6 day guided climbing expedition to Mt Cook 3724m, New Zealand’s highest mountain. 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. Despite the modest altitude compared to many other mountains around the world, Mt Cook is a steep heavily glaciated mountain, technical climb, and a formidable challenge.
For safety reasons and to maximise the chance of success climbing Mt Cook by the Linda Glacier requires extensive previous mountaineering experience and a high level of fitness. Please see the experience required section below for more details.
Due to climate change and glacial recession Mt Cook has become more challenging to climb and has a higher level of risk from rockfall, icefall, and crevasse fall hazard. Because of the high risks and objective hazard Mt Cook can only be climbed when conditions are perfect. If the guide decides that conditions are not appropriate for an attempt at Mt Cook the guide will discuss with the client alternative mountaineering objectives for the 6 day expedition.
A typical climbing day on Mt Cook is between 13 and 18 hours, with a vertical height gain of 1800m. The typical climbing route is the Linda Glacier New Zealand alpine grade 3 but other route options are possible for more experienced clients including Zurbriggins Ridge, the East Ridge, and a Grand Traverse across Low Peak, Middle Peak, and High Peak.
The 6 day trip is based from Plateau Hut at 2200m. The length of the trip allows enough time for access and egress from the mountains, skills training, possibly climbing a training peak, and weather contingency days.
Mt Cook is a very serious climb that should not be underestimated. Mt Cook is a heavily glaciated peak with objective danger that can only be managed safely when the conditions and weather are good on the mountain. The minimum length of a Mt Cook trip is 6 days, this gives us enough time to maximise the chance of success and pick safe weather & conditions on this expedition style mountain.
The Mt Cook season is normally from October through to mid December. In a good year, the season may extend beyond mid December. However, we recommend that clients book their Mt Cook climb before mid December because in recent seasons, the route on the lower Linda Glacier has become unsafe to pass after late December.
Why climb Mt Cook with Queenstown Mountain Guides? Queenstown Mountain Guides are Queenstown’s only professionally qualified IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guiding operation. We have years of experience working on Mt Cook and an impressive history of safety and successful guided ascents on the mountain.