News Pretty Valley hut maintenance and possibly total rebuild

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
Just had a message from Parks Victoria thanking me for the offer of building materials. It seems that some money has become available and the ranger is meeting with some fellers from HCH in a week or two to have discussions. I am demolishing my old shed to make way for a new and grander edifice and it seemed a shame to send good roofing iron and timbers to scrap and/or landfill.
I also offered some surplus double glazed window panels. cypress posts etc.
So perhaps if anybody has spare wall wrap and / or insulation you could give Parks a call in Mt Beauty and see what they say
New hut may even have a veranda so we can sit and watch the snow fall while drinking our cocoa
 

Bogong

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
It's a shame to see one of the few remaining "SEC Cubes" go, there used to be dozens of them scattered all over the area. But Pretty Valley Hut is over 70 years old and was never designed to last more than a decade. Anyway, it will be exciting to see what The Powers That Be replace it with.
 

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
Every year I go up and see it still standing I am surprised. The hut has patches on the patches and all the Alpine Ash posts and stumps are rotted away so something needs to be done.
Parks worst nightmare might be the old hut collapsing on a dozen school students with a metre or two of wet snow on the roof
The resident Antechinus may need to find new homes tho.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
36,546
39,846
1,063
Middle Oz
@Moondog55 can you give me a relevant contact at PV, can donate but it’ll be a slightly complex process from SA.

Where is the nearest Bunnos to Mt Beauty?
 

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
Ranger is Kevin Cosgriff contactable through Parks Mt Beauty office
No idea about the nearest Bunnings tho
PM sending
 
  • Like
Reactions: skifree
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
36,546
39,846
1,063
Middle Oz
Trade account is with Bunnos, no wukkers, I’ll sort something out.
 

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
Well I have had an email from the Ranger. The huts association do not want the double glazed panels, the roofing iron, the fibreglass insulation, the housewrap or any of the structural timbers. I guess it all goes to landfill, firewood and scrap over the next few months
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
36,546
39,846
1,063
Middle Oz
Well I have had an email from the Ranger. The huts association do not want the double glazed panels, the roofing iron, the fibreglass insulation, the housewrap or any of the structural timbers. I guess it all goes to landfill, firewood and scrap over the next few months
Surely you know a good spot to sneak in a new hut?
 

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
Got an email last week from the Huts association.
Apparently the hut is scheduled for refurbishment/rebuild or whatever as soon as the Covid restrictions are lifted.
Again I offered help and building materials. I also again raised the issue of a toilet close to the hut but I haven't received an answer.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
13,692
14,811
813
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
It's a shame to see one of the few remaining "SEC Cubes" go, there used to be dozens of them scattered all over the area. But Pretty Valley Hut is over 70 years old and was never designed to last more than a decade. Anyway, it will be exciting to see what The Powers That Be replace it with.
If we XC skiers and bushwalkers can get a rebuild like Weston's hut or Michelle hut then that would be excellent.
@Ubiquitous Steve might be interested in helping somehow once we are let out of plague prison.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
12,177
5,758
813
If we XC skiers and bushwalkers can get a rebuild like Weston's hut or Michelle hut then that would be excellent.
@Ubiquitous Steve might be interested in helping somehow once we are let out of plague prison.
Oh just caught up with proceedings!They need to think big....well bigger than usual.
You need to cater for day trippers in ski season and summer....but you need a reasonable size hut for winter use of Cross country skiers.The old hut has served the community well.Team Bears have replaced some weather boards and done a paint job inside and out on occasions.We tried as hard as possible to keep the snow from getting in past the facia board.Something similar to Weston’s or Ropers Hut is the go...Max insulation .....but provision for influx of day trippers too.Never mind the FHAW thingee....Parks need time plan and think progressively for the future.Some big double glass windows ,double doors etc
etc.

Pretty Valley Hut was a tremendous asset and appreciated by many when the weather was shitty...sometimes over 15 people inside .It provided a safe haven for first timers trying out snow camping and overnight trips.They need to get a new one up prior to winter 2021.
It is sad to see it go....but it had a good long life....a very good piece of infrastructure
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
13,692
14,811
813
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
Oh just caught up with proceedings!They need to think big....well bigger than usual.
You need to cater for day trippers in ski season and summer....but you need a reasonable size hut for winter use of Cross country skiers.The old hut has served the community well.Team Bears have replaced some weather boards and done a paint job inside and out on occasions.We tried as hard as possible to keep the snow from getting in past the facia board.Something similar to Weston’s or Ropers Hut is the go...Max insulation .....but provision for influx of day trippers too.Never mind the FHAW thingee....Parks need time plan and think progressively for the future.Some big double glass windows ,double doors etc
etc.

