Bunkroom Development Updates,

From Sheldon Bruce, HVTC Ruapehu Lodge Booking Officer

& Ian Ayson, Bunkroom Project Manager


4 July 2012 - The Bunkrooms Are Complete!  Make a Booking and Come up and Enjoy!

I am happy to report the new bunkrooms at the Ruapehu Lodge are now completed and ready for occupation.  Check out the photos to see how fantastic they look!  The bunkrooms are ready.  The snow has arrived and more is on its way.  The food is stocked up.  So come on up and enjoy it!

hvtc ruapehu lodge - july 2012

hvtc bunkroom - june 2012


8 June 2012 Update

Just a brief note to report on progress on the Ruapehu Bunkroom re-construction.  There has been a big effort over the last two weekends involving:

  • Transport and carrying of all bunk construction materials
  • Fitting of doors and hardware.
  • Completion of the new foyer area.
  • Construction of hand rails on the deck.
  • Initial construction of the bunks.
  • Manufacture of bunk slats from demolition material – almost 300 have been cut, chamfered, sanded and painted!
  • A myriad of other internal fit out items.

Please refer to the attached photos to appreciate the new bunkroom.  The internal fit-out will be on-going for the next two weekends (9-10 June and 16-17 June).  If you can help out please contact Ian Ayson on aysoni@paradise.net.nz or 04 9048858.

ruapehu bunkroom - queens

23 May 

See attached photos showing some of the recent activities around the Ruapehu Lodge bunkroom re-construction:

 Bunk manufacture in Lower Hutt

  • Interior painting
  • Airlift of mattresses

 Some of the key things to report are:

 The contractor has now completed his work and left the site 2-3 weeks ago

  • The interior painting is now largely complete
  • The carpet has been laid
  • Installation of all electrical and fire alarm fittings is now largely complete
  • Bunk manufacture is complete and the finished parts will be transported to the lodge this weekend

ruapehu bunkroom - may

20 April 

There have been some serious delays to the project caused by some very unseasonable weather. 

There has been everything from day after day of rain and snow in the middle of February, through to weather bombs and hurricane force (well nearly) winds. All of this has disrupted the contractors work and more particularly the ability of the helicopter to ferry materials on to sight.

With more settled weather over the past 3 to 4 weeks work is now progressing well. The interior lining is 80 to  90% complete and the gib-stopper will be on the job from now till the end of the month. The end is now in sight contract- wise.  However the delays have of course disrupted the clubs work program and scheduled work parties have had to be postponed and delayed.

Bookings are starting to flow in so contact the booking officer Shelly Bruce Tel 04 586 8961

RuapehuBookings@hvtc.org.nz to book a weekend or two or join one of the club week trips


6th - 9th April 2012 - Easter HVTC Workparty easter ruapehu

Fifteen people travelled to the Ruapehu Lodge at Easter to continue work on the bunkroom re-construction.  A montage of pictures is attached to give you a feel for the work that went on.   As with most of the country the early weather outlook for Easter was appalling.  Instead we had four fantastic days of fine, still, warm weather which meant there was good progress on the various tasks in hand.

On the outside one of the big jobs involved ripping down the weatherboards from the old bunkroom then installing them as baseboards around the new structure.  With the exception of the section of the deck that is still under construction this job was completed and I can report the finished product looks great.

Ground works are still in progress outside under the surveillance of landscape architect Ian Ayson.  This work included establishing new levels around the freshly-installed baseboards and upgrading the approach to the front door.  The new ramp is almost good enough for Zimmer-frames and wheelchairs!

Ian M single-handedly carried out the painting which included top coating the soffits/barge boards/facias on the new structure and priming and top coating the new weatherboards on the east side of the original two-storey part.

Inside the lodge Patrick F continued his installation and improvement of the electrical systems.

The other big job inside was the modification of the old small bunkroom, by our resident carpenters Matt B and Kerry L, to incorporate it into a new larger foyer area.  This involved blocking the bunkroom door, removing the wall behind the freezers, installing a beam to support the lounge floor structure then re-lining all the walls.  A small glitch was encountered when the LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) beam supplied by the contractor was found to be too short but a quick trip to Taupo on Saturday resolved that issue.  Once the wall modifications were complete the old ski lockers, which were retained for re-use, were installed in one corner of the new and improved foyer.

Upstairs in the lounge, the relocation of the window on the east wall had left exposed framing and damaged wallpaper.  The wall was relined and plastered then the wallpaper reinstated.  It now looks fantastic.  Some debate was had as to the value of a roll of the unopened wallpaper on Trade Me – surely a collector’s item.

