Mueller Hut Overnight - Detailed Info

Mueller Hut - our comfortable overnight mountain home - is a modern 28 bunk hut located 1,000 metres above Mount Cook Village. A trek to Mueller Hut is an unforgettable experience, surrounded by majestic, glacier clad peaks. 
The rocky peak of Mt Ollivier (1,933 metres) looks down over Mueller Hut and Mount Cook Village. Mt Ollivier is known as the first mountain Sir Edmund Hillary climbed. Its summit is reached is an achievable hike/scramble (or crampon-assisted mission) about 40 minutes from Mueller Hut 

The overnight option allows time for a comfortable, unhurried ascent to the hut, and the opportunity to appreciate the spectacular sunrise and sunset light show that only Aoraki can arrange.

Season: April through October

Overnight hike locations - click for larger image.

Mueller Hut - Mount Ollivier - Route Description

The 1,000 metre ascent from the valley floor to Mueller Hut (1,800 metres) takes around four hours with only a short break, when there is little snow on the route. Winter ascents may take 5 or 6 hours. We take our time to make the most of the day, and take approx. 6 hours for the hike.

The trek to the hut offers uninterrupted views of the Hooker Face of Mount Cook, the Hooker and Mueller Glaciers, and the ice cliffs on Mount Sefton.

The first section is on a well formed, steep, stepped track. The gradient relents after 45 minutes, but you will have had a good warm-up.

We usually stop to take lunch or a break at Sealy Tarns - picturesque mountain 'ponds' on a grassy bench. From there on, the next 500 metres of ascent is on a marked route on grass, scree, and frost-shattered boulder fields to the ridge. 

During winter months (June through September) crampons and ice axe (and often snowshoes) will be carried as there can be considerable snow cover (metres deep). Chilly mornings mean firm conditions under foot. Your guide will give instruction on proper use of equipment.

If time and fitness allows, we can attempt to climb Mount Olivier (1,933 metres) later than day. However, if the weather is continuing fine you can climb the following morning.

Olliver is a rocky peak. In late summer/autumn it offers some easy ‘scrambling’ sections, requiring good balance and use of hands. With snow cover, axe and crampons will be used on the snowy/icy slopes to the summit.

The descent to Mount Cook Village is by the same route. 

Mueller Hut Details

Mueller Hut is a modern 28 bunk hut maintained by the Department Of Conservation. It has 2 bunk rooms and a kitchen/dining area, solar powered lighting, tanked drinking water, and LPG cooking stoves. A hut warden is usually on duty, assisting visitors from November. The bunks have mattresses. There is no heating - so you need a good quality sleeping bag to stay cozy.

Alpine Guides has a supply locker at the hut with bivouac bags. If the weather is settled you can opt to camp out under the stars near the hut - to really appreciate the mountains and the spectacular southern night sky.

Seasonal Variation and Snow

There is considerable variation of conditions through the year. When present, most snow is encountered above Sealy Tarns (1,300 metres).

Snow is always present from June through October. Our parties will carry ice axe and crampons, and other technical gear (snowshoes, snow shovels, avalanche transceivers, etc.). In late summer/autumn most snow (aside from remnant patches) is gone from around the hut.

An avalanche hazard can be present on the upper route to the hut during winter. If this is the case your guide(s) will assess the danger enroute, and all parties will carry carry avalanche beacons, and rescue gear and receive training in their use before departure in October

Experience and Fitness Required

Participants need a good level of hiking fitness,  and be able to carrying a pack of 10-12 kg for 4 to 6 hours without stopping.

Some sections of the route have moderate exposure. Several 'scrambling' sections to the summit of Mount Ollivier require using hands for balance. Your guide will carry a rope if assistance is required.

Guide Ratio

Mueller Hut / Mount Ollivier is guided at a maximum of 1 guide per 4 guests.
On the ridge heading to Mueller Hut

On the ridge heading to Mueller Hut


All prices are per person in NZ dollars. Prices are valid to 30 April 2018.

  • One person $1125
  • 2 people - $675 per person
  • 3 people - $545 per person
  • 4 people - $475 per person

Groups of more than 4 people are possible with 2 guides. Please contact us for more details.

Included in Price

  • Guide services
  • National Park/hut fees
  • Meals and snacks from lunch on day one to lunch on day 2
  • Technical equipment as required (see equipment list)
  • Camping/bivouac gear (if required)

Mt Ollivier summit - Mount Sefton behind.

Reporting Details

Unless otherwise arranged you should meet your guide at 08:30 at our office in Mount Cook Village.

If the weather is forecast to be very warm we may make an 'alpine start', to make use of the cooler hours of the morning. We will advise the day prior to your hiking trip.

Poor Weather Alternatives

Weather conditions in the mountains can change rapidly. We can receive snow at any time of the year. If hiking to Mueller Hut is not safe Alpine Guides will arrange an alternate hiking activity. This may involve travel away from Mount Cook Village. There will be no additional cost.

Your Guides & Safety

Our guides are professional qualified mountain and alpine trekking guides certified by the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA affiliated). All guides hold pre-hospital emergency care level first aid certification and carry a first aid kit. Our guides have constant communication with Alpine Guides base through our radio system, or satellite phone.

Age Restrictions

Minimum age is 15 years.

Equipment List

New Zealand is known for its variable weather - even over the space of one day. You must be prepared for a range of weather conditions - from warm to cool temperatures, and for sun and rain protection. UV is intense in New Zealand, so pack plenty of sun protection.

Booking and Dates

Mueller Hut trips are available through the hiking season November to April.
Bookings are dependent on guide availability.

Our hikes are booked on a private basis. You can choose a date and book as an individual, or with a friend, or small group. We do not offer individual spaces on group hikes.

We believe that bigger is not necessarily better. A smaller group means a more intimate experience, and space to appreciate this incredible landscape.

Please check with us for the dates that suit your travel plans prior to making a reservation.

Terms and Conditions

Dawn at Mueller Hut