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Mount Egmont Alpine Club

Firsts & Historic Dates

Sources:Mt Egmont Alpine Club and Dawson Falls 50 years history 1928-78
A History of Mt Egmont Alpine Club 1978-2003

192819 MarchMt Egmont Alpine Club formed. Notice of Meeting As a result of this meeting The Mount Egmont Alpine Club is formed.
1 AprilFirst organised climb, 70 members to the summit of Egmont. These are the signatures of some that reached the top. Back on Fanthams Peak, with an attendance of some 140 people, a discussion was held on proposals to erect a hut and a cairn was built to mark suggested site.
3 AprilBranch of Club formed at Manaia
18 AprilFirst club bulletin was produced and membership now 300.
19 AprilBranch formed at Stratford with 41 members.
29 AprilFirst working bee to cut scrub for a Ski Track from Stratford Plateau up Curtis Ridge.
8 JulyMr George Meuli presented plans for proposed hut on Fanthams Peak.

192924 MarchFirst Club picnic, held at Kaupokonui Beach.
AprilClub Evenings started in Winter Show Buildings
1 JuneFirst skiing on Stratford Track
22 SeptemberFirst skiing on Manganui grounds.
13 NovemberHut for Fanthams Peak being prefabricated in Winter Show Buildings.
8 DecemberFirst working bee to carry hut materials.
24 Dec - 3 Jan 30Christmas Trip to Mt Cook, party of 48.

19306 AprilSyme Hut opened by Mr W Armit, chairman of Park Board, in presence of 300 people.
14/15 JuneFirst At Home at Dawson Falls.

193114/15 MarchFirst Wanganui River Trip to Pipiriki.
AprilWork started cutting scrub for ski track at foot of Fanthams Peak.
12 JulyFirst skiing on Hooker Run.
31 AugustFirst NZ Ski Championship to a Club member: R. Syme won long distance race.
4 OctoberAlf Brustad skied down Fanthams Peak.
6 DecemberFirst Taranaki and Club ski championships held above Rangitoto Flat with 150 entries.
24 Dec - 2 Jan 32Trip to Franz Joseph Glacier, party of 43.

1932OctoberProvincial Ski Committee formed at a meeting of the three Taranaki Clubs.

193317 SeptemberTaranaki ski championships organised for Manganui grounds but lack of snow brought transfer to Fanthams Peak.
19 NovemberSki championships: pidgeon post brought message with weather report down to Dawson Falls in five minutes.
30 NovemberFirst Christmas Party.
10 DecemberFirst Open Climb on Egmont, 33 to summit. Brian Murphy skied to Rangitoto Flat, another first.

193430 JuneFirst Electricity at Dawson Falls.
2 SeptemberAt NZ ski championships at Ruapehu the Club won the inter-club ski race.
DecemberRoom for public added to Ski Track hut.
24 AprilFirst weekly column in Hawera Star contributed by "Alpenstock".
SeptemberClub trip to Mt Cook for NZ ski championships.
5 DecemberHut on Ski Track lined, equipped and now named Hooker Hut.
8 DecemberFirst double traverse of Egmont on ski, by Frank Bourke.

193910 FebruaryPatea Section formed.
21 FebruaryKaponga Section formed
2/30 AprilClub Headquarters building erected at Dawson Falls.
AugustWar declared, many members enlisting.

194110 MarchCentennial of first ascent of Egmont. Plaque unveiled in presence of 120.
1 MayFirst printed bulletin.
7 DecemberMrs F Bayly (Fanny Fantham) revisits Dawson Falls.

1942 - 44War years with petrol rationing, transport problems, men on active service and in the home Guard. Only trips were working bees.

1945Peace again, more petrol and trips resumed.
Highways Board took over mountain roads.
18 NovemberClub conducted first "open" ski meeting in NZ for 6 years with many North Island clubs represented.

194610 NovemberRecord snow year since skiing started. Ski sports postponed because Syme Hut completely buried.
8 DecemberSki championships held but hut still half buried.
31 AugustFirst NZ ski championships at East Egmont.

194815 FebruaryFirst working bee on site for new hut, now Kapuni Lodge.
5 DecemberFirst Crater Race: 7 competitors.

1949Dawson Falls road widened to 2-way.

19505 MarchOfficial function at new hut when A. V. Tait, aged 82, and R. A. Grace drove nails.

19528/9 NovemberKapuni Lodge opening function.

1953AprilPublic Shelter at Hooker Hut rebuilt.
12 JulySki Tow completed after 2 years work.
AugustTow taken on to Kapuni Lodge.
7 NovemberClub 25th Anniversary function at Dawson Falls.
9 MayTelephone installed at Kapuni Lodge and Syme Hut.

195522 MayFirst Winter Opening function at Dawson Falls followed by celebration of Rod Syme's 200th ascent of Egmont.
AugustPortable ski tow completed and in operation at Hooker Ski Track.

195622 AprilEverest Seat built below Ski Track.

19588/9 FebruaryClub trip of 24 to Kapiti Island.

19591 OctoberClub organised lecture tour by Sir Edmund Hillary.

1960OctoberWater Ski Section formed.

