The Defiance Hut Book
Defiance Hut (now located at the Franz Josef Visitor Centre) is the earliest high-level mountain hut remaining in New Zealand and is unique both in terms of its construction and its importance to New Zealand's mountaineering history. The hut was built by two brothers from the Graham family - famous for their guiding and mountaineering achievements. Many other well known mountaineers used the hut and signed the visitors' book.
This Visitors' Book was placed at Defiance Hut by the Department of Tourist and Health Resorts, and records visitors to the hut between 1914 and 1930. Each visitor entered the date of their visit, their name and residence, and comments ranging from their climbing intentions, to sketches and comments about their surroundings.
Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers have been popular tourist destinations since well before the end of the nineteenth century. In 1911, Jim and Alex Graham bought the Waiho Hotel at Franz Josef, which became a base for their mountain guiding business which was synonymous with the growth of tourism and mountaineering in the area. The Cape Defiance Hut was built in 1913, by the Graham brothers. The hut was owned by the Department of Tourist and Health Resorts [AABP], and was maintained and stocked by the Grahams as part of their guiding business. The hut was originally a three-hour climb from the Franz Josef township, close to the glacier providing commanding views of the glacier and improved access to close Alpine peaks. Due to the retreating glacier, the hut was moved further up Defiance Ridge. In 1978 the Hut was moved to the Franz Josef township, where it functions as an interpretive centre.
Size: 69 items