Cath Simard (@mydetoxtravel) knows how to spend her time. Canadian-born, she quit her job as a fashion stylist and model, leaving Quebec to travel the world and explore each and every national park around the world.
We linked up with Cath to explore her adventure to Sefton Bivouac, the oldest hut in Mt Cook National Park.
Everyday for the last 2 months, while doing housekeeping, I watched a mountain that I could see from the bedrooms I was cleaning. I knew there was a tiny hut hanging right by the cliff, perched right below mount Sefton. I eventually became obsessed by the idea climbing to this hut and spending the night in it, alone in the mountains. Finally getting days off after working two weeks in a row, I had the perfect occasion to make the most of my time and do the climb to Sefton Bivy.
The day was ideal : clear sky, light winds and high chances to see an aurora. Everything was aligning perfectly for this trip. The first part of the hike was quite easy but the rest involved most of the time rock climbing and good route finding skills.
Reaching the hut 3 hours and half later was a big relief and a mixture of gratefulness and peace. Nothing beats this feeling of accomplishment and strength after reaching a summit. The hut was tiny and simple, just like I’ve imagined it. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one that got the idea to climb here, but sharing this moment with others made it even better.
After exploring the area and scouting the best angles for my night photography session, I got back to the hut and shared my dinner while watching the sun going down. When it got dark, I took my camera out without knowing what to expect really. When I first saw it, I screamed of excitement, I was capturing my very first aurora. Despite being quite moderate, the colours were popping just enough to compliment the milkyway and the bivy. I shot for another 3 hours in the cold until I couldn’t feel my body anymore.
The next morning was calm and serene, I left the others sleeping in the hut and took my sleeping bag out to watch sunrise with hot tea in hands. The colours were breathtaking and the glowing peaks made the whole scene even more glorious.
Sefton Bivouac is the most epic place I’ve been so far, and the feeling of freedom it brought me being there was well worth the aching body and sleepless night.
Cath wears the Tokyo Tsuyu watch