Dawn Q and Catherine C carried THE most important job for the weekend by turning on some fantastic food.

The contractor was back at work this week with his key outside tasks being completion of the deck and weatherboards and installation of the gibboard on the inside. 


5 April - Progress Update

Progress of the bunkroom project has faced delays over recent weeks due to extreme weather events and rain and low cloud.  This has prevented helicopter operations necessary to fly internal linings, cladding and other materials to site.

As at 5 April 2012 it is expected the following works will have been completed by the contractor:

  • Exterior cladding, roof, wall boards on east wall and all windows installed and the building fully weather tight.
  • Deck and stairs complete
  • Ventilation system installed
  • Interior linings 30 to 50% installed

Easter weekend 6 – 9 April: An HVTC work party will be held to carry out a number of carpentry, painting, electrical and groundworks tasks.

By 13 April

  • Internal linings will be complete but only limited plastering commenced.

Weekend 13 – 15 April: Electrical fit out by HVTC.

By 20 April

  • All plastering complete
  • Contractors work complete and final helicopter flight to remove waste materials and contractors tools and equipment  undertaken
  • Mattresses’ flown to site on final flight? HVTC
  • Bunk materials if ready flown to site on final flight? HVTC


6 March 2012 - Contract Progress and February Work Parties Report
bunkroom reconstruction - february 2012

Ian Ayson, project manager for the Ruapehu Lodge bunkroom re-construction, has supplied the following report on project progress and future work party plans.  Take a look at the attached photos to see the progress for yourself.



The contractor commenced work on site on 9 Jan 2012 as scheduled and progress  has been as follows:

 As at 3 Feb.  Work on the sub-floor, floor and under-floor insulation was completed.

  • 7 Feb.  Frames and trusses flown to site and construction of walls commenced.
  • As at 29 Feb.  All frames & trusses erected, roof 80% complete, plywood exterior liner 95% complete, cavity batons installed ready for exterior colour steel cladding.
  • A site visit by our engineer Bob Laybourn and the Ruapehu District building inspector took place on 21 Feb 2012 wherein the sub-floor structure, framing and roof trusses were inspected passed and approved.
  • Windows have been delivered to the top of the Bruce Road, the ventilation system should be delivered 6 March and together with a load of building materials should be airlifted to the lodge on 7 March.





February 24 – 26 Electrical Wiring Weekend

Two members of the Mountain Safety Council from Hawkes Bay, electrician Garry and friend Murray, plus our own skilled members Bob D & Patrick F and helpers Ian A, Bruce M and Peter R managed to carry reels of cable up the hill, stretch it out to all the required locations in the bunkroom, hang it up and hammer in all the necessary supporting dwangs and fixing points.  The heavy duty main cable was somehow run from the switchboard through the 2 storied floor spaces to the new sub-board in the new bunkroom. Well done everybody.  A second electrical weekend to finalise the wiring is scheduled for the 10 – 11 March.

February 17 – 20


The club, as part of the agreement with the contractor, is responsible for removing the weatherboard from the east wall of the 2-storied portion of the existing lodge and installing new insulation and building wrap.

A work party of 6 members including our seconded chippie Kerry L, Ian A, Graham C, Bruce M, Peter R and Doug F plus 3 cars and 2 trailers stripped the remaining boards of the east wall, tidied up the framing, framed up for the relocated window then installed insulation and building wrap.  Fascia and barge boards still at the top of the Bruce Road were undercoated as were all the soffit sheets up at the building site.

The trailers were loaded with recycled timber for our bunk construction and Matai flooring for recycling/sale and taken back to the Hutt for processing. An unexpected surprise on Sunday morning was the helicopter delivery of roofing and cladding materials.  The team handled the speedy unloading with the skill of true professionals.  Well done everybody and thanks again.


14 February 2012 - Framing

hvtc framing 003

Just a quick note to show the current progress on re-construction of the bunkroom at Ruapehu Lodge.  As you can see the wall and roof framing is well-advanced.  Great progress!  The work party18-19 February  is removing weatherboards from the east wall of the existing lodge.  The old bunkroom flooring will also be brought back to Wellington for re-sale as well as the old floor joists to be used in the construction of the new bunks.