Pretty Valley Hut was a tremendous asset and appreciated by many when the weather was shitty...sometimes over 15 people inside .It provided a safe haven for first timers trying out snow camping and overnight trips.They need to get a new one up prior to winter 2021.
It is sad to see it go....but it had a good long life....a very good piece of infrastructure
The rebuild of Pretty Valley hut will be a good start. The hut is tiny and falling down. It gets a lot of visitors year round. If they make it like Michelle hut with the 'airlock ante chamber' ,proper burner and chimney , water tank etc. then the future will be looking bright for making a base there for BHP ski touring in white season. The Team leader can still restock the new hut with wood in 2021 for the white season .
 

Chaeron

Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak
Ski Pass
Jun 24, 2014
8,318
16,636
563
Dandenong Ranges
Pretty Valley horseyards receives significant summer visitation by road with large numbers of car-based campers.

Given the summer road accessibility and the XC proximity to the resort in winter it makes sense to retain only a smaller hut on the existing footprint - not a rebuild, but a refurbishment- but an upgrade of the toilet facilities to manage the larger numbers.

With the toilet at the horseyards a need for an additional toilet at the hut seems redundant.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
12,177
5,758
813
Pretty Valley horseyards receives significant summer visitation by road with large numbers of car-based campers.

Given the summer road accessibility and the XC proximity to the resort in winter it makes sense to retain only a smaller hut on the existing footprint - not a rebuild, but a refurbishment- but an upgrade of the toilet facilities to manage the larger numbers.

With the toilet at the horseyards a need for an additional toilet at the hut seems redundant.
But the minority of skiers are tourers and spend nights out on the high plains....Day skiers just whizz back to Falls....but they are not the only consideration .Foot print itself is not of great concern.....the little yard at Pretty Valley immediately in the front of the hut is no longer used.....so a great area is available if required for a rebuild .....we don’t need to cling to the past..sensible development should be considered.
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
The existing toilet overflows in winter if not pumped out before the road closes, it is now too small to cope with the numbers visiting, also there are a large number of hut visitors who won't travel the further distance to the existing drop.
The trouble is structural, most of the supporting timbers in the floor are heavily weathered and/or starting to rot because the walls leak as does the roof in very have snow loads and the stud walls have similar issues. The SEC huts were built as temporary structures and I'm surprised they have lasted as well as they have.
I think it will come down to the time and money available, as it is usually much cheaper and time efficient to demolish and start from scratch with old and rundown structures.
BTDT
In winter the hut area is a more protected camping area so more people camp closer to the hut then.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
12,177
5,758
813
The existing toilet overflows in winter if not pumped out before the road closes, it is now too small to cope with the numbers visiting, also there are a large number of hut visitors who won't travel the further distance to the existing drop.
The trouble is structural, most of the supporting timbers in the floor are heavily weathered and/or starting to rot because the walls leak as does the roof in very have snow loads and the stud walls have similar issues. The SEC huts were built as temporary structures and I'm surprised they have lasted as well as they have.
I think it will come down to the time and money available, as it is usually much cheaper and time efficient to demolish and start from scratch with old and rundown structures.
BTDT
In winter the hut area is a more protected camping area so more people camp closer to the hut then.
Well it’s easy access for builders....and possible to get concrete truck or other machinery right up to the site .Lets build something decent for future generations .
But the thin edge of the wedge Dudes will be out to throw cold water on any development!
 

Chaeron

Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak
Ski Pass
Jun 24, 2014
8,318
16,636
563
Dandenong Ranges
Well it’s easy access for builders....and possible to get concrete truck or other machinery right up to the site .Lets build something decent for future generations .
But the thin edge of the wedge Dudes will be out to throw cold water on any development!
A Parks Vic visitor centre with some summer amenities would be a logical step - throwing out the Hotham-Falls crossing pipe-dreams, and enabling more mountain bike use of the existing trails around Falls.

Call it the Steve Lee centre or something.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
12,177
5,758
813
A Parks Vic visitor centre with some summer amenities would be a logical step - throwing out the Hotham-Falls crossing pipe-dreams, and enabling more mountain bike use of the existing trails around Falls.

Call it the Steve Lee centre or something.
Well perhaps they could tidy up track from Tawonga Huts around old jeep track...over Fainters and out by Bogong Jack Saddle.Not much work required for Mt Bike Track....washouts need a few bridges .That would provide quite a pleasant route for Mt Bikes...oh yeah finishing up near Big Hill.Probably a better return for dollars spent !
The other long route...Nelses .Timms Lookout Fire trail to Big River and out to Mt Ck Picnic Ground ?
 

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
A Parks Vic visitor centre with some summer amenities would be a logical step - throwing out the Hotham-Falls crossing pipe-dreams, and enabling more mountain bike use of the existing trails around Falls.

