You will also require crampons and an ice ax. You need to be strong and fit, quick enough and in good enough condition to get through the first three stages in good time. ... can explore the museum and read about how Sir Edmund Hillary used Mount Cook National Park to prepare and train for the Mt Everest summit climb… That’s how Aspiring Guides’ director and experienced mountaineer, Whitney Thurlow, contextualises the notion of attempting to summit New Zealand’s 3724m Aoraki/Mount Cook. Aoraki/Mt dominates this little village. But it was a local Christmas Day triumph when New Zealanders Tom Fyfe, James Clarke and George Graham summited the peak for the first time, via the Hooker Valley, a traverse that was not repeated again for 60 years. But 1700 m vertical is a big summit day anywhere in the world. You don’t always get to the top and when you do it’s a pretty special occasion.”. If you’re after something a little further afield, there are two day-long walks that can be undertaken: to Ball Hut in the Tasman Valley or the Sealy Trans Track. No experience is necessary, our expert guides will quickly teach you how to master basic crampon and ice … Hillary summited Cook itself in 1948. Mountain hut costs are included in the trip price. I’m 60-years old now and it’s all the fault of the Mt Cook National Park and what I saw of it from Mt Dixon.”. Stamina to climb or tour for up to 18 hours. The hard climbing is on the top third of the route. By John Kazanas (All photos courtesy Steve Hunt) After completing a TMC in Dec ’02 with Alpine Guides, spending a week ice climbing at Blue Lake in August and a weekend here and there snow playing in the Vic Alps, it was time to get back to N.Z. “There are literally dozens of other peaks – both harder and easier than Mount Cook … “If you picture what would happen to you if you were not experienced in the bull ring, it’s not a pretty thing. That’s followed by the summit icecap which can be anything from blue ice to soft snow. With its combo of spectacular coastline and vast outback, South Australia offers any number of epic adventures. If there’s no track up the Linda Glacier then on day 1 we would try to put the track in. There you usually have a fixed line or a big packed track and you know what conditions will be like. The Aoraki Mount Cook climb is typically a 12 to 16 hour day, although it’s common for parties taking 20 or 24 hours. Despite its relatively modest 3724m peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook isn’t for the faint-hearted. Mt Cook lies within the Southern Alps of New Zealand within the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Aoraki Mount Cook National Park offers: Some of NZ's highest peaks (some over 3,000 metres) from NZ Alpine Grade 1 through 3 and beyond. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Trips cost NZ$5050. Australia’s largest state is the ultimate outdoor playground. Ideally we want to be on the summit at about eight or nine in the morning. Having a track to follow in the dark make life much easier. See www.aspiringguides.com, Avalanches: All park visitors should consider carefully the class of avalanche terrain they are going into, and check the avalanche-danger advisory prior to undertaking any trip. Will try again in late spring. The ice conditions were bad too with broken icefall / wide slots, but the weather was beaut! Endurance as well, we need to be able to cope with a 14 hour day, at least. Come ice climbing in New Zealand’s big alpine environment! 6 day guided climbing expedition to Mt Cook 3724m, New Zealand’s highest mountain. It is called the Guardian … Aoraki Mount Cook is a demanding climb, a real challenge. Early in the season I use skis for access on the glacier. Ice Climbing on Glentanner Station. Endurance as well, we need to be able to cope with a 14 hour day, at least. This is quite a dangerous place as the “Gun Barrels” are several hundred meters above you, ready to release an avalanche. The conditions are mixed. Lucas swung his first ice tools in New Hampshire, and further developed his climbing skills on rock and ice in Ouray and the deserts of southeastern Utah. I try to do some warm-up climbing, for example on the Glacier Dome. Skiing advanced to expert skill level, climbing technical terrain in touring boots, skinning and using ski crampons in steep terrain. During winter and spring there is often little difficulty in finding a route through the Linda ice … Weather forecast, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Access is via helicopter or walk-in, with walk-out on both options. Northern Territory adventures: Four of the best, NSW travel: It’s time to hit the ‘GO’ button on your next adventure, Winter is here: Adventure in Jasper, Alberta, The new mountain bike track in Kosciuszko National Park, Australian Geographic Society Expeditions, Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition, Book one of Australian Geographic’s small group tours, Book a trip with Australian Geographic’s travel partners, www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/aoraki-mount-cook/, Environmentalists, Conservationists and Scientists. It was there that he developed a love for mountain life and climbing. Aoraki Mount Cook … That’s the first challenge, to get through there safely, to find a safe line through there. The weather challenge is why it’s such a classic ascent compared to peaks in Europe or America or the Himalayas. Highlight. Day 2 Fly into the mountains, climb/ski Glacier Dome or Anzac peaks or put a route u the Linda glacier. But right next to Mount Cook, there’s a peak called Mount Dixon. Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand.Its height, as of 2014, is listed as 3,724 metres (12,218 feet). Tasman Glacier Ice Climbing Mount Cook. “The Aoraki/Mt Cook area is the historical heartland of mountaineering in NZ,” says Sam Newton, General Manager of the New Zealand Alpine Club. At 1800m (nearly half as high as Aoraki/Mt Cook’s summit), Mueller Hut provides a 360-degree panorama encompassing glaciers, ice cliffs, vertical rock faces and New Zealand’s highest peaks, and is accessed via a 5.2km trail passing through alpine scrub, herb fields and scree slopes over a 1000m vertical ascent. A mecca for hikers and climbers, it’s one of the most popular tourist spots in New Zealand. Ice Climbing Courses. You can get long periods of great conditions while at other times it’s really tough. Queensland is the ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure destination. The stronger the people are, the easier it is to manage that objective hazard, to move quickly through it and minimise the exposure time. It’s so close to the ocean. Summit day is usually between 14-18 hours. Climbing Area Map. Let’s climb … Emmeline Freda Du Faur (16 September 1882 – 13 September 1935) was an Australian mountaineer, credited as the first woman to climb New Zealand's tallest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook.Du Faur … Combine that with the weather challenges and you always feel quite privileged to get to the summit. Europeans first struck out to reach the summit, visiting Irishman William Green and Swiss mountaineers Emil Boss and Ulrich Kaufman making it to within 50m as early as 1882. The easiest way in to Mt Cook Village is to hire a car, or there are regular buses to from Queenstown, Christchurch and Wanaka. Whether camping in its many national parks, swimming with oceanic giants, or traversing one of Australia’s most famous outback tracks, WA will keep even the most discerning adventurer busy. To the north-east and south-west all you see is mountains but for all the rest all you see is ocean. Day 4 Weather or Summit. It’s one of the toughest climbs on Earth. On the formidable direct South Face of Aoraki/Mt Cook, a speck of a figure called Bill Denz creates history, one hold at a time. We set out anywhere between 11 pm and 2 am while things freeze. Snow and ice, mixed, and alpine rock peaks to test your mettle. International visitors should get flights into Christchurch or Queenstown. While Aoraki/Mt Cook is the jewel in the parklands crown, it is far from the only lure. Scientists implore us to rethink the notion of a blackened landscape and embrace the positive qualities of contained fires. If walking in or out of the mountains we will be carrying high energy, light weight mountain food. From what I saw at the top of Mt Dixon, right there and then I said I’m going to live in this country. Same goes for climbing Aoraki.”. A dump of fresh snow can be a problem. Climb 850m steeply up onto Ball Ridge and to Caroline Hut at 1800m, perched right opposite New Zealand's highest ice face, the Caroline Face of Mount Cook. A lot of people have never really seen that sort of big glacial view before. Mount Cook Airport is a small airstrip within Mount Cook National Park located on the eastern side of the mountain. In New Zealand you tend not to be acclimatised. After that there’s some steep climbing up to the summit rocks, usually 6 to 8 belayed pitches. Aspiring as my favorite New Zealand mountain. Some of the conditions can be challenging. More settled weather than the neighbouring West Coast + Mountain … We have to wait until that snow settles to avoid a significant avalanche danger. So it’s important to get the right conditions before an attempt to climb Aoraki Mount Cook. In some years the conditions allow ascents at anytime during the summer months, not just the typically window of Nov to early Jan. The summit ice fields are an awkward angle: a bit steep to stand up and walk, but with an angle that’s too low to be “facing in” comfortably. There is quite a lot of objective hazard. A thrilling scenic helicopter flight takes you up the Tasman Valley to the best ice climbing location. A short and … Price: $799.00 … Ice climbing on the glacial seracs in summer. People often underestimate the difficulty if they come from the Alps, because it’s not a 4000 m peak. General information: www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/aoraki-mount-cook/, Climbing: Aspiring Guides offers numerous departures via two different routes each year, from October-December, that attempt to summit Aoraki/Mt Cook. It is an impressive sight from every direction and offers a range of climbing … Mt Tasman (3497m) lies within both Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park and Westland /Tai Poutini National Park, sitting just north of Aoraki/ Mt Cook on the main divide of the Southern Alps. Day 6 Return to Wanaka. The summit icecap is at 3500 m so it’s hard going and there’s no way really to acclimatise well for that. It’s important to have enough time left to deal with any difficult conditions on the summit icecap and still get back down safely. A Decrease font size. We will also check whether your experience and fitness level are suitable for the objective and, if not, may be able to suggest other exciting alternatives. Alpine Guides Mount Cook run a 5 Day winter 'Ice Climbing Experience' (ICE… Keep up to date with our stylish calendars and diaries. “There are literally dozens of other peaks – both harder and easier than Mount Cook itself – that can be climbed via hundreds of routes.”. Day 3 Weather or Summit. While shifting earth represents one danger, the shiftable weather remains ever threatening, too. Aoraki/Mt Cook's rugged peak stands 3724m tall, looming over Lake Tekapo. We have to get up the Linda Glacier, which is quite broken and threatened by ice cliffs. A catalogue of just some of the climbing deaths in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park over the last decade: Feb 5, 2004 - Adrian Iordache, 27, Romanian, slipped and fell from the Linda Ice Shelf … “As well as having the requisite technical mountaineering skills, climbers need to have a high degree of fitness, self-reliance and the ability to read the weather,” adds Newton. Mt Cook glacier hiking and ice climbing adventures offer a unique experience, with levels to suit everyone. and put my alpine climbing … It is our pleasure to guide you on a thrilling experience and be part of your alpine adventure in one of the most visually stunning parts of New Zealand. Difficulty: Easy. Hike a tropical island, dive a natural wonder, ride an epic MTB trail network or paddle a unique marine trail. Then we have to get across the Linda Shelf which can have anything from soft snow to blue ice and is up 40o in places. And you can look out at the ocean from the summit. The Godley and Macaulay valley tracks are multi-use, meaning walkers, mountain bikers or horseriders can all explore. “The vertical drop is one of the biggest on the planet – you go from virtually sea level up to more than 3700m very quickly. Feeling adventurous? For example, climbing on dry rock with crampons, or small vertical steps of ice. Your Ice Climbing party will picked up from the glacier by Mount Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters for another captivating scenic flight and your safe return to the Mount Cook Airport. Here we load the helicopter for the 15-minute flight to Plateau Hut (2,200m). PLUS receive a gift. There are opportunities for ice climbing on Glentanner Station. A thrilling scenic helicopter flight takes you up the Tasman Valley to the best ice climbing … Do not underestimate the difficulty because of the relatively low summit elevation. Little wonder, then, that the mountain sitting head and shoulders above all others on New Zealand’s South Island attracts not only iconic labels, but also iconic alpinists eyeing off her tempestuous crown. Mt. Transport from Wanaka to MtCook Village by car included by car. Mt. All mountain food is provided on your trip. Very few places in the world have as high a vertical drop, or a bigger view, than that.”. Usually, there … Or don your pick axes on an adventure ice climb in Mt Cook. There is 1000 m vertical of relatively easy going before you reach the really serious climbing. But you still want to explore the wilderness regions that spread out below the peak that is Aoraki/Mt Cook? See www.avalanche.net.nz. Then we can confirm Tim’s availability and give you a better picture of typical mountain conditions around the desired dates. Sefton. “Bill was one of the major first ascentionists at Cook,” says Thurlow who himself has climbed the peak “12 or so times.”, “When you look at the South Face from the village, it’s hard to believe that anyone could climb it, but Bill put up the first route straight up the face, solo, a long time before anyone else was climbing anything like that. A huge day, 1700 m vertical. Discover the magnificent Aoraki/Mount Cook region by experiencing heli-hiking, snowshoeing or ice climbing in and around the imposing Haupapa/Tasman Glacier. It is this concentration of climbing targets that drew the world’s most famous mountaineer, Sir Edmund Hillary. For more details it is essential that you contact Ross or Helen Ivey on +64 3 4351843. Climbing Mount Cook is a serious undertaking. It’s definitely not a first summit. Like most of the Mt Cook guides I usually start us off at some ungodly hour in the morning. Please allow for these in your traveling planning. There are no walk-up or non technical routes up the mountain. A Reset font size. The most common way to ascend Aoraki/Mt Cook is via the Linda Glacier. I offer a longer weather window for the ascent by offering up to two weather contingency days free of charge. Rising temperatures, shrinking glaciers, wildfires and droughts are now the biggest danger