • 2 blankets and 2 lightweight ($70 warehouse) sleeping bags
  • Gas cooker and 10+ 450gram gas canisters (should see us through winter)
  • Toilet paper
  • Mattresses, arm chair, deck chair, library and other comforts
  • Lighting and USB charging port with adapter for Android/iPhone

Here’s wishing for snow and cold weather
Erik Bradshaw
18 July 2021