To be honest? Mount Cook blew me away the first time I saw that huge lady. But there is one mountain which is even more mind-blowing. Mount Sefton. You will see it during the long drive to Mount Cook. Straight in front of you the gigantic and massive glacier rises in the sky.
Always impressed by its beauty I wanted to get closer to Mount Sefton. And I already heard about Mueller Hut, a beautiful hike with stunning view on Mount Cook and Mount Sefton. So I decided to leisure my boots and get on that track.
To get to the Mueller Hut Track you can park your car at the Horse Hill Campground. This campground is the start to many beautiful hikes. You will leave Mount Cook to your right and follow the path to Sealy Tarns/Kea Point/ Mueller Hut. After a short time you have to follow the path on your left to go to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut. This track was described as a Stairway to Heaven.Bullshit – I felt like I walk up a Stairway to Hell. Why? Because it`s not much kilometers. But you have to take over 1000 stairs. And then you are only at the Sealy Tarns. Not even close to Mueller Hut!
When I started hiking the weather didn`t looked good. Clouds and a little bit of rain turned my mood into a bad one. Because you shouldn´t go up a mountain with that conditions. But I forced myself to go as far as I feel safe. And I can always return. So the first steps appeared and I looked up the mountain – which is not a good idea. I saw that the steps are going straight up. No serpentine or anything like that. I prayed to the lord that my fortnightly leg day workout will be enough for that competition. But it wasn`t. My legs protested really soon but I forced myself to continue walking. The view was just breathtaking. The deeper clouds disappeared so there was no sun but high clouds. Mount Cook looked so beautiful and I saw Lake Pukaki and the whole valley. Just incredible! When I finally reached the Sealy Tarns my leg felt like they are made out of cement. I really walked over my personal limit or boundary. Sealy Tarns are beautiful little lakes. When you have a good day, you can see the reflections from Mount Sefton in those lakes.
I was wondering if I can make it to the top. Because it is a steep climb and as long as from the car park to Sealy Tarns. But I wanted to go there. I always want to be at the peak. So I pushed myself beyond my limits and continued my hike. Soon I came to a point where I needed all my senses, my arms and my legs. It was more climbing than hiking but it was stunning. I was so excited to reach the top that I pushed away my fears and managed myself over gravel fields, snow fields and a lot of rocks. Finally I reached the top and I had that feeling. That feeling when you see everything from the peak – also what was hiding on the other side – it was just unbelievable. Mount Sefton, the glaciers, Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki. I heard the ice roaring and I also saw some avalanches falling down from Mount Sefton. It was so powerful and loud. I walked up the last meters to Mueller Hut where I enjoyed the sun and the scenic view. I watched ice cracking down and wondered myself how amazing it must be to stay the night up here. Time run fast on top of the mountains so I prepared myself for the way back down to my car. Which I could see from the top! (Not the best motivation but who cares)
The sun finally burst through the clouds and so I had the best reflections in the Sealy Tarn lakes. The way from Mueller Hut to Sealy Tarn was okay. But the 1000 steps down killed my legs. As I arrived on the car park my legs felt like jelly and I couldn`t control my steps anymore. But that day was totally worth it. The view was stunning and the feeling that I really did it was incredible too. So I can recommend everybody to go up that hill. Doesn`t matter how long it takes you. You will be treated well by the mountains. Always go a little bit more than your personal limit – so you can expand it. It took me in total around 7-9h (but I take pictures every second step so I don`t know how reliable this is). Go and see the beautiful Mount Sefton with your own eyes! I would go there again and I would stay the night in the hut to see the night sky!