Mueller Hut via the Sealy Tarns Track

Mount Cook

Convenient access into the beautiful Sealy Range

Ski Touring Moderate

Distance
4.1 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
7 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
770 m
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
40˚
Mueller Hut via the Sealy Tarns Track Map

From Cook Village there are a wealth of awesome skiing opportunities without the need for a flight into the high mountains. Along with Footstool (see Fatmap route), one of the best options for ski touring straight from the village is to head up towards the Mueller Hut. The hut there provides an ideal launch pad for ski missions deeper into the Sealy Range. The route described here is simply the approach to the Mueller Hut where there is an abundance of great ski terrain in the surrounding area. For a big day out it is also possible to continue up past the Mueller Hut and descend one of the large drainages on the east side of the range leading back down to the road.

Description

Starting from the parking close to the Wyn Irwin Hut, head out first on the Kea Point Track and then left up the steep Sealy Tarns Track. This will require hiking around at least 400 meters vertical to access the snow line. Even if there is snow below this elevation, the trail is too steep to skin. The Sealy Tarn Track is however very well maintained with nice steps the whole way. The ultimate stair-master challenge as you hike with your skis! From around the height of Sealy Tarns (an area of ponds) it is possible to step into skis and skin. Ski crampons are advisable since there is some steeper ground above the tarns which can often have very firm snow in the morning.

After navigating some steep ground which is bypassed on climbers’ right side, you will arrive on a large plateau where the hut is located. It is exactly 1000 meters of ascent from Cook Village. The Mueller Hut is spectacularly situated opposite the massive Mt. Sefton, overlooking a wild glacial landscape. After a snowy winter the hut can sometimes be almost totally buried and may require some digging out to access. It is possible to ski back down the same route or continue further up into the Sealy Range. The Sealy Tarn Track, although physically tiring, is one of the best and safest ways to access the mountains on foot from Cook Village.

Difficulty

Moderate

Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

Low Exposure (E1)

1 out of 4

Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area