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Trekkers approaching Fitzgerald Pass
High above worry level
Approaching Fitzgerald Pass
Fitzgerald Pass
Serious mountain terrain
The snow slopes and glaciers below Fitzgerald Pass
Trekkers ascending to Fitzgerald Pass
Low guide-client ratio
Maximum 2 participants per guide
Muller Lake, Mount Cook Village and Lake Pukaki
Spectacular views
Mueller Lake, Mount Cook Village and Lake Pukaki
A small alpine tarn in the upper Copland Valley
Ever changing landscape
A small alpine tarn in the upper Copland Valley
Endangered Blue Duck (Whio) on the Copland River
Rare Wildlife
Endangered Blue Duck (Whio) on the Copland River
Stream crossings on the way down the Copland Valley
Rugged West Coast
Stream crossings on the way down the Copland Valley

Fitzgerald Pass Crossing

Cross the Southern Alps from Mount Cook Village to the West Coast on foot!

Fitzgerald Pass links the grandeur of Mount Cook with the untouched wilderness of West Coast bush. Enjoy spectacular mountain and lake views on the east before crossing to the sweeping views of West Coast forest and costline on the west.

Spend a night bivvying under the stars above Hooker Lake before a stiff climb up and over the Fitzgerald Pass and down through sub alpine terrain to Douglas Rock hut just below the bush line. Hike down the Copland Valley and relax at the end of your third day when you reach the natural Copland Hot Springs to soothe your weary body.

 

Overview


The Fitzgerald Pass Crossing is a challenging 4 day alpine crossing of the Southern Alps from the Hooker Valley to the Copland Valley done entirely under your own power. It follows the Jubilee Route over Fitzgerald Pass which is an alternative to the old Copland Pass route across the Main Divide and bypasses problems associated with the old route, caused by the retreating Hooker Glacier (the steep and crumbling moraine wall, and rockfall and flooding on the Hooker Lake shore). Besides Fitzgerald Pass is a much more comfortable place to stop for lunch!

Bivvy above the Hooker Lake and enjoy watching the sun set on the South Face of Aoraki / Mount Cook. Cross the pass with your guide and descend on the western side of the Main Divide to Douglas Rock Hut. Continue on your own along the DOC track to Welcome Flats Hut and the West Coast while your guide returns back over the pass back to Mt Cook Village.

Scheduled dates


SEASON
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NOV-JAN

Fitzgerald Pass Crossing dates are scheduled on a case by case basis - please contact us with the dates you would like. We recommend that you settle guiding dates well in advance as guide availability during peak season is limited. Please allow extra time in case you are held up in the mountains due to weather. The length of season is limited by the amount of snow on the route and may vary year to year.

History


The Jubilee Route over Fitzgerald Pass was pioneered in March 2003 by Anne & Gottlieb Braun-Elwert and Stella Sweney. It was called the Jubilee Route because the first crossing coincided with the 50th Jubilee of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

Equipment


EQUIPMENT
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PROVIDED

All of your equipment will be checked during the gear check at our office at the start of your trip. Any equipment you need to borrow from us will be issued by your guide. Alpine Recreation provides packs, helmets, harnesses, crampons, ice-axes and any outdoor clothing, pyou may require at no extra cost. Please see the equipment list below for further details.

Fitzgerald Pass Clothing & Equipment list