#34 – 29th March 2014
Built in 2002, the Crow Hut is situated at 1050m above sea level, along the Crow River in the valley behind Arthurs Pass Village. It sleeps 10 people on sleeping platforms, with a good wee living space and a great fire.
The hut is along the ‘Avalanche Peak – Crow River Route’, which leaves from the village over Avalanche Peak and down a good 600m descent on scree (after a reasonably knarly, but short section prior to the actual peak). Do be careful not to take the wrong scree slope on this route as there are a couple of false ones that lead to drop offs. The correct slope has a pole marker and is the first on the topo map that you will see reach all the way to the valley floor (after point 1658) – seek advice if unsure, its a pretty serious route with a few potential traps (see link below for more info). Alternatively, you can reach this hut by coming in the other way up the Waimakariri River from the Klondyke Corner Area and then heading up the Crow River.
The area is avalanche prone in winter and spring so its best to visit outside this season, particularly if travelling via Avalanche Peak. In fact, theres a sign in the hut pointing out the hut is in a (moderate level) avalanche path! This was the first such hut I’d encountered in an avalanche path – outside avalanche season of course! 🙂
On a good day with the right skills and advice its a cracker trip I totally recommend! The views are amazing!
The hut got its name from a sighting of a South Island Kōkako (also known as an ‘orange-wattled crow) in 1865. It was last seen in the area in the 1930’s and is now considered to be ‘most likely’ extinct. You’ll see kea out here too, my favourite NZ bird! Just keep an eye on your stuff lol.