Mountain hut

An Ode To The Beetham

By Jane Morris

Photo by Geoff Spearpoint


Here’s something that would be great to applaud,

In Aoraki Mount Cook a new hut’s been installed;


A sweet place indeed, amongst the tussocks of honey,

Enticing orange rock, where its mellow and sunny;


The Beetham, indeed such a magical place,

Where an overnight hut option is back in its space;


It sat unvisited for quite some duration,

Up on its perch in its happy location;


Yet all that’s required are a few tramping skills,

And some clue how to navigate in our backcountry hills;


Trot over some rocks that aren’t all that bad,

Traverse in via a bench that is tussock clad;


And voila your there, without too much pain,

After a tolerable 8 hours with only 3 in moraine;


Not sure when walking became so out of favour,

And requiring a helicopter our go-to behaviour;

(except for those people on the Sub Alpine Team,

or the chaps on one continuous 3000m dream);


Its less complicated than getting to say Empress Hut,

No seasonal access issues keeping it shut;


The Malte Brun Range has a whole host of climbs,

Plus ski touring, rock climbing, there’s year round good times;


So when everything else in the Park becomes bony,

And you’re wondering what’s left to be done on Shanks Pony…


The Beetham is back, and quietly awaits,

For people like You to go visit with mates;

Although it’s quite compact and sleeps only four,

If your OUTC then I’m sure you’ll fit more;


We could lament the changed access and bow to defeat,

Or embrace the adventure and vote with our feet;


So go get amongst it, follow your nose,

And celebrate that walking to Beetham still goes.


Access map

  • Upper Ball Road Car Park (by chain)  – Ball Hut: 2-3 hrs
  • Ball Hut – Mouth of Reay (up valley side): 3-4 hrs
  • Reay via benches – Beetham Hut: 2 hrs