Sefton Bivvy, Aoraki/Mount Cook

Image: Jonathan Astin | ©

Introduction

Sefton Bivouac is the oldest hut in Mt Cook National Park still on its original site and the oldest building in the wider environs of the park. It has served generations of climbers.

Hut overview

Category

  • Category
Basic/bivvies

Bookings

  • Bookings

Bookings not required - first come, first served

Facilities

  • Toilets - non-flush
  • Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
4 bunk beds

About this hut

Heritage

Fabric

This bivouac is situated 1650m below the Footstool, a mountain on the main divide of the Southern Alps. The hut, 2.1m x 3m in area, has a timber frame clad with corrugated iron; the floor is earth. A stone wall surrounds the bivouac.

The bivvy has a commanding view from its lookout perch, close to the big ice cliffs of Te Waewae Glacier.

History

First Sefton Bivouac circa 1917.
First Sefton Bivouac circa 1917

Mt Cook chief guide Peter Graham decided to build a small hut above the Te Waewae Glacier, to make climbing Sefton and Footstool easier. Materials were carried to the site on men’s backs and the hut erected on site. It was designed to sleep three or four people. The year after it was built it was damaged by snow. It was repaired, and has remained in much the same condition since.

Sefton Bivouac has an historic theme of mountain recreation.

Fabric significance

This is a very simple structure but it has survived remarkably well and continues to be used regularly.

Historic significance

Sefton Bivouac is the oldest hut in Mt Cook National Park still on its original site and the oldest building in the wider environs of the park. It has served generations of climbers.

Future management

Although access is difficult Sefton Bivouac will continue to be used by climbers.

The bivouac will be maintained to protect its historic fabric and minimise deterioration.

Location

NZTopo50 map sheet: BX15
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1364422, N5158673

Fees

Free

Know before you go

The route to Sefton Biv is unmarked. Route finding and moving through steep terrain (with high consequence of falls) are required to reach the biv. 

Reaching the biv in winter requires a good level of mountaineering experience, including walking on ice and snow with ice axe and crampons, route finding and using an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. 

Call in to the Aoraki/Mount Cook Visitor Centre for advice on conditions.

Contacts

Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 435 1186
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   mtcookvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   1 Larch Grove
Aoraki/Mt Cook
Postal Address:   PO Box 5
Aoraki/Mt Cook 7946
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