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April 2016 Issue
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Close encounter of the Main Divide

Climbing the ridge to Sefton Bivouac, Mueller Glacier Lake below. Photo: Peter Laurenson
5.81km to bivouac
Total Ascent
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Sefton Bivouac.Aoraki.Mt Cook NP (gpx, yo 20 KB)
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Sefton Bivouac, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

If you’ve been to Mueller Hut, loved it, but want something a bit more challenging and with equally stunning views, then a scramble to Sefton Bivouac is an excellent choice.

Aside from some boulder hopping as you enter Stocking Stream; and the steep ascent of the rocky spur leading to the snowfields and bivvy above, a key challenge is finding the right point to access the spur.

Just past Stocking Stream Shelter, step off the boardwalk and head west for 15 minutes until the point where Stocking Stream begins to gain elevation. Take care to find the spur trail on the true right of the stream. It is not immediately apparent, but look for cairns.

On the ascent, the view to Mount Cook Village and beyond just gets better and better, but it’s best to keep your eyes – and often hands – on the steep trail.

Cresting the ridge, Sefton Bivouac comes into view against a backdrop of Main Divide mountains including Mt Sefton and Footstool.

Given the bivvy’s limited capacity of four people (five at a squeeze), it’s sensible to bring a tent or bivvy bag with you.