Aoraki Mount Cook Expedition

Climbing Mt Cook (NZ's highest peak - 3,724 metres) is a long, physically demanding and serious venture for experienced mountaineers. Alpine Guides' Mt Cook Expedition is a 6-day guided package, based from Plateau Hut (2,200 metres).

The Mount Cook Guiding Package

Aoraki is a significant mountaineering challenge, rising 3,000 metres from the Tasman Valley floor. Our parties fly to Plateau Hut to avoid an extremely long and rugged approach on foot, that alone takes 1.5 days.

Vertical height gain to Mount Cook's high peak is nearly 1,700 metres (5,300 ft) from Plateau Hut. After an alpine start (01:00 am), the return time is normally around 15-18 hours, but can be longer.

Climbing Season | Late October through mid-January

The Linda Glacier is the most commonly guided route.

  • NZ Alpine Grade 3+ - approx. European AD to AD+
  • The route normally becomes impassable from mid to late-January due to extensive crevassing, rock and ice-fall hazard
  • We recommend booking to complete your expedition before mid January

Conditions may improve in late February/March. This varies from year to year, and is never guaranteed. Other route options are possible, for suitably experienced climbers. See the detailed notes for route information


The 6-day package gives time to:

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

Experience Required

  • High level of aerobic fitness
  • Previous high alpine climbing experience on moderate/technical terrain
  • Experience climbing with 2 tools on 45° to 50° snow and ice
  • Travel in glaciated terrain
"Kia tuohu kotou, Me he maunga teitei, Ko Aoraki anake." 

"If you must bow your head then let it be to the lofty mountain Aoraki." Read about Topuni and the significance of Aoraki to the Ngãi Tahu people.