to Earth’s natural heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef. Trailhead: White Horse Hill Campsite. More recently, Gardiner Hut – oft used on summit attempts – was almost swallowed by a rock fall off the South Ridge. These are intensive 7-10-day mountaineering courses with comprehensive instruction in all facets of mountaineering and alpine climbing. Mt Cook is a prized international summit and world class mountaineering objective with many climbers coming from all over the world to attempt the climb. Located in the Mount Cook National Park, roughly 10 minutes drive from the scenic Mount Cook village. Sefton ties Mt. Western Australian adventures: Three of the best, South Australian adventures: Four of the best. The aspiring climber needs strong alpine climbing skills to make Mount Cook achievable, and we combine our climb with a 10 day Alpine Climbing Course which offers the solid grounding required to travel safely over snow, ice … His favorite ice climbs are La Ventana in the Ouray Ice Park’s Five Fingers climbing … “And while it doesn’t have the challenges of a thin atmosphere, it still has all the challenging aspects of significant height gain, steep terrain, crevassed glaciers and fast-moving weather systems.”, “In a word, Aoraki is still big,” says Thurlow. So that means that we’re often doing a lot of the ascent in the dark. Here are four of our favourites. The conditions are mixed. I wasn’t experienced enough to do it, but I was lucky enough to make it to the top. Starting with the basics of ice axe and crampon techniques and glacier travel, moving onto more complex alpine climbing … It’s a really challenging climb so if you are not fit enough or fast enough you’ll run out of time. These can be rented in the park from Alpine Guides for $25 NZD. Kea Point Hike. Distance: 2 miles. Where possible I like to eat my own home-grown organic vegetables as well as healthy, quality local products. “There is no easy way up. Fly to Plateau Hut (2200m) Climb … It was the first peak I climbed in the park. Home Australian Geographic Adventure Destinations So you want to climb Mt Cook/Aoraki, SO YOU WANT TO summit Aoraki/Mount Cook? A Increase font size. This, despite it being less than half the height of the bigger, more famous peaks scattered across the Himalaya. The fact that there are very few or no other climbers on the mountain enhances the experience. See ‘personal gear requirements’ for the gear you need to have. The volatility of the weather and landscape is evident in literally earth-shattering events, such as in 1991 when the entire top of the east face of Mt Cook collapsed containing 10 million cubic metres of snow, ice and rock, turning the summit into an exposed ice ridge, and chipping more than 10m from its official height. Please contact us by email or WhatsApp if you are interested in booking a trip with us. Explore the remnants of the ice age on a glacier hike in Mt Cook. Flights into the mountains are not included in the trip price. It’s right next to where Hillary climbed his first big peak, and arguably that is what set him off on his career.”. I was 25-years old and I had no business being there at all, truth be told. From the summit pretty much half your view is the ocean. Despite the modest altitude compared to many other mountains around the world, Mt Cook is a steep heavily glaciated mountain, technical climb… Day 1 Meet in Wanaka, do equipment checks then travel to Mt Cook NP. By subscribing you become an AG Society member, helping us to raise funds for conservation and adventure projects. That’s where the experience of the Aoraki Mount Cook guides really comes into play. Aoraki Mount Cook is definitely not a first summit. Ancient deep sea monsters called radiodonts had incredible vision that likely drove an evolutionary arms race. One free weather contingency day is included for the 5 day trip and 2 days for the 7 day walk in and out trip. “Aside from climbing Aoraki/Mt Cook, there are a variety of attractions for the adventurous traveller – ski touring and ice climbing in winter, rock climbing and trekking in the summer,” says Newton. “In terms of the physical effort and technical skills required to summit, Mt Cook is extremely challenging – it’s quite a feather in your cap if you can climb in the kind of environment it presents,” says Thurlow. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten- or lactose-free diets can easily be accommodated at no extra charge. “If you’ve never fought a bull before, and you’re going to be thrown in the ring with one, well, asking to climb Mount Cook is like saying I want the biggest, baddest bull you’ve got.”. The Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Village is a 105km drive from the Tekapo township. Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox. No matter what route you choose, you are exposed and nothing comes easy. Subscribe & Save up to $49 Areas in Mt. We provide group equipment such as ropes, rack, and cooking equipment. Experience climbing snow and ice with two ice tools to 50′, easy mixed climbing, belayed climbing and rappelling, glacier travel experience. “Heavy rainfall at higher elevations also means that the glaciers here are as big as any in the world,” says Thurlow. Time warp back to Mount Cook Village on a particular day in 1972, and witness from the foothills a fearless matador of the mountaineering kind attacking Aoraki’s flanks, rising to the summit like an angry bull to a raging red rag. Not a first summit. Climb Aoraki Mt Cook 3724m in November 2017 via Zurbriggen Ridge from Plateau Hut “Aside from climbing Aoraki/Mt Cook, there are a variety of attractions for the adventurous traveller – ski touring and ice climbing in winter, rock climbing and trekking in the summer,” says Newton. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island.A popular tourist destination, it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers.Aoraki / Mount Cook … That’s very unusual, to be on a big glaciated mountain but on an island. MT COOK CLIMBING TRIP– DECEMBER 2003 . Cook. Stay at Unwin lodge. Your guide will choose one of two routes … Who doesn't want a cute robotic friend to help them out and have fun with? Not looking to make a summit attempt? Distance ranges from 18-32km and the trails are located north of Lake Tekapo. We usually use Unwin Hut and Plateau Hut. Warm air sweeps in from Australia and Indonesia to the north, while from the south, cold air pummels into the ranges, the meeting of the two over New Zealand making for unstable weather, no matter the season. On the way down we often do ‘lowers’ or rapelles down through the summit rocks. Australian Geographic acknowledges the First Nations people of Australia as traditional custodians, and pay our respects to Elders past and present, and their stories and journeys that have lead us to where we are today. It’s almost like climbing Mt Aspiring and then having to do 500 m or so of harder climbing. In November and December we can expect more snow cover on the routes, and as temperatures warm up into the summer months of January and February, we traditionally experience more settled weather and mixed climbing conditions (snow, ice … Assemble build it-yourself friends and learn programming principles through fun gameplay with these great toys and games! Aoraki Mount Cook Expedition The spectacular peaks of the Aoraki/Mount Cook region have attracted climbers from all over the world for the last 100 years and climbing Mt Cook (NZ's highest peak - 3,724 … Mount Cook was … The mountain is located within Mount Cook National Park on the west coast of the South Island and belongs to the World's Heritage of Unesco owing to its stunning alpine landscapes. Ascend / descend 1700 m vertical in a day with a climbing or ski mountaineering pack. Try a multiday alpine route by taking in the two-day Ball Pass Crossing, which traverses the Mt Cook Range between the Hooker and Tasman Valleys. The climber needs to be able to move efficiently on ground steeper than 40°, in crampons, and climbing with two ice-axes. It requires at least three climbing days – here’s a breakdown of how a typical trip might unfold. It is not … Climbing times on Mount Cook depend largely on snow conditions and the crevasse situation of the Linda Glacier. Either fly into the mountain or do activities. Known as a ‘difficult’ mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook has played host to many legendary mountaineers the likes of Denz, each of them adding their own layer of climbing history atop the mountain’s reputation as one of the most dangerous but alluring on the planet. We’re not going up through a maze of crevasses, trying to find our way in the dark. Of course you need good weather and relatively manageable winds, and no fresh snow. The climber needs to be able to move efficiently on ground steeper than 40°, in crampons, and climbing with two ice-axes. Mt Cook … Flight out if we choose or have to fly out, accommodation costs when not in mountain huts. “Mueller Hut is one of those places that has started a lot of people off on their mountain climbing careers,” says Thurlow. Glaciers cover 40 per cent of the region and there are five major valley systems: Godley, Murchison, Tasman, Hooker and Mueller. We guide Aoraki Mount Cook all year as conditions allow. Day 5 Weather or Summit Day and /or Walk/Ski/Fly out. It was Mt Cook National Park that also entranced and ensnared the long-term future of Thurlow, originally from America. The standard route on the mountain, Linda Glacier, is signifcantly more difficult than Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier. “On my first trip to New Zealand I didn’t know too much. Cook Rock Climbing. The 70,696ha park encompasses 19 peaks soaring more than 3000m. The Grand Plateau is a lovely spot with many climbing options on a number of 3000+m peaks, and the climbing … Climbs take six days, with 1:1 guiding and all technical equipment provided. Come ice climbing with Mt Cook Glacier Guiding in New Zealand’s big alpine environment! Climbing Season. “It’s close to the village – only a couple hours’ walk away – but the view is special. At its upper reaches, Mt Cook is not a playground for enthusiasts without considerable experience under their climbing harness. 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