Local Heroes Guiding Details | Summer 2016-17

Mount Cook Village offers spectacular and challenging summits all within easy walking distance. The Local Heroes package gives time to climb 2 or more of these peaks - a great way to get a taste of the potential of the Aoraki Mount Cook area.

Summits include:

  • Mount Wakefield, 2,058 metres
  • Mount Edgar Thompson, 2,379 metres
  • The Nuns Veil, 2,749 metres
  • Mount Sealy, 2,627 metres
  • The Footstool, 2,764 metres

See below for full details.

Package Highlights

  • No need to travel for hours by car or air
  • No technical climbing experience required – summits can be selected depending on your experience
  • Good for those with limited time
  • Flexible objectives means we can work around changeable weather
  • Price is kept down by staying local, and using a walk in/walk out approach

Vertical ascents are long - so a high level of fitness is required

Experience Required

No previous mountaineering experience is required. We will select climbs based on your experience, snow and weather conditions, and time available.

Nuns Veil and The Footstool require previous alpine climbing experience. For less experienced climbers these peaks can only be attempted after a successful training climb on another peak - and subject to your guide’s judgment of your capabilities.

Most of the climbs involve a lot of vertical gain (at least 1,200 metres!). A high level of fitness and ability to carry a pack for a long day is required.

Any technical instruction required is given in the mountains, or between climbs, back in Mount Cook Village.

Prices and Inclusions

Local Heroes is for either one, or 2 participants per guide. You have a choice of a 5 or 6 day trip.

Prices are per-person, in New Zealand Dollars, valid to 30 April 2017.


  • Guiding fees
  • All meals (including snacks and energy bars) 
  • Hut fees/ local accommodation, as required 
  • Bivouac/camping gear, as required
  • Free use of a range range of technical equipment 

Approaching Sefton Biv

Does Not include
Aircraft access or egress. If required (by agreement) for certain objectives this is an additional cost.

Booking for Local Heroes

We will provide a guide to work around your travel plans (subject to availability). The first step is to contact us with your proposed dates ›

Please note that we do not have guides standing by waiting for work. “Walk-in” and short-notice enquiries generally cannot be filled. We recommend making reservations well in advance.

Reporting Details

Unless otherwise arranged, Local Heroes will start at 08:30 at Alpine Guides office in Mount Cook Village, and finish at 17:00 on the last day of your program.

Why a 5-day minimum?

On the Eugenie Glacier.

The Southern Alps has a temperate, maritime alpine climate. Booking a guide in advance for only a 2 or 3 day trip runs a high risk of being unsuccessful, due to possible disruption by bad weather. Also, the walk in to your climbing venue may take up to two days... A longer guided trip always offers a better chance of your venture being successful.

A 5-day minimum is a compromise, allowing for changing weather, and giving enough time to attempt one or more of the local peaks. It also lets you move to another venue, if conditions absolutely do not allow for climbing around the local area.

Trip Structure | Local Heroes

The Local Heroes program will start in Mount Cook Village. Once you meet your guide and discuss objectives, equipment and rental gear will be organised.

You must be prepared to head out to your first climbing venue that same day, if conditions allow. Most climbs listed involve a 5 or 10 minute drive to the start of the route.

For climbs that require a bivouac Alpine Guides will supply a tent or bivvy bag, as well as all bivvy equipment (stoves, utensils, etc.). Bringing your own drinking mug is recommended.

Flexibility to move

The Local Heroes format gives flexibility to choose a number of peaks and routes close to Mount Cook Village - there are several more than the main ones listed below ›

If weather conditions do not allow climbing in the local area we can relocate to other nearby venues, before returning to Mount Cook Village. For example:

Twin Streams (Mount Dark, 2,496 metres & Mount Brown 2,168 metres) - 15 minutes drive,
The South Temple or Hopkins Valleys (1.5 hours drive) - offering a number of great alternative climbs.

Valery on the Footstool

Footwear for Local Heroes

Local Heroes requires fully-shanked alpine boots. If you do not own appropriate boots we have these available to rent.

See our gear guide for more information on boots. 

We have a range of crampons, which fit practically all boots. Rock shoes will be provided if required, but bring your own if you own a pair.

Equipment and Clothing

 Please let us know what gear you need to rent - including any equipment supplied free of charge.

Choosing your clothing | Seasonal Variation

Our gear lists cater for all eventualities. Sometimes you may not require everything on the equipment list. Weather and conditions when your trip starts will help determine what is needed.

Temperatures, weather, and snow conditions will vary. The program is designed to work around these changes.

Read more about seasonality, weather, and snow conditions here.

Make a Booking

  • Please ensure you have talked to us about guide availability.
  • We require a deposit of NZ$1,000 and completed booking form for each person.