Sefton Bivvy - Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

May 19, 2022

Sefton Bivvy - Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

I chose this view from above the Sefton Bivouac, as it shows the smallness of the bivvy in a big, expansive and exposed setting. It is amazing it has withstood the elements for so long, although along the way it has been damaged by snow and repaired. 
 With the remaining morning clagg rising from the blue layered mountains and the early light filtering through the valleys contrasting with the bright orange bivvy I was completely inspired to paint this view. Once I returned I immediately painted the base colours while fresh in my mind and it has been reminding me of the mountains over the past few months while working in the studio.

 Sefton Bivouac is perched on a ledge, exposed to the changing elements with panoramic views of the Hooker Valley and Mount Cook Village below.
 The route starts with a scenic walk up Stocking Stream and gradually gets steeper as it progresses. There are numerous cairns to guide you to the trail that accesses the spur. A steep climb up a narrow single-track takes you eventually up a rocky spur with opportunities to fall off the mountain. Twice I scrambled up here in two days, as the first day was clagged in and I could see no more than 5-10m.
 Once you get to the plateau at 1650m Mt Sefton and Footstool tower behind the bright orange bivvy. Sefton Bivouac is over 100 years old and is the oldest building in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park with extraordinary glacier views. The most exciting feature is the speedily shrinking Te Waewae Glacier within touching distance if you walk a little further. Such a gift to be able to experience this treasure that may soon be a distant memory.







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