Many people have gone through a tough physical struggle in their lives, but end with an incredible reward. Our hike on the Mueller Hut trail was a prime example of that.
We started off with the thing that has been messing with our plans the past week: rain. Rain, rain, and more rain. It poured down on our rain jackets, as we climbed up step after step on the hike. The steps seemed to go on for ages. But every now and then, you were able to look out over the treetops and around the large cliffs, to see the amazing view set out before us. The wind and rain ripped around us, soaking our outer layers and biting into our jackets, but the view was…..almost worth it.
But then we arrived at Sealy Tarns, and all of the hardships from before were erased from our minds. The mountains surrounded us, showing off their snowcapped peaks. The Mueller Lake stretched out in front of them, and then the vast expanse of the valley, and all of the little buildings of the Village to our right. The view was extremely beautiful.
But our hike didn’t finish there, and the hour and a half climb to Sealy Tarns was the least of our worries.
We turned our heads to the top of the mountain and saw snow everywhere. Ella and I were very worried. One guy had told us the snow was eighteen inches deep at the top! We all agreed we would go up a little ways, and, if we thought it was too hard, we would turn back. As we climbed up and up, the first patches of snow started to pop up, seemly out of nowhere. A few times freezing rain beat down on us, and the wind, even more powerful than before, almost knocked us off our feet. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, we were trudging through mounds of snow, our feet starting to get very cold and very wet. We were prepared for the cold, having worn several layers and our ever useful rain pants, so we felt alright. Several times we were almost knocked into the snow by the winds. Snow had started to fall, hitting us in the face. Several times as we climbed in the snow, with such powerful winds all around us, I admittedly was afraid. It seemed like a scene right out of a thriller movie, and at any point the snowstorm would be too much for the main characters, which just happened to be us. By the time we reached the top, the snow was falling so hard you couldn’t see 40-50 yards in front of you.
After what had seemed like ages since Sealy Tarns, we turned a corner and Mueller Hut was just barely visible. Renewed energy filled us all, and we powered up the rest of the way there. We were so happy to be out of the snowstorm, that we didn’t really mind the lack of heat inside the cabin. It wasn’t warm, but it was ten times better than what was outside. There was no stove that provided heat, but we were still able to cook and make our personal hiking favorite: hot chocolate.
After a good nights rest, we woke up to a totally different setting. The sky was clear, and the sun shone down making the snow glisten. We were able to see everything we had missed the day before. Mountain after mountain surrounded us and the greatest and tallest of all, Mt. Cook, stood out over the rest, its’ snowy peak shining from the sun. It was one of the most amazing views I had ever seen. It was the perfect reward to the hardships of the day before. On top of all that, the walk down was uneventful and surprisingly easy. Only a few slips into the snow. The hike, overall, was a complete success and an awesome end to our time in Mt. Cook National Park. – Walden