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(Yeats Ridge Hut looking over to Mt. Reeves: Photo
Andrew Buglass 2014)
Yeats Ridge Hut is designated as minimal maintenance. The
track up to it from the Toaraha valley track is non-maintain and is being kept open by Permolat volunteers.
In 2014 a watertank was installed at the Hut as part of a Permolat/ DOC collaboration. Paul Reid
of Permolat received some High Country Consortium funding to carry out some more maintenance on the Hut and this took place in mid 2016.
Toaroha catchment. Map BV19.
Grid Ref: E1449075/ N5239244.
Altitude 970m. Yeats Ridge Hut is located on a flat ridgetop that divides the Zit Creek
and Toaroha catchments. The surrounds are alpine peat bog with scattered alpine scrub and open
patches of tussock. Yeats is a great little overnighter that can be easily reached in a day
from the Toaroha roadend. There are good views from the Hut and there is a reasonable amount of overnight
and day traffic from Cedar Flat down in the Toaroha. Access from Yeats
onto the Toaraha Range is relatively straightforward and there are good tops routes
to a number of other remote huts and bivs in the area. There is cell phone reception at the Hut.
The Yeats track has just been cut to the 800m contour, and re-marked along its length,
by Alan Jemison, Martin and Kerry Clapham. Some extra pole were placed along an open section above the scrubline.
Andrew Barker did a bit more cutting on his way down in April 2014, and myself a bit more in December.
The turnoff to Yeats Ridge is on the TL of Zit Creek, 30 minutes up the
main Toaroha valley track from Cedar Flat Hut. Zit Creek can be difficult to cross, or unfordable, after heavy rain.
climbs up onto a terrace, follows this briefly before ascending very steeply up the lower bush faces of Yeats Ridge.
It flattens briefly in the montane zone, then climbs again
up through the sub-alpine zone with the track fringes populated by lax, toi toi,
Around 960m the track emerges
on a flat bench with open tussock patches and
tarns, and follows along this for a bit, before climbing
up and over a low scrubby ridge and dropping down to the Hut.
Allow 2-2.5 hours to Yeats Hut from Cedar Flat Hut, or 5-7 hours from the Toaroha roadend.
Yeats is an NZFS S81 four-bunk design built in 1960.
It has no fireplace, woodburner, or loo, and is unlined. At watertank was installed by Permolat
volunteers in January 2014.
Yeats Ridge Hut blew off of its piles in the early 1980's and lay on its side until
righted and repaired by the NZFS in 1984. It was painted and resealed by DOC in 2004.
The Hut was repainted by Permolat volunteers when they installed a roof-fed watertank in February 2014,
Alan Jemison, Fran Cohen, Rachael Berry and Martin Clapham were in the work crew.
The doorstep was repaired and loose purlins, other timbers and iron secured.
DOC graciously supplied the paint, the watertank stand, and watertank, and flew all of this to the Hut.
Permolat contributed funding for the materials not scrounged or supplied by DOC.
In April 2016 Paul Reid, Alastair Macdonald, and Sarah Hagen scraped and painted the window sills and the door,
made a new door flashing, put in a new door step and flagstone, cut vegetation from around hut,
took in a new mattress and made pillows of the old mattress, surveyed a site for the new toilet,
and cut 160 mt of the worst flax from the track down to the bush line.
Unfortunately Yeats is still leaking quite badly and water blows in under the door in considerable
amounts despite the recent door modifications. There is a roof leak at the top of the skylight
and water pools on the floor of the hut where it drips down. There are leaks at many of the studs, with water
blowing in the gaps between the external sheeting. The floor plates was getting damp and will start to rot at some point.
The Toaroha Range can be
accessed from Yeats Hut up and along an outlier of the Range that divides
the Zit and Crystal Creek catchments. The spur forks at the 1300m contour
and the SW fork can be used to access Crystal Biv.
From Yeats cross the basin immediately below the Hut and follow snow stakes
up through patchy alpine scrub to a low ridge that bounds Zit Creek.
A trail leads South along the ridge to a broad face at the foot of
the main spur.
A mix of permolat and the odd warratah leads up the face through a band of alpine scrub to
onto a tussock side-spur at the 1200m mark.
This is followed to a flat bench with tarns around 1300m. Here the SW fork of the outlier
provides access down to Crystal Biv.
It is easy travel down to the Biv which is visible in fine weather from around 1200m.
Allow 1.5-2 hours to get from Yeats Hut to Crystal Biv.
Top Kokatahi Hut can be accessed by continuing up the main spur onto the crest of
Toaroha Range (care is needed on one steeper section)
and heading North along the Range. At around E1451479/ N5239437,
drop down the tussock faces into the head of the Kokatahi River and
boulderhop from here down to the Hut. An ice axe may be necessary
on some of the steeper bits on the Kokatahi side during the colder months.
Allow four hours for the crossing in good conditions.
Mungo Hut can be accessed by heading South from point 1694m along to Mt. Chamberlain.
A short vertical pitch just South of Chamberlin can be
avoided by sidling around some rock benches on the Park Stream side of the peak.
Access into Park Stream is down steep scree from the low point between Mts. Chamberlain and Bannatyne. The top of
the scree is snow-filled for most of the year and could be tricky at times without an ice axe.
It is easy travel down the Park itself to the start of an
an old NZFS track on the TL near where the Stream veers SW. The track enters the bush and climbs steeply for 5-10 minutes
up to Mungo Hut. It was recut in 2012 by volunteers. Allow 5-6 hours from Yeats Hut to Mungo Hut in good conditions.
Adventure Biv can be accessed from Yeats Hut by continuing North along the
Toaroha Range to a point North of Zit Saddle where the poled route to Top Kokatahi Hut crosses over
(around E1451380/ N5240035). There is a narrow section of ridge just before reaching Zit Saddle
that needs to be sidled on steep slopes on the Kokatahi side, with particular care in the wet.
On the Toaroha side the poles lead down a steep tussock face then down a narrow rib.
This is followed by a short section of track through a band of scrub into the upper TR
branch of Zit Creek. The route exits the TR of the Creek and sidles across a face with
patchy alpine scrub onto Adventure Ridge. There is short section of cut track down the
Ridge through the alpine scrub to the Biv. Don't try dropping down into Zit Creek directly
from Zit Saddle unless you have a rope and a spare day up your sleeve. Allow five hours
for the trip from Yeats Hut around to Adventure Biv.
Some serious sealing of wall cladding is still needed at Yeats. The roof leak may require
It’s likely that the flat head nails holding the cladding down will need to be replaced with hex bolts. The
Problem with water coming in under the door has obviously not been solved by the new flashing. The only
Other option would be to build a small porch or door awning.
The toilet when it happens, will be useful addition given Yeats' level of use,
and the delicate nature of the surrounding peatlands.
A shovel, a spade, a hearth shovel and broom,
a full-sized broom, a hand basin, a camp oven minus lid, and a small billy.
There are two spare louvre panes under the end bunk. There is a form seat,
a 20 litre water bucket, a bucket of tools (hammer, hacksaw blade, sealer and gun),
sugar soap, brushes, sandpaper, some lengths of 4x2, various nails and screws
and some Permolat.