Late March 2016 saw us on the Lagoon Saddle Track for the Department of Conservation doing a track re-route of a particularly boggy and rickety/deteriorating boardwalk section on Burnt Face, just down from Lagoon Saddle, above Cora Lynn.

As with any projects in the backcountry, there is a plethora of challenges to meet even before getting onto site – helicopters, weather…actually, mostly just helicopters and weather! Work was delayed due to both factors on two different occasions so the pressure was on once we made it in. Not to mention stocking the hut, keeping comfortable (and warm) and telling a few yarns in front of the fire.

We re-routed 800+ metres of track over a two week period – dealing with boggy and rocky sections, sleeping in a two bunk hut and sharing the project with the local resident cheeky kea family. The finished line sits just above the current one and avoids much of the bog issues (along with our water management on the trail, of course!) and is now bedding in for the Winter…this new line will remain closed to all users until Spring 2016.

Thanks to Cam Bisset from D&E Track and Trail – it’s great to find like-minded, backcountry-savvy people who know how to build good trails and spin a good yarn. Big thanks also to Fletcher and Jamie from Anderson Helicopters for their professional services and making it all come together seamlessly.