Ruahine Forest Park - October 2021
Toka Biv had a superb makeover in 2019, when a BCT team led by Josh Murray did a complete rebuild of the old Forest Service two-person bivouac. This also included adding a new watertank, and building a new thunderbox toilet, positioned away from the tarns.
The bivvy has a lovely position in a subalpine basin on the Ngamoko Range, facing east, but the location is quite boggy. Increased use since over the last year or so meant mud was becoming a bit of an issue.
In October, Josh Murray flew back in with friend Ryan to remedy the situation
Josh tells the story: 'As you can see in the before pictures it had got very boggy out front and on the track leading to the toilet.’
‘We decided to pull trigger at about midday Friday as the clouds started to clear off the tops. Ryan and I flew in with Owen from Midwest helicopters, and he was flexible and easy to deal with. The gear got slung in soon after with no problems. From there we made a plan on where to use the pre-made tracks, we decided to stick to the high-use areas closer to the hut.’
‘We did a bit of digging to get a level surface, placed the tracks and hammered large pegs into place. That rounded out day one’s work.’
‘On Saturday we moved the thunder box toilet, did some painting touch ups, added more overflow pipe to the water tank, installed the new DOC toilet sign and then noticed the guttering had broken off at the screws. Luckily we had some spare nails to fix it.’
‘On Sunday we completed a big clean up of the hut. There was already a lot of unnecessary rubbish being left behind in the hut box (empty glass bottles, empty gas cylinders, bags of nut mix and other rat-attracting snacks).’
‘Since we hadn’t managed to shoot any deer, we had room to carry out all the rubbish. The weather was great the whole time, and we had a nice walk out.’