Mueller Mission

By: Lynda Gray 

In Boundaries2 Minutes

There are 2200 steps leading to Sealy Tarns, small freshwater lakes lying up and off a main walking track near the Mt Cook village. However, this steep stairway is merely a leg loosener for the onwards and upwards boulder, rock and scree grunt to Mueller Hut.

Our family group: my brother, sister and respective partners, and six of the next generation made the climb to the alpine hut on April Fool’s day. While the Millennials and Gen Z’s powered on ahead, the Baby Boomer brigade plodded and picked their way skyward with the help of walking poles and Nurofen. The 5.2km trek gains 1050 metres of elevation and should take three to four hours but we were well pleased with our four hour 40 minute effort. Our reward was sitting on the deck outside the hut with fruitcake and red wine, looking out across the lunar landscape to Mt Cook.

Our group shared a large communal bunk room with thin and slippery plastic coated mattresses. Needless to say a restful slumber was never on the cards, especially after a midnight screeching solo performance by one of the Boomers (not me) struck down by a prolonged cramp attack.

The descent from Mueller took about half the time of the ascent but was long enough for the lactic acid build-up from the previous day to take hold and bring on jelly leg syndrome. The tramp was certainly not a walk in the park but definitely worth it if you fancy an uphill challenge.