Lake Man Biv was built in 1968 by the NZFS and is a 2-3 day round trip between the Doubtful and Hope valleys, located in the Lewis Pass area. Sometime in the early 2000s the original open fire place was removed leaving this less attractive as a winter destination, but still welcome shelter for most times of the year.
Apart from this modification, the biv had not had regular maintenance for 20 years before Peter Alspach applied for funds from the Backcountry Trust in Round 6. An assessment trip was undertaken in September 2017 to get an idea of the work needed on the biv.
Along with Robyn Ritchie, Peter flew into the biv on the 5th April 2019 and spent the next couple of days preparing the exterior of the biv for painting, including removing most of the existing paint from the roof. The plan had been to lift the roof to complete some work, but since the weather had other plans, they opted to restore the original. The west wall was modified for the installation of a new double-glazed window for more light and insulation on the ceiling was installed before it was lined with ply. The old bench was replaced with a stainless steel one, and some interior shelves were rebuilt.
The bunk beds were also updated by removing the canvas and replacing the bases with slats to accommodate the new mattresses, a tilting seat was constructed, an internal door bolt was fitted, some sheeting was laid beneath the hut to prevent rising damp. It ended up being a cold wet week for the project with the temperature remaining below 10C for most of the week.
The mornings of the 8th and 9th saw the weather clear up enough to allow them to finally prime the entire biv, and apply the top coats of paint, and carry out some final cleaning and tidying, before flying back out with their gear and rubbish on the afternoon of the 9th April. All up Peter and Robyn carried out 186 work hours between them, over 5 days, and left this little biv ready to shelter explorers of this piece of alpine beech forest, above the Kedron River, for many more years.