14 June 2010

New Zealand Jan 2001 - Mt Cook area

Mueller Hut

As if to make up for the bad weather of the coast, Aoraki (Mt Cook) allowed itself to be in full view for us for over two days. It is another stunning place to visit, with several glaciers quite accessible. It does rather startlingly underline the fact that NZ is full of falling down mountains. Much of the Hooker Valley is below scree slopes, leaving it looking more like a quarry than a national park. However, as one gets higher (and further away from the "mess"), one can take a more sanctified view of the whole area (probably caused by altitude sickness).
We had chosen to overnight in Mueller Hut, being the lowest hut (a mere 1000 metres above the car park) as well as the most accessible.

It took several hours to climb up the side of Mt Olivier to get to Mueller Hut. To make the feat achievable by the boys, Helen and I took all their gear (we didn't need tents) so that they could go up without packs. This made the feat much more of a challenge for us parents, as we struggled yak-like up the steep slopes.

We celebrated our arrival at Mueller Hut with some snow cones. God, snow is gritty...
Aoraki is doing Phantom Mountain imitations.

Click on the pic for a larger view, or click here for an enormous view!
Meuller Glacier, Aoraki/Mt Cook Nat Park, NZ
270° Panorama stitched from 11 portrait prints(!).
L ro R: Lake Pukaki (in distance), Helen, Mt Ollivier (sic) and Sealy Range, Mt Burns at the top of the Mueller Glacier, Main Range's Mt Isabel and Mt Thomson, highest point Mt Sefton (3162m) dropping down to the Footstool and finally to the Hooker Glacier, over 2000m below Sefton.
Aoraki/Mt Cook is the white blob 2800m above Hooker Gl.

As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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