It is positioned at the junction of the Waimakariri and White rivers in Arthurs Pass National Park, and is a strategic hut for trampers and mountaineers alike. Further up valley is the Barker hut (see Huts 01) and Waimak Falls hut (a future blog) - both stepping off points for serious climbing and also remote tramping. Harrington hut is the first stopping place on the Three Pass Trip from Klondyke Corner to Hokitika.
|The second Carrington hut|
Below this second hut there was a small four bunk NZFS (New Zealand Forest Service) hut (see below) - a handy overflow hut, especially at Easter in the 1960s when there was always an Easter Climbing School run by the CMC. I have spent a night in this four bunk hut with eleven trampers crammed inside. My 'bunk' was up in the rafters lying on a climbing rope wrapped around the rafters. A very uncomfortable night!!
|NZFS hut below Carrington hut - November 1967|
|The current Carrington hut|
Whilst this hut is perfect for large parties visiting the upper Waimak - and I have no doubt that some busy weekends it is full to capacity with tents pitched close by. For me, it is a soulless dwelling - it echoes with every footstep inside - and will never have that character that many remote and older back country huts have. The smell, the stories in the old hut books, the writing on the walls (not graffiti). But still, it does provide a refuge on a stormy night and it is a stepping stone to remoter places up valley.
In this hut's early days, it had a sign above the entrance saying 'Carrington Hilton'. Sadly, the Hilton hotel chain had no sense of humour and after a court case, the sign had to be removed!
A think I may as well complete the Waimakariri huts in the near future so watch this space.