Sebastopol via Red Tarns, Aoraki Mt Cook National Park NZ
Climbing Sebastopol (1468m) via the Red Tarns provides grandstand views of many famous features in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. And a scramble near the top adds a little to the adventure.
It’s just a half day climb from Mt Cook Village to the summit of Sebastopol (1468m) in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, but the views are quite spectacular. The route first climbs on a constructed track to Red Tarns, which is already a good destination for those without the experience or desire to climb higher. (I’ve separated my photos to Red Tarns from the others below). From there the route follows an unmarked impact track past McNulty Tarns, and up steeply to pass through bluffs near the summit. There’s some scrambling required, but will be fine for those with suitable experience. For this extra effort you get 360 degree views encompassing high peaks, river flats and glacial lakes. And of course peak bagging gratification.
There’s a constructed path to Red Tarns (with lots of steps) from the public shelter on the main ring road through the village. (More information on the Red Tarns Track on the DOC website).
There is then an impact track up to the McNulty Tarns that runs to the left of a scree slope: this scree can be used later for the descent. From McNulty tarns there is a steep unmarked route to the summit that is occasionally marked with cairns. Near the top there are a few options to scramble your way to up to the summit area, with just a short dip into a saddle before finishing with an easy scramble to the summit proper.