Mueller Hut and Mt. Cook

posted by andrew

Greetings once more from NZ! I had a few images from a few weeks ago that I’ve been working on and was planning on posting… until we returned from a fantastic weekend in Mt. Cook National Park. So while I do a bit more housekeeping with those older pictures, I’ll throw up a brand new (literally, this shot is from this morning) Mt. Cook image to make up for the 19-day delay since my last post!

Mt. Cook… the tallest peak in New Zealand. It’s only four hours away from Dunedin and is absolutely stunning. Intending to stay overnight in Mueller Hut near the summit of Mt. Ollivier, we arrived at the Mt. Cook National Park Visitor Center at 8:15am to secure four bunks in the first-come-first-served-style system. However, there was already a throng of people waiting for the doors to open (even though we’d left Dunedin at 4:15am to get over there!) and we were within two people of the cutoff. Undaunted, we brought a 4-man tent to the top of the trail and camped under the hut — It was easily the most difficult hike I’ve ever attempted and I wasn’t even carrying the tent!

Beyond the hut, the ridgeline continued up to the summit. Looking back towards the hut shortly after sunrise the following morning offered the below vista…

Mt. Cook is the tall peak in the upper right area with an icy Hooker Lake in the valley beneath. If you can't find the hut, then, well... Mt. Cook, New Zealand

2 Responses to “Mueller Hut and Mt. Cook”

  1. Dylan Toh says:

    that’s a breathtaking scene on a hike I hope to be able to do in late April this year. Can I ask, is the trail easily visible even in the snow you had? I’ll be hiking solo with the rest of the family down in the village and also hope to stay the night there.

    • andrew says:

      The photo was taken off the trail up the ridge from the hut so it’s difficult to see a trail in the image. The trail gets progressively sparse the further up you get but you shouldn’t have any problems, the snow only becomes an issue in the last mile or so to the hut.

      We went after hearing an extremely positive weather report so it was tough to get a bed in the crowded hut. If you want to stay up top, make a reservation in person in the visitor center early on the day-of.

      And whatever you do, DON’T miss the sunrise up top!