Summit Hike of Mt. Cook in Aoraki National Park
Summit Hike of Mt. Cook in Aoraki National Park

Activity Snapshot

  • Sport level
  • Spoken languages
  • Duration
    6 days
  • Opening seasons:
    • J
    • F
    • M
    • A
    • M
    • J
    • J
    • A
    • S
    • O
    • N
    • D
Alpine Guides-logoOrganized by Alpine Guides

Activity description

Conquer Cook’s knife edge on this summit climb to 3,724m.

Brave the elements on this altitude traverse to the peak of mighty Mt. Cook. Considered one of the most remote and rugged climbs outside of the iconic Himalaya, Aoraki National Park is where true mountaineers are made. Test your skill and endurance on this 6-day ascent of New Zealand's highest summit.

This activity is run & operated from Plateau Hut in Mt. Cook National Park using a fly-in option. The summit is accessed via the Linda Glacier – a NZ Alpine Grade 3+ or European AD to AD+. Vertical height gain to Mount Cook's high peak is nearly 1,700 metres (5,300 ft) from Plateau Hut.

The ultimate apex in the Southern Alps, experience the raw beauty and humbling scale of Aoraki National Park on this summit hike to Mt. Cook (3,724m). A climb reserved for the experienced mountaineer, there is no easy route to the top of New Zealand’s highest mountain and access via the Linda Glacier is anything but a shortcut. This is a long and serious undertaking on a route that involves traversing crevasses and across snow bridges, steep exposed snow slopes, belayed two-tool ice and mixed climbing. During your 6-day summit attempt, you will practise the necessary techniques with your guide, making the final ascent via the Linda Shelf & Gun Barrels. The last 50 to 100 metres is pitched climbing, on 40° to 45° ice up to the base of the Summit Rocks. After 8-10 hours climbing, the view is indescribable, stretching for hundreds of kilometres up and down the Alps, to the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The descent (by the same route) usually takes 7-10 hours. The descent requires concentration and good crampon technique down the ice-cap. Your guide will lower you through the Summit Rocks.

Accommodation & Catering
A fully-catered package, base camp is at Plateau Hut (2,000) - an alpine serviced 33-bunk hut in the Aoraki/Mount Cook area. All cooking & camping equipment is provided as standard.

Mountaineering on the Aoraki/Mount Cook massif is a hazardous activity. The route is exposed in places to avalanche danger from large ice-cliffs. It is essential that fitness, your ability, and conditions allow you and your guide to move quickly through these hazardous zones.

Fly out option is not included in the price of this option and, if conditions allow, a walk-out alternative will be offered. The walkout is a normally a descent via Cinerama Col and the Boyes Glacier. This is an extremely rugged trip with 1 - 2 hours walking on nevé. A steep glacier descent is followed by approximately 300 metres of scree, 1,000 metres of boulder stream, and finally (at least) 2 hours walking over moraine. Descent to the road end takes approximately 6-8 hours.

minimum 18 y/o
Cancellation policy: 
strict1) Cancellation 30 days or more prior to the agreed activity starting date
→ You are automatically refunded the full activity price

2) Cancellation between 30 and 10 days prior to the agreed activity starting date
→ You are entitled to a 50% refund

3) 10 days or later, prior to the agreed activity starting date, are considered last-minute cancellations
→ No refund will be made
Offer Description

Climbing Mt Cook (NZ's highest peak - 3,724 metres) is a long, physically demanding and serious venture for experienced mountaineers. This 6-day summit attempt requires skill, fitness, patience, and respect for the mountains. However, the rewards are tantamount to the risk - the experience of standing on the summit of one of New Zealand’s major peaks is a rare privilege.


- Sort gear and fly to Plateau Hut
- Work around changing weather and snow conditions
- Attempt a 'training' peak (if required)
- Attempt Mt Cook summit
- Fly or walk out


Unless otherwise arranged, the Expedition will start at 08:30 in Mount Cook Village, and finish at 17:00 on the last day of your trip. A morning start makes most effective use of time, allowing you to fly into the mountains by lunch time.

Activity requirements

- At least 10 days on crampons within the past 2 years
- Experience climbing with 2 tools on 45º to 50º snow and ice
- Experience of several 16-20 hour days on alpine ascents (NZ Alpine 1+ to 2+) or equivalent within the past 2 years
- Previous glacier travel experience and demonstrate basic crevasse rescue skills
- Competence on rock - seconding to Australian 14 / US 5.7
- A high level of aerobic fitness - able to carry an 8 kg backpack 1,000 vertical metres in 2.5 hours

Special terms

Your guides appraisal of your competence and route conditions will determine whether the climb can be attempted, or an alternative ascent considered.

  • Alpine Guides Technical Manual
  • All meals
  • Hut fees
  • National Park fees
  • Local transport
  • Technical Equipment
  • Local Accommodation
  • Aircraft access to Plateau Hut
  • Cost of flight out of mountains ($ 250 - 500 NZD)
Do not forget to bring
Do not forget to bring
  • Full Kit List on Booking
Meeting point
81Bowen Drive, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, 7999, New Zealand Get directions
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