Plateau Hut Overnight - Details

Feel like a unique mountain adventure and a comfortable insight into the realm of the mountaineer? The Plateau Hut Overnight delivers a trip to one of New Zealand's most iconic alpine locations.

Stay at a modern NZ alpine hut, and experience the thrill of glaciated big-mountain terrain. Safely trek to a summit, and learn a few skills. Glacier Dome is a non-technical summit a short distance from Plateau Hut, well within reach of someone with average fitness and limited mountain experience.

With your professional alpine guide you fly to Plateau Hut at 2,200 metres elevation - on the flanks of Aoraki Mount Cook. You stay overnight and trek with crampons to the summit of Glacier Dome (2,452 metres), before flying back to complete an amazing 2 days .

It's not all hard work , as you relax on the deck of the hut with a glass of wine and enjoy the fiery alpenglow, while your guide prepares a delicious dinner...

Grand Plateau & Glacier Dome Highlights

  • Stay overnight at an alpine hut on Mount Cook
  • Delicious evening meal and breakfast prepared by your guide
  • Trek across a glacier
  • Use crampons/snowshoes and ice axe
  • Ascend and traverse Glacier Dome 2,452 metres
  • Incredible mountain sunset and sunrise
  • Scenic flights to and from your hut
  • All equipment, meals and snacks included

Parties with 4-6 people require 2 guides, and may require additional aircraft loads. Please contact us directly for group pricing.


  • Aircraft flights to and from Plateau Hut
  • 2 days with a professional guide 
  • All meals and snacks from lunch on day one to lunch on day 2
  • Accommodation at Plateau Hut and national park fees
  • All technical equipment, including sleeping bag (as required)

Hut Location

Plateau Hut is fixed to a rocky outcrop above the immense Grand Plateau, and above the 1,000m high Hochstetter Ice Fall. Plateau Hut is the main base for ascents of Aoraki Mount Cook – sitting on the flanks of Mount Cook itself.

Climbing to this point is a difficult ascent. Experienced mountaineers take at least a full day (often 2) to reach the hut on foot. But we take the express elevator…

From the hut there are uninterrupted views of the Tasman Valley, 1,500 metres below, and the entire length of the Tasman Glacier, to Lake Pukaki and the Mackenzie plains. 'Plateau' is  surrounded by the ice-clad giants of the Southern Alps; Mount Tasman, Mount Dixon, Silberhorn, Lendenfeld and Aoraki Mount Cook tower above. Just being at the hut is an unforgettable experience.

Experience and Fitness Required

You need:

  • A moderate level of hiking fitness
  • Able to carry a pack of up 5kg for up to 3 hours.

Your guide will instruct on use of crampons and ice axe, and roping-up for glacier travel.

The terrain is serious and uncontrolled, but our trekking routes are established, and you will not be exposed to unsettling sheer drops!

On Glacier Dome, Mount Cook.

Hut Facilities

Plateau Hut is a modern 33 bunk hut maintained by the Department Of Conservation. It has 2 bunk rooms and a kitchen/dining area, solar powered lighting, drinking water, and LPG cooking stoves.

This hut is remote, but is open to all recreational and commercial users. Alpine Guides has no control of other hut users.

Sleeping and Bathroom Arrangements
Serviced NZ mountain huts are comfortable, but not as ‘luxurious’ as European huts. There are no private bunk rooms, and you will likely be sharing a room with several other people – unless at a quiet time later in the season. The bunks have mattresses, so you only need a sleeping bag to stay cozy.

There are no bathrooms in NZ mountain huts, but there are toilet facilities a few metres from the hut entrance.

Alpine Guides has a supply locker at the hut with additional gear. If the weather is very settled you can opt to camp out under the stars near the hut - to really appreciate the mountains and the spectacular southern night sky.

Nice tidy kitchen. Plateau Hut.

Nice tidy kitchen. Plateau Hut.

Climbing Season and Hut Use

Plateau Hut is used by climbers on Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and other 3,000m+ peaks.

We usually avoid ‘peak’ climbing season of November, and December and early January because the hut can be busy. Climbers preparing for an ascent of the big peaks get up at midnight  - not good for those trying to sleep!

If you do not mind a potentially broken sleep, and busy hut, then bookings are welcome for November/December trips.

The Terrain and Safety

From about 100 metres outside the hut the terrain is glaciated, and parties will be roped for glacier travel to move safely. From February onwards seasonal snow is gone and firm ice and rock remains.

Roped up for glacier travel.

Roped up for glacier travel.

Meeting and Itinerary

Unless otherwise arranged you should meet your guide at 08:30 at our office in Mount Cook Village.

Day one
  • 0830 Meet your guide and discuss plans
  • Sort gear and travel to Mt Cook Airport
  • Scenic flight to Plateau Hut – 1,500 metres (5000 feet) above
  • Set up at hut and take lunch
  • Glacier walk and training
  • Dinner
Day two
  • Breakfast
  • Glacier dome trek and traverse - 2 to 3 hours
  • Lunch at hut
  • Fly back to Mt Cook airport
  • Return gear and depart

Late-season on the eastern peak of Glacier Dome.

Late-season on the eastern peak of Glacier Dome.

Poor Weather Alternatives

Weather conditions in the mountains can change rapidly. We can receive snow at any time of the year. If flying to Plateau Hut is not safe Alpine Guides will arrange an alternate hiking activity. This may involve travel away from Mount Cook Village. There will be no additional cost. A refund of helicopter fees will be provided if not used.

Your Guides

Our guides are qualified professionals certified by the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA affiliated). All guides hold pre-hospital emergency care level first aid certification and carry a first aid kit. Our guides have constant communication with Alpine Guides base through our radio system, or satellite phone.

Minimum Age

Minimum age is 15 years.

Equipment and Clothing

New Zealand is known for its variable weather - even over the space of one day. You must be prepared for a range of weather conditions - from warm to cool temperatures, and for sun and rain protection. UV is intense in New Zealand, so pack plenty of sun protection.

Bookings and Dates

Plateau Hut trips are available from 01 November to 30 April and are dependent on guide availability. Advance bookings are recommended.

Recommended Season: mid-January to end of April - to avoid peak climber use period.

Our treks are booked on a private basis. You can choose a date and book as an individual, or with a friend, or small group.

We believe that bigger is not necessarily better. A smaller group means a more intimate experience, and space to appreciate this incredible landscape.

Please check with us for the dates that suit your travel plans prior to making a reservation.