CLIMB MT COOK

6 day guided climbing expedition to Mt Cook 3724m, New Zealand’s highest mountain.

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. 

Climbing Mt Cook by the Linda Glacier requires previous mountaineering experience and a high level of fitness. The Mount Cook climb can be attempted by climbers with experience on New Zealand 3000m peaks or the overseas equivalent. 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.

Most clients will have completed a New Zealand Alpine Mountaineering Course or equivalent technical mountaineering course and have previous experience on other 3000m peaks to New Zealand alpine grade 2 before attempting the climb.

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 early January. In a good year, the season may extend beyond mid January through to April. However, we recommend that clients book their Mt Cook climb before the early January because in recent seasons, the route on the lower Linda Glacier has become unsafe to pass after early January.

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. 

LOCATION

Mt Cook National park.

MEETING POINT & TIME

Your guide will meet with you at 8.30am on the first day of the trip at your accomodation. 

ITINERARY

Note that this itinerary is a sample only. Your final itinerary is subject to weather and other conditions.

Day 1

We will meet you at your accomodation on the first day at 8.30am for introductions and a gear check before we drive to Mt Cook airport. The drive to Mt Cook airport is about 2.5 hours from Queenstown.  Make sure you have your camera ready for the flight as the Grand Plateau is one of the most spectacular alpine vistas in the world! After taking in the incredible scenery we will get ourselves set up in the hut. This will be followed by the opportunity to work on some skills training for the climb or the chance to go for a short walk on the glacier to take in the surroundings and acclimatise. 

Day 2

Training and acclimatisation day. This is a good day to work on some skills or do a training climb to acclimatise for the Mt Cook climb (Plateau hut is at 2200m and Mt Cook summit is 3754m above sea level).

Days 3-5

Summit Days! Normally we depart the hut at 1.00am under the cover of darkness. The goal is to reach the summit by 9.00am. A typical summit day on Mt Cook is between 13 and 18 hours in length. If we are back in good time it is possible to fly out to Mt Cook village for a celebratory meal and beer!

Final Day

Flight out of the mountains. Drive back to  Queenstown where we sort out our gear and have a trip debrief. We we also have an opportunity to discuss future mountaineering goals.

CLIMB MT COOK

1 to 2 people
6 days

$5,900

Mid October to December

BOOK A PRIVATE TRIP


INCLUSIONS

  • Guide fees
  • Aircraft access fees
  • Hut fees
  • Meals and snacks
  • Ground transport

EXCLUSIONS

  • Aircraft egress fees
  • Technical equipment hire
  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka

TRIP NOTES

Additional booking conditions

These are additional conditions to our standard booking terms and conditions. 

As part of the Mt Cook climb a period of 6 days guiding is included in the price of the trip. It may be possible to complete the climb before the 6 day period is over. If you finish the climb early you may choose to retain the services of the guide. If you choose to finish the trip early no refund is due.

Extending your 6 day Mt Cook climbing trip may be possible depending on your guides commitments. The cost of extending your trip is $700 per day. If your trip is involuntarily extended the cost will be $600 per day. 

Experience required

Previous mountaineering experience on moderate to steep terrain to New Zealand alpine grade 2. Rock climbing experience up to grade 16 AU/NZ Grading system. Experience climbing with two tools on snow and ice. Belaying/rope skills including crevasse rescue skills.

Clothing & equipment

Climbing in the New Zealand mountains requires that you have high quality equipment and clothing due to the extremes of weather we experience. Please ensure you look carefully at our equipment checklist. At the start of the trip your guide will go through your equipment and make sure that you have everything that you need for the trip. Please organise to have your extra equipment stored at your accomodation for the duration of the trip.

It is important that you keep as close as possible to the equipment checklist. The focus is on ensuring that you have the equipment you need, but also on keeping your pack as light as possible. If your guide is meeting you at your accomodation for the start of the trip it would be helpful if you have all your equipment and clothing organised and laid out in a logical fashion so they can check that everyone has the right equipment and clothing for the trip.

Accomodation during the trip

On the Mt Cook climb we stay in Plateau Hut. This large dormitory style hut is situated on the edge of the Grande Plateau and looks up at Mt Cook and the highest mountains on the main divide of New Zealand’s southern alps. This dormitory style hut is cosy and basic, it has water, cooking facilities, a mountain radio, and a bunk area with individual mattresses. There are no showers or electrical sockets for recharging.

Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka is not included in the trip costs. Staying in Queenstown or Wanaka may happen if you are delayed entering the mountains or exit early because of the weather. Being based in Queenstown during poor weather in the high mountains will enable us to use the Remarkables mountain range as often this is sheltered from the worst of the Southern Alps weather.

Accomodation in Queenstown  before or after the trip is not included in trip costs. To organise accomodation before and after the course we recommend www.booking.com here you will find a wide range of accomodation depending on your preferred style and budget.

Daily trip logistics

Every day in the mountains is different with changing weather, snowpack, and access conditions. When you book your trip with Queenstown Mountain Guides we will discuss your goals for the trip and the general plan. When you meet with your guide on the first morning of your trip your guide will discuss with you the weather forecast and current conditions and make a final plan for the trip. It is best to be flexible so we can ensure that you will make the most of your time with us.

At the start of the trip we will fly into the mountains at the first possible opportunity.

On any poor weather days it is possible to learn skills inside the hut – for example crevasse rescue, navigation, weather theory, avalanche awareness.

On the final day of the trip we will aim to have you back in Queenstown by approximately 5.00pm.

Queenstown Mountain Guides uses aircraft to fly into the mountains and this enables us to bring a good supply of fresh food on our trips. Your guide will organise breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you when  you are in the mountains. Your guide will cook your meals on a basic mountain stove but you will impressed by what is possible!

Aircraft access and egress

The flight into Plateau Hut is included in the trip costs. The cost of the flight out is not included in the trip cost. Our goal is to minimise the cost of the flight out by combining flights with other climbing and skiing parties when possible. By doing this it makes aircraft access and egress costs cheaper for you. The most suitable aircraft on the days depends on the snow and weather conditions.

Plateau Hut: Helicopter, 5 people, $897*

*All prices are subject to availability and occasional change by aircraft operators.

Guide to participant ratios

Mt Cook is a guided at a 1:1 guide to client ratio.

Climber on the summit of Mt Cook
Guide and client on Mt Cook climbing summit ice cap
Climbing above the summit rocks on Mt Cook
Climbing above the Linda Glacier Mt Cook