Sefton Bivvy, Aoraki/Mount Cook
Image: Jonathan Astin | ©
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.
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.
This is a very simple structure but it has survived remarkably well and continues to be used regularly.
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.
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.
NZTopo50 map sheet: BX15
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1364422, N5158673
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.