196112 March5 visiting Japanese lady climbers taken up Egmont.

1962-6327 Dec 62 - 13 Jan 63Alan Philip organised party of nine climbers to Mt Cook National Park.
196316 JuneBen Shaw Memorial Seat unveiled.
19 MayNew track to Lake Dive cut by Club working bee.

196425 FebruaryClub and SSAR headquarters building started.
FebruaryAlan Philip and Roger Mann make four ascents of Egmont in 24.5 hours.

19658 MarchDavid Rawson completes 200 ascents.

196612 MayPark Board plan to demolish Syme Hut.
4 DecemberHeadquarters Building at Dawson Falls officially opened.

11 OctoberToilet for Kapuni Lodge airlifted by helicopter.
Dec 67-Jan 68Conway family undertake major repair of Syme Hut.

1969FebruaryClub hosts four Japanese Climbers for ascent of Egmont.
JulyAlpine garden at Dawson Falls started.
2 NovemberRoy Grace Memorial Picnic Area at Dawson Falls officially opened.
6 DecemberFirst Christmas Party in new Clubrooms.

197010 JanuaryCook bi-centennial climb of Egmont by combined Taranaki clubs.
MarchMt EAC takes active part in the "Save Manapouri" campaign.
1 AprilThe 42nd annual report records membership of 350, the highest since 1930.
1 JuneThe bulletin records the deep involvement of the Club in the plans for an Information Centre at Dawson Falls.
1 SeptemberA feature of the September bulletin is the ascents list for the 1969-70 season, showing successful climbs in 6 national parks.

19711 AprilThe 43rd annual report records the success of the Conway Family efforts to Restore Syme Hut and Leo Kerrisk's sustained work on the tracks and buildings.
MayColin Barton is setting up the portable ski tow on Hooker Run.
JuneClub is taking a leading part in the campaign to raise money for the Information Centre at Dawson Falls.

197319 - 30 Jan 74Club trip to Mt Aspiring National Park.
MaySki tow, on loan to TAMC, uplifted by helicopter.
1 DecemberDawson Falls Information Centre opened by Hon. A. J. Faulkner, Minister of Lands.

197417 - 31 Jan 75Club Trip to Wilkin Valley, Mt Aspiring National Park.
9 FebruarySite cleared for fuel store at Dawson Falls.
JuneWorking bees marking Lower Lake Dive Track.

197510 - 24 JanClub trip to Nelson Lakes National Park.
FebruaryClub headquarters at Dawson Falls made available for park staff.
12 JulyOfficial opening of Konini by Mr V. Young, MP for Egmont.

197615 - 27 JanClub Trip to Mt Cook National Park.
19 JanuaryWalter Fowlie led 18 from above trip to summit of Mt Cook.
2 MaySouth Committee moves to save the Cottage from demolition by the Park Board.
19 NovemberFirst prize for Club float at A&P Show parade.
ChristmasFirst organised club party to tramp the Matemateaonga Walkway.

197720 FebruaryAt Dawson Falls Club deputation asks National Parks Authority to support retention of Cottage.
8-11 AprilClub party of 16 paddles down Wanganui River from Taumaranui to Pipiriki.
1 JuneInvitation issued for Jubilee registrations.
19 AugustClub gives support for saving the Cottage.

1970's-80'sThe era of mountaineering club trips to the South Island; Rock Climbing; Kayaking; interclub Rugby competition.

1978Club's 50th Jubilee celebrations
Club Expedition to the Andes
Roger Mann reaches 200 ascents of Mt Egmont
The Cottage at Dawson Falls is restored

1980Andes Expedition Cup for photography donated by Walter Fowlie
Ross Dawes Search
Lake Dive Hut is replaced, built at the north end of the lake

1981Record Open Climb succeeds in getting 142 people to the summit of Egmont

1982Walter Fowlie leads another club climb of Mt Cook
Ralph Latta reaches 500 ascents of Mt Egmont

Mid 80'sThe era of trekking in Nepal; Kayaking is popular; Department of Conservation replaces Lands & Survey and Egmont National Park Board, Club buildings on the mountain decrease.

1983Rod Syme retires as bulletin editor after 53 years
Walter Fowlie elected a Life Member
Keith Wells Challenge Cup is donated for ski racing between TAC and EAC
Hooker Hut is replaced by a shelter by DoC

1984The Cottage at Dawson Falls is demolished
EAC is Highly Commended in "Club of the Year" competition
Helen Cooper is the first woman in EAC to reach 100 ascents of Mt Egmont
Life Member Colin Gibson is killed in a flying accident
Walter Fowlie goes trekking in Nepal, starting a trend for EAC members
Kapuni Lodge improvements include removal of the hot water cylinder and refurbishment of foyer, removal of the phone line to Dawson Falls, renovation of bunkroom and new potbelly stove installed.

1985Club member Ken West is killed in a climbing accident on Douglas Peak in Westland National Park

1986The name of the mountain is changed to "Mt Egmont or Mt Taranaki"
"Toddlers' Outings" are started by Sue O’Dowd
Waingongoro Hut is opened

Late 80's-early 90'sThe era when New Syme Hut is built with club man-power, Mountain biking replaces rock climbing as popular activity, Walking groups start within the club.

