This area is easily accessible from the village, with the peaks on the Sealy Range being especially popular. They provide short, relatively easy climbs for the beginner or the climber seeking a gentle introduction to the region. In saying this, however, peaks on the Main Divide and the south faces of the Sealy Range, such as Vampire and Jean, offer excellent routes that are technically more difficult, longer and more committing, due to remoteness.
There are two huts in the area. The first, Mueller Hut, is gained from the village via the Kea Point and Sealy Tarns tracks. Beyond the tarns, slopes lead to a ridge, which flattens out to reveal the hut close under Mt Ollivier. During winter the slopes above the tarns can pose an avalanche risk.
Barron Saddle Hut can be reached via the upper Mueller Glacier from Mueller Hut, head south and drop over the ridge down tussock and scree slopes, past the original Mueller Hut site and finally down the rubbly moraine wall onto the moraine covered glacier. Once on the upper Mueller Glacier, it is a relatively straightforward trip up the centre of the glacier and up final scree and rock slopes under Scissors to the hut on Barron Saddle. The ‘high’ route to Barron Saddle starts from the Mueller Hut and crosses the scree shelf on the southern slopes under Mt Kitchener (beware of avalanches in winter) and so up onto the Annette Plateau. From the plateau cross onto the Metelille Glacier and through Sladden Saddle, then cross a névé and either ascend over the North West Ridge of Mt Darby or descend around the bottom of the ridge via a shelf 250m above the Mueller Glacier to Barron Saddle Hut.
An alternative route to Barron Saddle, particularly during winter, is to descend the moraine wall from the western end of the White Horse Hill (this route has become more difficult). Once on the Mueller Glacier you can walk (or skin) up the moraine until you reach the white ice, where the travel becomes easier. This is also the best way to reach the direct routes on the East Face of Sefton and other mountains further up the Mueller Glacier.
Another option to access the Mueller Glacier is to follow the Mueller Lake edge from the first swing bridge on the Hooker Valley track. Glacial recession and the enlargement of the lake continue to make access difficult so check locally for up to date conditions.
The Sealy Range can also be reached via the ridges behind the village, the most popular route being via Sebastopol up the ridge to Mt Annette.
Mueller Hut. Owned and operated by AMCNP, the hut has 12 bunks, some cooking utensils, blankets and a radio. This hut is scheduled to be replaced in 2002, 200-300m closer to Mt Ollivier new hut ~1800m, cell phone coverage (025). A warden is resident during summer.
Barron Saddle Hut. Owned and operated by AMCNP. The hut is barrel-shaped with two large bench bunks that sleep four or more each. Services include some cooking utensils, blankets, solar powered lights and a radio (~1990m, grid ref: 685-122).
Mt Cook Village to Mueller Hut 3-4 hours.
Mt Cook Village to Barron Saddle Hut via the upper Mueller Glacier 7 hours.
Mueller Hut to Barron Saddle Hut via the ‘high’ route 5-7 hours.