Mt Cook

Location


View Mount Cook with Aspiring Guides in a larger map

Click on map to zoom in.  Click on Earth for 3D

Changed perception of guiding

Gerardo, Australia

Mt Cook 6-day:  "I have to say that this was one of the best climbing trips I have had so far and by far the best guided expedition. As I mentioned to you before, I don’t usually use trekking companies for my expeditions but rather plan everything myself – including climbing routes, logistics, etc. However, I have to say that this experience has changed my whole perception of guiding. Thomas and Aritza were great guides but most importantly great human beings. We enjoyed each other company and I learned a lot of both of them. I’m so glad we decided to go with you guys. I also would like to say that the way that you guys treated us from the inquiry stages, the whole logistics to get things done, to the actual expedition it was extremely professional but also very kind."

More Information

All routes have significant objective hazard requiring climbers to be fast and efficient. This is not the mountain for your first alpine summit.  If you would like to climb Mount Cook but are unsure of your experience level contact us and we can put together a programme that will give you every chance of success. 

To learn more about Mount Cook and it's importance to the Maori have a look here.
 

Choose your route:

Linda Glacier (grade 3) from Plateau hut (late Oct - mid Dec)

This is the most common route due to its relatively high success rate. Access is by flight into Plateau Hut situated at 2210m. This route can take 14-18 hours, the route starts by ascending the lower Linda Glacier and traversing the Linda Shelf.  The Linda Shelf is exposed to the "Gun Barrels" of the glacier above.  Here we are moving together so speed and good foot work are important.  From here 2-3 pitches of moderate (35°- 45°) snow ice take us to the Summit Rocks. 3-4 pitches of mixed climbing follow through the rocks to the summit ice cap, this can be hard ice or all rock depending on the season. The summit ice cap is exposed but generally only short sections need to be pitched. The summit ice cap can be hard water ice or soft snow depending on the temperatures.  It is usually climbed moving together with some short sections of pitching.
 

The Hooker Glacier (grade 3) (Oct - early Dec)

Air access is prohibited in the Hooker Valley.  This means you climb the mountain in its entirety rather than flying in half way.   Because of the longer access the number of days you have for a summit attempt are limited meaning this route tends to have a lower success rate than the Linda Glacier route.  The route follows the glacier to Gardner Hut the first day and Empress Hut the second day.  From Empress Hut the Middle Peak of Mt Cook is usually 14-16 hrs return.  Please note that the Middle Peak is 2717m, 7m lower than the High Peak.

 


Available Dates

Dates 2014 - 15 Status
Oct 25 - 30 FULL
Nov 2 - 7 one place available
Nov 16 - 19 FULL
Nov 23 - 28 Open
Nov 26 - Dec 1 one place available
Nov 29 - Dec 4 one place available
Dec 7 - 12 FULL
Dec 14 - 19 one place available
Dec 17 - 22 Open
Dec 27 - Jan 1, 2015 Open
for trips after 1 Jan 2015 please contact us 

Dates don't work for you?

No problem.  Let us know your preferred dates and we'll see what we can do.

Difficulty

Technical Difficulty

Mt Cook via either the Linda or the Hooker is grade 3 on the Mt Cook Grading System (AD European) .  The Linda Glacier and the Linda Shelf in particular are exposed to ice fall and avalanche and while in modern times there has not been a major accident due to this objective hazard, there have been close calls.  Parties need to be able to move quickly and securely.  There is mixed ice and rock climbing up to 50°.

Physical Difficulty

Summit day is usually between 14-18 hours.  Unless you have some experience with this sort of endurance the sheer length of time you need to exert yourself can be the biggest barrier.  Pack weights are usually under 10kg.  When snow conditions are firm you spend extended periods front pointing and will need to have very good strength in your calves and legs for this sort of sustained effort.  Very good balance and crampon technique are required for the Linda Shelf where the route is very exposed and you and your guide will need to move quickly and confidently.


Price Details

Guide Ratio Price
1:1 from NZ $5050

What's Included
  • air access
  • meals and energy snacks
  • alpine hut / tent accommodation
  • national park, landing & guide fees
  • 15% goods and services tax.
  • technical equipment - see equipment section below for details 
  • weather contingency


See FAQ for complete details


Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Day One

We usually meet at 8:30 at our office on the waterfront in Wanaka.  Here you will meet  your guide and do a complete gear check and go over the weather forecast.   Any last minute items of equipment are assembled and loaded into our vehicle for the drive to Mount Cook Airport (2hrs).  You can leave any gear or valuables at our office.  Mount Cook Airport is a small air strip within Mount Cook Park located on the eastern side of the mountain.  Here we load the helicopter for the 15 minute flight to Plateau Hut (2,200m). Usually there is time for a walk to the dome next to hut to get  shake down of your equipment and to begin to settle into this amazing location.  The helicopter lands near the hut so we are able to provide excellent food and can cater for individual tastes.



PC090109

Day Two-Four

To give the best possible chance of success we need the biggest possible weather window.  To ascend Mt Cook you need favorable weather and snow conditions and we find that a six day option provides a high level of success.  Some trips are lucky enough to have long periods of fine weather and to have a choice of summit days while other trips need to take advantage of a narrow period of opportunity.  If you have not worked with your guide before this can be a chance to get to know each other and work on your climbing team work.  There is the opportunity to climb some of the smaller peaks in the area while you wait for the weather to clear on the higher mountain.  The Anzacs (2520m) are and excellent day out and a chance to get used to climbing in the magnificent area.

 

Day Five

Summit day usually starts with a 1 am wakeup call.  It can be difficult to eat at that  hour but your guide will provide a hot drink and breakafast before you start out.  With hard snow conditions progress is fast across the lower part of the glacier and as the valley narrows into the Linda Glacier you will start to enounter more crevasses to navigate around.  Early in the season this can be straight forward but as the season wears on progress can be slow.  Sunrise should see you at the top of the Linda Shelf where you will begin to encounter your first rock on the route.  The summit rocks are generally easy climbing but after this you begin to feel the effects of the altitude and effort.  While the summit ice cap is easy climbing with short periods of pitching it can seem like a long way to the summit.  The summit of Mount Cook is like no other, here you stand on a small island in the South Pacific at an elevation that puts you higher than anything from Asia to South America.

Day Six

You will be tired after your ascent so a late sleep and big breakfast are the first business of the day.  The helicopter lands bringing in a new load of climbers and you wish them luck before you pack your gear and fly back to Mount Cook Airport and then drive back to Wanaka.


Equipment Details

This video provides practical demonstration of the common equipment and clothing required for mountaineering.

Back to Top