Aoraki / Mt Cook

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Travel to Wanaka

We commence our Mt Cook trip from our base in Wanaka. Air New Zealand and Jetstar provide daily services for flights from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington to Queenstown. There are also direct international flights from most major Australian cities to Queenstown.

A shuttle service operates several times daily between Queenstown and Wanaka (approximately one hour driving time and at a cost of $35 each way), check Alpine Connexions for details.

Bus services operate daily between Christchurch and Wanaka (approximately 6 hours travel time).

Food

We place emphasis on providing nutritious meals and a good supply of snack food throughout the trip. If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration.

Accommodation

Wanaka has a range of accommodation from backpackers, youth hostels, motels, and hotels to luxury lodges.

We are happy to assist with your accommodation and bus transfer arrangements.

Adventure Consultants will provide your accommodation while the trip is running which is from 9.00am on Day 1 until 5.00pm on Day 6.

When in the mountains you will stay in mountain huts with shared bunkrooms and basic facilities. There are no single rooms available and unlike European huts you need to provide your own sleeping bag. Some mountain nights may be spent in tents or bivvies where you will be more exposed to the elements but the final decision on this will be made by your guide after weighing up all the factors. To find out more about New Zealand's Alpine Huts see our Alpine Hut page.

If our schedule requires us to overnight at Aoraki Mount Cook either side of the trip we utilise the New Zealand Alpine Club facilities at Unwin Hut which has dormitory style accommodation and if in Wanaka we accommodate you in dormitory style backpackers with shared bathroom facilities.  You may decide to upgrade to single accommodations in Wanaka or at Aoraki Mount Cook Village at your own expense, should you require.

Clothing & Equipment

Climbing in the Southern Alps requires you have the highest quality clothing and equipment due to the extremes of weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment while keeping your pack as light as possible.

Your Guide will go through the equipment checklist with you at the beginning of your trip. Actual equipment taken may vary subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. All group equipment including ropes and cooking equipment will be organised by your Guide.

Adventure Consultants can help with all your equipment needs prior to your trip departing. We have a dedicated equipment co-ordinator that can answer any questions you may have, or you can also read the following equipment notes which are designed to help you when making decisions about which equipment best suits your personal needs.  

We carry a good range of modern rental equipment. If you will be renting equipment from us please advise your requirements in advance to ensure correct sizing and availability.  

In addition, our extensive retail catalogue and gear store provide the added service of purchasing your clothing and equipment needs directly from us. We are regularly outfitting climbers from head to toe to help them prepare for their course, ascent or trek! We also have a range of products available at our headquarters for any last minute purchases on the day of departure.

We can offer secure storage at our office for your luggage and valuables during the trip.

Cultural Background

Mt Cook / Aoraki is a Topuni area to the Ngai Tahu Maori of South Island, New Zealand. The summit of Aoraki is regarded as the head of one of their ancestors; of which the head is sacred (or topuni) to the indigenous Maori of Aotearoa / New Zealand. Adventure Consultants respects the wishes of Ngai Tahu, hence we do not stand on the summit but remain a few metres from the top of the mountain.

Communication & Messages

Our guides are in radio/cell/satellite phone communication with our operations base and Department of Conservation headquarters throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, helicopter co-ordination and safety back up. Urgent messages can be relayed via our office to the field if required. Each party carries a locator beacon for additional security.

Climbing Season

We guide Mt Cook all year as conditions allow.

In November and December we can expect more snow cover on the routes, and as temperatures warm up into the summer months of January and February, we traditionally experience more settled weather and mixed climbing conditions (snow, ice and rock).

From March through April, late summer conditions exist and daylight hours get shorter.

Subject to seasonal conditions, access up the Linda Glacier can be compromised at certain times. In the event access is restricted or the hazard rating is high, we will offer an alternative route or peak.

Winter conditions are less predictable and days shorter, however for experienced climbers the winter solitude will be incredibly rewarding.

Weather

New Zealand has a maritime climate, and the weather is always a consideration in the high mountains. In the event conditions were not suitable to enter the mountains at the start of the trip, we can delay for up to two days subject to your guide’s schedule. We recommend you allow some flexibility with your travel arrangements to create this advantage. 

When booking your trip please specify the dates you are available.

Photos

Mt Cook at Dawn

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