Mount Sefton

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 43.68234°S / 170.04205°E
Additional Information County: Canterbury
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing, Mixed
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 10338 ft / 3151 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Mount Sefton (Takiroa), 3151m, is an isolated 3000m peak towering high above the Mount Cook Village and is one of New Zealand's premier wilderness climbs. According to Maori legend Takiroa is the guardian of Aoraki.

Mt Sefton, Mount Cook National ParkMount Sefton seen from Sealy Range

Getting There and Routes Overview

Mount Sefton is best climbed from the West Coast. New Zealand Alpine Club has got a really good guidebook available via their website:

"The Aoraki Mount Cook a guide for mountaineers" by Alex Palman

Big thank you to Chas Tanner for letting us use his copy.

Also Climb NZ National Route Database website mentions following routes:

Frind Route (3+)
From the Frind Glacier, head up a gully onto a rock rib north of the Ngaroimata Falls, gaining height to reach the Donne Glacier. From here ascend northwards across the glacier under Sharks Teeth to reach Brunner Col. Cross the Col and drop onto the west side. Exposed and avalanche prone slopes under Brunner then give access to the Douglas Névé. From here ascend either the upper South Ridge or cross the névé to the West Ridge.
Otto Frind, Conrad Kain, Dick Young, Mar 1914.

South Ridge (4)
From Brunner Col traverse Mt Brunner onto the ridge. Ascend a prominent step and head on up a blocky rock ridge to a snow peak. Descend to a small col, then climb a steep rock buttress (traversable on the west), follow a snow arête and up a final step to the South Summit.
Stu Allan, Olly McCahon, Rob Rowlands, Brin Williman, Jan 1971.

East Ridge (4)
From Sefton Bivvy climb up and along under the Footstool Ridge. Crevasses may give trouble here. Then either climb directly or up the arête to Tuckett Col. From the Col ascend three prominent steps in the ridge to the summit. The rock is appallingly loose in the lower sections, but improves towards the top. Used on the first ascent of Sefton. In 1924 Frank Milne and Harold Porter ascended and descended the ridge in four hours. Now rarely climbed because of the poor rock.
Edward FitzGerald, Mattias Zurbriggen, Feb 1895.

North Face (4+)
Access to this face is probably best from the east, crossing Tuckett Col (see East Ridge Route ). Ascend a snow ramp right towards the centre of the face, then straight up on left towards the East Ridge and break out onto a shelf some 180 metres from the summit.
Steve Elder, Nov 1987.

North Ridge (3+)
Starting 15 minutes up the Copland Track from Douglas Rock Hut, this magnificent 2000m climb leads directly to the summit. Climb slabs on northern side of the Jasper Glacier Stream. The ridge then rises up a number of rock buttresses before flattening out and merging into a glacial bulge. Then ascend a vague snow rib to reach a shelf just below the summit. Above this either climb direct to the summit, or traverse south onto the West Ridge.
Bruce Harrison, Nick Von Tunzelmann, Aat Vervoorn, Dec 1964. Nick Cradock, 1991.

Scott Creek/West Ridge (2+)
The West Ridge of Mt Sefton from the Douglas Névé is a relatively straight forward 500m climb and is commonly used as a descent route. To reach the névé from the Copland Valley, the best route lies up Scott Creek. Surmount the waterfall on the western side (true L) using vegetated ledges and follow the creek, up and up, trending left. Beyond the bushline a rounded spur on the left can be gained (there are cairn-marked bivvy rocks and a stream in a small vegetated valley just north of the rounded spur) which ascends to a steeper craggy section followed by snowbasins. These in turn lead onto the ridge separating the Scott and Tekano Glaciers. Cross the Tekano Névé (watch for wet snow!) and ascend to Welcome Pass (2390m). From here follow the Sierra Range to where the West Ridge begins. Alternatively, from Welcome Pass use the Douglas Névé to access the West Ridge where it steepens. Beware of mist. Bivvying on Welcome Pass makes the summit day easier.
Jack Clarke, Laurence Earle, Alex Graham, Bernard Head, Mar 1912. Roland & N Rodda, Aug 1963.

Climb NZ National Route Database

Red Tape

Please refer to the DOC websites and local information:

DOC > Plan & prepare > Safety in the outdoors - Access to New Zealand climbing areas


Welcome Flat Hut is halfway up the Copland Valley, located next to the famous Welcome Flats hot pools.

Hut fees: adults $15 (3 adult hut tickets) per night, youth $7.50 (3 youth hut tickets) per night.

Hut location
Grid reference: Topo50 map sheet BX15, E1353619, N5164575

More information: Welcome Flat Hut

External Links

YouTube - A November ascent of Mt. Sefton from the West Coast of New Zealand

New Zealand Topo Map Online - really useful

Climbing Mt Sefton Picasa Gallery

Mountain Weather Forecast for the Mount Cook area

Backcountry Avalanche Advisory - NZ Avalanche Centre

Mt Cook National Park Weather Forecast from

Canterbury Mountaineering Club



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Southern AlpsMountains & Rocks