Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand, rising an enormous 12,316ft (3754m). It forms part of the Southern Alps mountain range, which spans the entire length of the South Island. The mountain is known as Ao-raki to the Maori, which means ‘cloud piercer’. Consistently covered in snow and ice, Mount Cook provides a stark contrast to the turquoise waters of lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, which lie beneath its eastern flank.
Is it possible to climb Mount Cook and if so how difficult is it?
New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary used to trained on Aoraki Mt Cook before he successfully ascended Mt. Everest on May 1953.
The climb involves sustained glacier travel with rock and ice climbing and a 15-20 hour summit day. The level of difficulty can change dramatically depending on weather and snow and ice conditions. This is expedition-style climbing, where you have to be patient for the right weather. “Mount Cook is a world-class climb.