29-31 December 2011 Work Party and Contractor Progress 9-30 January 2012

ruapehu dec2011-jan2012

Since the last report, work on the mountain has continued. I can report that another site-levelling and earthworks "work party" was held with a team of 6 arriving on site mid afternoon Thurs 29 Dec and departed 48 hours later on 31 Dec 2011 in time to get home for well earned New Year’s celebrations. The team spent a few hours on Thursday and all day Friday digging out more smaller rocks and soil from under the new bunkroom footprint. The purpose of this was to increase the crawl space under the floor joists and the potential storage space under the front of the bunkroom. The material excavated was used to build up the pathway along the front of the bunkroom between the new deck and the old outside circular water tank.  We now have good access along this area and a rock-free path (well nearly) so we won’t scratch our skis in the winter.  Thanks to the team Phil & Dawn Q, Bruce M, George K, Hunter N (age 11) and Ian Ayson.


The Contractor commenced work on site on 9 Jan 2012 with a welcome handshake from our project manager Ian Ayson.  He promptly started digging holes in our nicely prepared building footprint for the foundation piles of the bunkroom.  Three days later the holes were duly inspected by the Ruapehu District Council Building inspector and our own engineer Bob L.  The work was duly approved.   Unfortunately, due to the late delivery of some of the subfloor materials, the contractor was forced to delay the planned helicopter flight of these materials by one week.  The flight took place on 24 Jan after anniversary weekend, causing a 10 day delay to the construction program.  All subfloor materials are now on site, piles placed in position and concrete was flown in on 25 Jan.  So we are now safely out of the ground.  At the time of writing this report the contractor reports that all the bearers floor joists and a third of the flooring has been laid.  The next Helicopter lift is programmed for 7 Feb which will be mainly the pre-nailed wall frames and roof trusses.


Have a look at the photos showing the work party activities (29-31 Dec).


Unfortunately the delays in the contract work have meant our planned work parties are now well out of schedule. 



9-10 December 2011:  Salvaging the Piles and Matai Floor Boardsruapehu photos 21 december


Ian A, Phil and Dawn were at the mountain on 9 and 10 December to retrieve some of the old wooden piles from under the old bunkroom. Whilst most of the piles were rotted off at ground level and couldn’t support the hut much longer they still have enough good wood for converting into souvenir fruit bowls or similar.  Phil’s hobby is woodturning and he was keen to get as much of the usable wood as possible for his hobby. Some of his products will be available for purchase by members with funds going back into the Bunkroom Project.


The trio managed some 20 trips down the mountain and loaded around 24 to 26 piles onto a trailer and headed to Paraparaumu for processing.  They also brought back some samples of the Matai floor boards so anyone interested in purchasing the floorboards for reuse / recycling can see what they look like. We have 260 Lm (36 Sqm) of the 5” wide T&G boards for sale.


Between trips up and down the hill, further earthmoving was undertaken and some replanting of tussock grasses and small plants undertaken.  Thanks Guys & Gals.  Have a look at the attached photos showing the work party activities.


Ian Ayson reports that there is still some earthworks to be completed before the contractor starts work on site on 9th January.  The work involves excavation of loose dirt and fill below the foundations to create some extra storage space under the flooring and using that material to create a pathway in front of the new bunkroom deck.   Note that after 9 January the hut is fully under the control of the contractor and only members of organized work parties may be on site or use the facilities.


Well that’s about all for now.  Merry Christmas to all.  The New Year promises to be rather busy.



3-4 December 2011: 3rd Work Party, Leveling the Site26-27 november


Last weekend was the third and last work party at the Ruapehu Lodge before the contractor commences construction of the new bunkroom structure in early January.


Saturday was spent, in intermittent showers, leveling the ground and lowering the level of the most stubborn rocks.  The rocks were effectively attacked with a diamond saw and kango hammer and although we had expansive grout available to attempt to break the rock apart this was not found to be necessary or suitable in the wet conditions.  By the end of the day we were all more than ready for a cold beer!


Sunday was again misty and intermittently wet.  A load of the larger tools was carried to the Top-of-the-Bruce then the final rubbish cleaned up from around the site and deposited into fadge bags.  The lodge was then given a good clean up ready for the contractor.


The demolition and site leveling work parties have been a fantastic event involving 24 dedicated club members.  More work parties will be scheduled in March or April once the contractor is finished so watch this space.




26-27 November 2011: 2nd Demolition Work Party, Goodbye to the Bunkroom


Check out the photos and you will see what progress was made on our second bunkroom demolition workparty (26-27 November). Yep, the old bunkroom is officially gone and now resides as a series of helicopter loads waiting for removal when the contractor starts construction.


To recap on our 2nd Demolition Work Party...once again we had good weather and great progress was made.  You may remember at the end of the first demolition party most of the roof structure and half the roof sarking was still in place.  By the end of Saturday the roof was gone, the walls were gone and we were left with just the floor structure.  The better quality matai weatherboards were saved to be ripped down to form base boards for the new bunkroom structure.  The steel beam along the front of the bunkroom has also been retained for use in the new bunkroom.


