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Alpine Recreation logo
Aoraki / Mt. Cook as seen from Mt. Dixon
Aoraki / Mount Cook : 3724m
New Zealand's highest peak
Descending the Summit Ice Cap of Aoraki / Mt. Cook
Summit views
Descending the summit ice cap while the sun rises on Mt. Tasman
Aoraki / Mt. Cook summit
UIAGM / NZMGA mountain guides
Enjoying the summit of Aoraki / Mount Cook
Mt. Cook Linda Glacier route and Summit Rocks
Linda Glacier route
Technical rock, snow and ice climbing
Plateau Hut and the East Face of Mt. Cook
Plateau Hut
Morning light on the East Face of Aoraki / Mount Cook

Aoraki/Mount Cook

Guided ascent of New Zealand's highest peak

Mount Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain at 3724m/12218ft. In local Maori legend, "Aoraki" is their most sacred ancestor from whom they derive their identity and status. Aoraki possesses power over life and death and represents a link between their natural and spiritual worlds.

Aoraki/Mount Cook is often underestimated by international climbers - although not high by international standards, it is its relative height and level of glaciation that makes this mountain so impressive. From the road end at Mount Cook Village to the top of the mountain it is over 3000m/10,000ft. Most climbers choose to negotiate the first 1200m by ski plane or helicopter to maximise the chances of success on the mountain.

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. Fantastic guide, extremely strong climber and great instructor." - L. Freitag, USA. Ski ascent.


Guide Availability


The peak climbing season for Aoraki/Mount Cook ascents is October to January, but it is sometimes possible to climb the mountain outside of these dates, depending on conditions. 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.

Venue: Plateau Hut


Plateau Hut, built in 2005, is the base from which you climb Mount Cook. It is a public hut that works on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be pre-booked. Climbers must carry their own sleeping bags and food to the hut as well as some party equipment and their personal equipment. Plateau Hut photos...



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 all technical mountaineering equipment. The only equipment that clients are requested to bring are their own mountaineering boots as we only store a limited range of such boots. Outdoor clothing and packs can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary. Please see the equipment list for further details.

Ascents Clothing & Equipment list.