Is it too late to do the Mueller Hut this season?
I was planning on staying at the Mueller Hut around this time, but this cold snap has delayed my plans. However, with what is presumably a decent amount of new snow, is it likely that winter gear and skills will be necessary to navigate the route until next season? Or does snow tend to melt fast enough at this time of year that it will probably be reasonably clear relatively soon? (For instance, I recall that snow in April on ski fields is known as never being reliable to develop a snow base). (I have noticed a tendency for DOC to err well on the side of caution for their seasonal winter condition warnings. Previously, I did the Routeburn in mid-May 2014 and the Kepler in late October 2016 and was paranoid about possible avalanche dangers, only to find mere patches of snow even at the highest elevations. Obviously, conditions can vary considerably depending on the recent weather, and the Mueller is at a higher maximum elevation than either of those tramps, so I shouldn't unduly extrapolate from those experiences).
at this time of year its a gamble and the odds are getting stacked against you. if you dont have the skill on how to use the right gear for winter alpine conditions, leave it till summer..
Thaw, then re-freeze overnight, means ice. Or soft snow over ice. Drop a line to DoC Mt Cook ?. Bit of snow going on at the moment and -15, -14 & -12 in the forecast. A forecast high of 5deg C on one of the few above-zero days. I'm with Waynowski on this one :)
mountain forecast http://www.metservice.com/mountain/aoraki-mount-cook-national-park
You could always go to Tasman Saddle Hut . A balmy -23 this morning. Just the thought of that causes severe shrinkage.
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