Restoring iconic Cope Hut
PARKS Victoria is proud of the incredible partnership it has formed with the Victorian High Country Huts Association (VHCHA) over the past 15 years, and the series of working bees that have been undertaken.
The aim of the partnership is to undertake repairs to ensure the huts are structurally sound, stable and weatherproof while respecting its age and layers of history.
Cope Hut, located on the Bogong High Plains within the Alpine National Park, has been a refuge for skiers and bushwalkers since it was first built back in 1929.
The harsh alpine conditions have taken their toll on Cope Hut so now it is up to a team of dedicated volunteers working with Parks Victoria to undertake the necessary repairs.
The extensive works that have been undertaken at the two working bees this year include the rebuilding of the frame and walls on the woodshed, replacing stumps, installing drainage and replacing the verandah at the entrance.
Recently, the team dismantled and rebuilt the frame on the western wall, rebuilt window frames and windows and replaced stumps and floorboards within the middle floor.
It is worthy to note that all replacements have been done with local timbers, and logs have been cut using traditional methods all by hand (broad axe, adzes, chisels etc).
The teams will reconvene in March 2018 to finalise the remaining restoration works to Cope Hut including repair of the roof, entrance steps, fireplace stone work and frames on the northern wall and southern wall.
“I am always amazed by the passion, knowledge and commitment demonstrated by the VHCHA and its incredible team of volunteers,” Parks Victoria ranger team leader Mt Beauty Kevin Cosgriff said.
“We had over 20 volunteers here this weekend, all with various skills and roles, from catering to carpentry to stone work to an archaeologist trained in collating and categorising heritage artefacts.”
“Our team of rangers enjoy working on those projects right from the start and are delighted when we near completion.
“It provides a real sense of achievement knowing we have restored another heritage asset within the Alpine National Park.”
“Working on these Alpine Huts is incredibly rewarding,” said Wangaratta’s Lachie Gales, a member of the Victorian High Country Huts Association and co-ordinator for Cope Hut Restoration.
“We’re all learning so much about the heritage of the High Country while making sure it survives for future generations.
“The team at Parks Victoria are supportive in every way and always show respect and gratitude for what we do.
“It’s a relationship that is going to continue to get some great things done.” PROUD AS PUNCH: The volunteers helping to restore Cope Hut are doing an excellent job. HARD AT WORK: Volunteers are busy cutting floorboards for the new renovations of the hut.