Tin Hut spruce up for 91st birthday

A grand old lady of the high country has had a spruce up to coincide with her 91st birthday, but this nonagenarian won't be blowing out her own candles. Tin Hut was built in preparation for the first winter crossing of the Snowy Mountains and, some 90 years on, she's just enjoyed a facelift.

Tin Hut, Kosciuszko National Park

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Area Manager Anthony Evans said the works to upgrade Tin Hut, coincided with the 90th anniversary of the first successful winter crossing of the Snowy Mountains from Kiandra to Kosciusko.

“Tin Hut is one of several historic huts across the High Country that today provide emergency accommodation for ski tourers and bush walkers as well as a window to the past,” Mr Evans said.

“When it was completed in 1926, Tin Hut was a crucial part of an attempt to cross the Snowy Mountains in winter, a feat that had never achieved.

“The Hut was built specifically for the winter crossing attempt, where it proved to be a life saver.

“The crossing in 1926 was thwarted by bad weather which saw the party, led by ski pioneer Dr Herbert Schlink, holed up in Tin Hut for several days before returning to Kosciuszko without completing the crossing.

“A second attempt in July 1927 was successful with high country huts including Tin Hut providing refuge along the route.

“Ninety years may have passed but Tin Hut is still in a remote location, making the renovation works challenging, although we did have access to some modern conveniences, including a helicopter, to do the heavy lifting,” Mr Evans said.

Decades of exposure to the harsh elements of the High Country saw the wooden corner posts rotted at ground level. 

NPWS staff along with members of the Kosciuszko Hut Association, spent weeks virtually dismantling and reassembling the hut replacing the frame and reattaching the original cladding.

“This painstaking work, which involved camping out on site, means none of the historic aesthetic has been lost - the hut looks and feels the same as it did previously.

“The result is an old hut with a new frame which should see it through many more decades and a reminder of the pioneering spirit that opened up the Snowy Mountains,” Mr Evans said.

Photos for media: Tin Hut Kosciuszko National Park

Media contact: OEH Public Affairs 02 9995 5347