1987Ralph Latta is elected Life Member
Ralph starts "Ralph's Rambles" tramping trips
Fanny Fantham 100 years commemorative climb of Fanthams Peak
Department of Conservation comes into being on April 1st

1988New Syme Hut is opened
Club holds 60th jubilee dinner
Sarah Fleming is sponsored on the Youth To Everest Expedition

1989Keith Wells elected Life Member
First "Ladies Ski Trip" to Ruapehu
DoC introduces the hut pass system

1990Dave Rawson elected a Life Member
Club takes part in Commonwealth Games baton relay on Mt Egmont

1991Keith Wells Cup becomes the trophy for EAC / KOPAC sports competition

Mid 90'sThe era multi-sport activities start - triathlons, canoe polo, sea kayaking, Start of Kapuni Lodge refurbishment. Search and rescue is centralized with more emphasis on training& qualifications.

1993Ross Corrigan elected Life Member
New club logo designed for bulletin and T-shirts by Sally Hoogeveen
Kapuni Lodge works include a servery bench replacing the wall between kitchen and common room and ventilation holes in the bunkroom
Club climbs start being run instead of Open climb

1994Rod Syme Club founder died age 94, Patron at the time

1995DoC closes structures including the bridge at the start of the Summit Track, following the Cave Creek disaster
Bequest of $5000 from estate of Joyce Galbraith is received by the Club
Al Maginley reaches 400 ascents of Egmont
Jenny Kerrisk is first woman to do a quadruple traverse of Mt Egmont
Frank Bourke is elected Patron
Walter Fowlie is elected President of NZAC

1996Kapuni Lodge major renovation begins with roof replacement and water tank replacement; New roof is blown off 2 months later and replaced again. Interior relining with Macrocarpa.
Taranaki coast to coast via Mt Egmont by Paul Hodgkinson, Wayne Holtham and Paul (Tussock) Roberts.

1997Old Syme Hut is dismantled and removed from mountain
Open climb via north route gets 160 people to the summit
60th fatality on Mt Egmont occurs, Lionel Gray
Index to Bulletins 1940-97 is compiled by Jenny Kerrisk
Club Patron Frank Bourke dies
Walter Fowlie is elected Patron of EAC and Life Member of NZAC

Late 90's - Early 2000The era of Kapuni Lodge refurbishment, resurgence of rock climbing, emphasis on training courses for outdoors.

1998Club launches Walter Fowlie Scholarship for 2 young people each year to receive free club membership and attend courses in snowcraft, bushcraft, rock climbing, river crossing and first aid.
EAC team wins the annual Search and Rescue Competition shield
Club runs first of four annual apple drive fundraisers

1999Alpine Leadership Course at Mt Cook using professional guides attended by 9 club members.
Ralph Latta dies of heart failure on Mt Egmont

2000Kapuni Lodge exterior reclad continues
Jenny Kerrisk becomes the club's first woman president
Dawson Falls Visitor Centre is upgraded and opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark on the centenary of Egmont National Park

2001Walter Fowlie is made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Years Honours
Kapuni Lodge interior refurbishment of bunkrooms and foyer is done by builders
Lodge fees are $12 for non-members, $5 for members

2002Wietze Hoogeveen is elected Life Member
Kapuni Lodge 50th Anniversary and completion of renovations
Stratford Mountain Club lodge on the Manganui Skifield burns down in August

2003Keith Anderson, proprietor of Stratford Mountain House and formerly of Dawson Falls Tourist Lodge, is killed in a motor accident on Feb 1st.
2004 Hillary Seat rebuilt by the club in split stone, re-opened on April 17th.
  Piper Seneca plane crash on summit of Egmont, club members involved in the recovery.
2005 Concession agreement is signed with Dept of Conservation
  Club Website launched in August

2008 Sir Edmund Hillary dies in Auckland Central Hospital aged 88.
  Club patron Walter Fowlie ONZM, is invited to participate in the New Zealand Alpine Club guard of honour at the State funeral for Sir Edmund Hillary on January 22nd.

2009 The most successful guided Open Climb to date enabled 180 participants to reach the summit on February 2nd.
Long serving member Jim Finer is appointed a Life Member of the Mount Egmont Alpine Club. Read the full story in club bulletin Vol. 84 No. 2
A commemorative plague in memory of Sir Edmund Hillary was cemented in place on top of the Hillary Seat in April.

2010 Operation All Whites Award for Rescue of Trampers near Lake Dive - October 10th 2009. At a presentation in parliament in May, Club member Jeff Rawson received on behalf of the Taranaki Alpine Cliff Rescue team, a framed certificate in recognition of the efforts of the team involved in the successful rescue of two brothers caught out in bad conditions on the lower Lake Dive track in Egmont National Park.(Read Jeff's account at the following link)

2010 Ross Corrigan, club member for over 50 years, receives a Citizens Award from South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop on 15th September in recognition of his community service. Read the full text of the Citation
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