The ground works continued with the key focus being the large stubborn rocks in the north east corner.  To assist with this process Russell  P provided a hydraulic kango hammer.  This is a serious bit of kit that would make Tim Taylor proud.  The hammer alone weighs about 30kg and is supported by a hydraulic power pack and hoses that are a similar weight.  As the only resident civil contractor Russell dutifully drove the kango assisted by Nick.


On Sunday the floor structure was lifted off the piles and a good quantity of the matai floorboards were recovered for sale and some of the bearers retained for construction of the bunks.  The biggest surprise was when the piles were removed.  Investigations over a number of years had concluded the piles were in poor condition but this was an eye opener.  Very few of the timber piles were found to be

hvtc lodge - 26-27 november

 totara and were instead some unknown and less durable native timber.  Most of the piles had rotted away at ground level due to decay which had travelled up the centre of t

he pile lea

ving a hollow shell.  It is difficult to understand what was supporting the old bunkroom.


On Sunday the kango was used to break up the concrete slab and walls forming the old carbonette store and to trim off a few slightly proud rocks.  One rock remains to be conquered – even the kango was bouncing off it and a strategy is currently being formed to attack it with a quiet demolition product, diamond saws and kangos.


The final work party (prior to handing over the site to the contractors) is scheduled for this weekend (3 and 4 December 2011).  A few people are required to break up the big rock and establish the final ground levels.  There is also a little bit of tidying up to be done and we may possibly bring home the matai flooring for sale.   Then our work will be done and we can relax for Christmas (Yep – a Tui moment).  The contractor will be starting construction of the new bunkroom structure in early January.




19-20 November 2011: Meeting with DOC and 1st Demolition Work Party


This may seem like a strange time of the year to get an update from the Ruapehu Lodge but this year is extraordinary.  At the Club’s Extraordinary General Meeting on 2 November club members voted to proceed with the re-construction of a new bunkroom facility at the Ruapehu Lodge.  This has been based on a great deal of behind the scenes work from John Simes and others over a number of years and more recently by the highly capable Project Control Group.


The basic timetable for the work is as follows:


·         Prior to Christmas 2011 club members are tasked with the demolition of the existing bunkroom and levelling of the ground for the new bunkroom.

·         Immediately after Christmas the selected building contractor will take possession of the site and proceed to construct the new bunkroom.

·         Once the contractor has completed his work, likely to be in March or April 2012, club members will then be tasked with finishing the project including internal painting, construction of bunks and fitting of lockers.


So what progress has there been to date?


Well last weekend (19-20 November ) was our first demolition work party and it was a fantastic event that achieved heaps.  The first critical event was that Ian Ayson, Project Manager, met with DOC representatives on Thursday afternoon, and on site on Friday afternoon to clarify and iron out their concerns with respect to protecting the


 environment during demolition.  All was agreed which gave us the final green light to proceed.


On Friday night we were treated to a dusting of fresh snow then the work started in earnest on Saturday morning.  Lockers were emptied and the contents packed down to a waiting vehicle then all interior linings and joinery were removed.  By the end of Saturday all the walls were stripped back to the framing.  The demolition waste was either compressed into fadge bags (big woven bags that helicopters can pick up) or stacked up ready for helicopter removal.  One point of interest was that a stoats nest, complete with dead rabbit and bird remains, was found in the wall cavity behind the ski lockers.


Meanwhile, at the east end of the lodge, ground works were proceeding to reduce the ground level ready for construction.  The footprint of the new lodge is 4m longer than the old structure and a significant amount of scoria and rocks needs to removed.  The progress on the ground works was startling with a team of between 6 and 8 steadily lowering the ground level including the removal of some very large rocks.  Some members of the team were accused of seeking all the glory being involved only with removal of the biggest of the big rocks – jealousy, jealousy!


On Sunday the works progressed onto demolition of the roof and by the end of the day all the roofing iron and half of the roof sarking had been removed.  The old bunkroom was separated from the two storey section of the lodge by demolishing the last 2 or 3 roof trusses and the wall was weatherproofed with plastic.  Ground works proceeded at the east end of the lodge and much of that work is now complete.  All that is required now to complete the job is some mechanical help in the form of a big grunty kango hammer to annoy the last of the big rocks.


The biggest thank you of the weekend goes to Dawn who turned on a series of morning teas, afternoon teas and meals befitting of the best of Wellington’s cafes.