Call it the Steve Lee centre or something.
He isn't dead yet but that idea of a back country visitor centre is a very good idea. Won't happen tho as no money for manpower to staff it.
Speaking to the rangers from Parks over many years I have advocated for disabled toilet access as well as camping platforms and a couple of simple roofed shelters in that general area to provide picnic space for people like my beloved who are unable to walk much but like to get out. The lack of disabled toilets is discriminatory in this age.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
12,177
5,758
813
He isn't dead yet but that idea of a back country visitor centre is a very good idea. Won't happen tho as no money for manpower to staff it.
Speaking to the rangers from Parks over many years I have advocated for disabled toilet access as well as camping platforms and a couple of simple roofed shelters in that general area to provide picnic space for people like my beloved who are unable to walk much but like to get out. The lack of disabled toilets is discriminatory in this age.
Even Keppels Hut has a toilet suitable for disabled folk....not sure how good path is up to there though.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
36,546
39,846
1,063
Middle Oz
Is there a design of the new hut that we could look at on the interwebby
?
Phone Parks in Mt Beauty for latest info.

Pretty certain the rebuild has been delegated out to a group who were planning to get this project done this Spring / Summer but might subject to some reprogramming given only locals can get to the work site at present.
 

Chaeron

Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak
Ski Pass
Jun 24, 2014
8,318
16,636
563
Dandenong Ranges
It's going to be the Huts Association I believe
Contact with them is spotty at best, https://hutsvictoria.org.au/
I trust the Huts Association - working alongside some specific partners including regional walking clubs they’ve done great work at places like Youngs and Cope huts recently.

Dibbins needs some work too....
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
13,692
14,811
813
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
I trust the Huts Association - working alongside some specific partners including regional walking clubs they’ve done great work at places like Youngs and Cope huts recently.

Dibbins needs some work too....
Bogong Jack Saddle hut also needs replacing with a Michelle hut type structure.
 
Last edited:

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
I haven't seen the new Michell hut and technically I believe it should be called a refuge.
The old hut was tiny and cramped with all 8 of us in there one very wet winters day
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
13,692
14,811
813
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
I haven't seen the new Michell hut and technically I believe it should be called a refuge.
The old hut was tiny and cramped with all 8 of us in there one very wet winters day
Michelle Hut, Roper's hut, Federation hut , Mt. No.3 refuge hut & Weston's hut are all excellently rebuilt huts. Michelle hut and Federation hut both have ' air lock antechambers' which helps keep heat in and snow out in white season.
I would suggest double glazing the way Dershko's hut ( KNP NSW) is designed would be a wise investment in any rebuilt hut on the BHP.
 
Last edited:

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
I've just received an email via the Huts Association, still in the planning stages, money, time and COVID restrictions delaying a lot of projects so nothing definite yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chaeron

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
36,546
39,846
1,063
Middle Oz
That’s a heaps weird synchronicity, I just emailed Mt Beauty / VIC Parks about today.


o_O
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chaeron

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
So another Covid season and with no work on the hut I am actually surprised it is still standing up.
I walked out to the hut on Monday to retrieve the gear I left there in anticipation of a swift return and to get the saw and shovel I usually leave there each winter.
The log book didn't have much use and most of my gear was still there but the saw and the shovel were missing but they were cheap stuff from Bunnings so I'm not too out of pocket there there as both tools had lasted a couple of seasons.
But after my slip on the huts first step and breaking the spinal process [ Lateral @ T4 I think] in the fall when I landed hard on my back on that rock by the door I feel the hut is no longer safe to use; push hard on a corner and the hut now wobbles; and if not rebuilt or replaced will become a public liability issue for Parks Vic.
I'd write and email again to Parks in Mt Beauty but I think all of my missives go straight tho their SPAM folder these days, I'm sure they are heartily sick of me harping on.
 
Last edited:

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
12,177
5,758
813
Bears sorry you suffered such an injury.That’s not good.

Lets hope Parks organize some repair work there shortly.They need to get this replacement project underway and have it ready by next ski season.

Its an important winter hut.....
 

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
Bears it hurt like hell, much worse than cracked ribs. luckily we have drugs that help cope with pain that are somewhat stronger than aspirin and/or paracetamol.
Maybe somebody else should get in touch with Parks and also Huts VIC and ask what's happening and when>...
 

Ubiquitous Steve

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 29, 2008
12,177
5,758
813
Bears it hurt like hell, much worse than cracked ribs. luckily we have drugs that help cope with pain that are somewhat stronger than aspirin and/or paracetamol.
Maybe somebody else should get in touch with Parks and also Huts VIC and ask what's happening and when>...
Was it icy or is that step lose now?Mr T might draft them a letter and see how things are progressing.

Its an important hut for shelter and also provides novices with a safe camp on early overnight camps in the snow season.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
36,546
39,846
1,063
Middle Oz
The Pretty Valley Hut works were to be done by a group separate from but with Parks sanction.

I have some details about, if I remember & find them I’ll post.

I probably should call them anyhow to confirm some funding I promised them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ubiquitous Steve

Moondog55

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 3, 2014
2,446
1,510
363
Well I've not yet recieved an answer to yesterdays email but with Melbourne and Victoria coming out of lockdown this coming Friday perhaps something will happen soon.
Here's the email address for contact just in case.
hmo10@hutsvictoria.org.au
I've made an offer of assistance as well as an offer to cook soup for the crew as I do own some pretty big pots and my curried pumpkin soup is pretty damned good.
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

Log in

or Log in using
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass