Mueller Hut

Canterbury, New Zealand | C.1914

Photo Credit: Carson Christman

The Mueller Hut is a shelter located near the summit of Mount Ollivier in the heart of New Zealand’s Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Situated on a raised platform, the Hut provides stunning views of valleys, lakes, glaciers, and mountains within the Sealy mountain range.

The present Mueller Hut is the fifth in a series of shelters. Built in 1914, the original Hut stood 300ft above the Mueller Glacier and remained until the glacier started to deteriorate. Thirty years later, the second hut was constructed but only lasted four months before it was swept away by an avalanche. The debris was replaced by a temporary structure and in 1953, the fourth version was built.

In 2003, the fifth iteration of the Hut was built and officially opened by Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand explorer who boasts a storied mountaineering career that began with a climb at Mount Ollivier, includes visits to both the North and South Poles, and culminated in the first summit ascent of Mount Everest.

The trek to Mueller Hut has two very distinct segments. The first involves roughly 2,200 stair steps that ascend into a thinning forest and then to the Sealy Tarns, the halfway point of the hike. From there, the trail turns into a scramble up the remaining half of the mountain. Eventually the trail reaches the ridge of the mountains, and proceeds across a few snowfields to Mueller Hut.

For those seeking to summit Mount Ollivier, hikers can store their gear at the Hut before taking on the rocky ascent. With 28 bunk beds and fresh water, Mueller Hut serves as a destination for both day hikers and overnight trekkers.

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