#33 – 1st March 2014
This hut is the first alpine hut that I have visited. The hut has room for 28 and requires bookings over the summer period. It has gas for cooking and solar lighting even, but no fireplace. Ensure you have the right gear to stay warm, conditions can be cold up here even in summer.
The hut is accessible to hikers without mountaineering experience from approximately November – March (dependent on snow conditions this may vary). It’s a fantastic opportunity for hikers to get up amongst the mountaineering environment without having to have the skills. From the hut you can see Mt Cook, glaciers, and avalanche activity on the surrounding slopes – its an incredible experience.
BEWARE however outside this safe time the route to this hut should only be attempted by those with mountaineering experience inclusive of avalanche skills as it is a high risk avalanche area during winter and spring (and anytime of year given the right conditions). Seek advice from the visitor centre in Mt Cook Village if you are unsure.
Its situated on the Sealy Range in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park just under Mt Olivier. It is the fifth ‘Mueller Hut’ built here with the first built in 1914 and the current hut opened by Sir Edmond Hillary himself in July 2003. The peak Mt Olivier behind the hut is the first mountain Sir Edmond climbed.
Our amazing mountain parrot, the kea can be seen here. They are amazing birds and incredibly intelligent, and inquisitive. Beware your belongings, they are likely targets for the curious kea. My favourite NZ bird.