A couple weeks ago we drove down to Mt. Cook village to hike up to the Mueller Hut. Mt. Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand and stands at 12,218 ft. We’ve driven by it many times, but we never took the turn up the road to get up close in the village.
We heard from multiple friends that the Mueller hut hike was stunning. We also heard that it was pretty challenging. Although the walk itself is only 5km (3.1 miles), you actually climb over 1000m (about 3300 ft). The day started by climbing about 1700 steps – this only got us halfway up! We then scrambled our way up some loose gravel to reach the saddle of Mount Ollivier.
The higher we climbed Mount Ollivier, the better our view of Mt. Cook became. The mountains and valleys surrounding us were absolutely stunning – full of glaciers and waterfalls and streams. Despite the crystal blue sky, the noise of thunder echoed throughout the region as avalanches cracked and rumbled their way down the opposing mountains.
We spent the night in the Mueller hut, ate a huge dinner, and slept remarkably well. We did manage to wake up early, however, and scrambled up the rocks to get a view of the sunrise. The clouds had started to come in some, but still, the view was spectacular and a true testament to God’s glory.
The weather was forecasting a blizzard later in the day, so we hustled down the mountain and hopped in our car before things got too cold and wet. We stopped on the way home for lunch in the town of Tekapo and allowed our exhausted legs to soak in the hot pools located in town.
It was an awesome hike with some of the best views we’ve seen in New Zealand (which is saying a lot!) Despite the difficulty, I’d recommend it to people and might even do it again myself.
In other news, we both enjoyed this past weekend by recovering from a stomach virus! I think it is actually the first time we’ve really been sick together, so it was a bit of a bonding experience. Evan also preached at church on Sunday on the fruit of the Spirit, focusing on “kindness.” If you’re interested, you can listen here.
Here are some more pictures (click on one to see them get big)