Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Is Mt Cook technically difficult?

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Oceania and the Pacific Islands. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Oceania Climbing Partners section.
 

Is Mt Cook technically difficult?

Postby Mountain Bandit » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:04 pm

I was thinking of climbing Mt Cook in Jan 2010. I have done a brief search on the internet in order to find out details of the climb but have found practically nothing.

Who out there has climbed it? Do I need much technical experience? Guided or unguided?

I've got a few other questions so your input would be appreciated!

Cheers,
Paul.
User Avatar
Mountain Bandit

 
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:50 am
Location: Australia
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

Postby Haliku » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:59 pm

Welcome to SP. From the sound of your questions you might not of reviewed the Mt Cook page on SP. I've not climbed it but my understanding is it is technical and requires a good bit of skill. Cheers!
User Avatar
Haliku

 
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:42 am
Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 2 posts

Postby m_dquist » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:17 pm

Yes.
User Avatar
m_dquist

 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:14 am
Location: San Francisco, California
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby radson » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:38 pm

maaate..you're a slack bastard. Bloody shitloads of info on Cook. Check out the kiwi guiding companies websites for starters.

Here is a nice pic from earlier this year. Cook, is the one at the back.



Image
User Avatar
radson

 
Posts: 1937
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:34 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanked: 109 times in 76 posts

Postby Mountain Bandit » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:59 am

Thanks fellas,

Literally seconds after I posted this thread I did discover the SP page on Mt Cook. Somehow I fear it may be alittle out of my field technically but I'll look into Cook further anyway.

A mate and I are planning Aconcagua for January next year but I fear that my mate will pull out due to a lack of funds.

So I'm looking for mountains close to Oz to get some technical experience before attempting Denali. I can get cheap flights to NZ and Japan so was thinking posibly a week in each country

I have never used crampons or ropes in ice before so certainly need some experience in those fields.

Cheers,
Paul
User Avatar
Mountain Bandit

 
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:50 am
Location: Australia
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

Postby Damien Gildea » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:20 am

A week in NZ won't get you anywhere ;-)

I have not climbed Cook, I have only climbed in NZ in winter. But in the absence of any other input here, some points based on what friends and colleagues have said:
- this is assuming you try the 'normal' Linda Glacier route from Plateau Hut
- it's a very long day, maybe 12-17hrs of continuous movement
- with a massive height gain of around 1700m, meaning you will be slowed down slightly by altitude up high, though unlikely to get sick
- the Linda is often very cut up with crevasses, making difficult travel
- especially in Jan-Feb, though this year was better
- the Linda is actually very dangerous in a purely objective sense, with massive seracs poised above the route. They fall. Move fast.
- there is a shelf to traverse up high which requires proficient and confident cramponing, esp in icy conditions
- the summit rocks have fixed pro, but require some basic climbing skills, made harder by big boots, a pack, gloves and exhaustion
- descent of this is via abseil = dangerous
- though the altitude is low, Cook is in NO way comparable to similar 'training' mountains like Rainier or Mont Blanc. You need to know what you are doing and be able to do it yourself, well.
- fitness is important, and don't let people tell you otherwise
- allow at least a week just for Cook, better is 10 days. and this is after you've spent a couple of weeks climbing other peaks in the area (or Mt Aspiring etc).
- you may spent 5 or 6 days stuck in the hut, so take food and books accordingly
- but on the other hand be ready to go the evening you step out of the plane/helo. it's all about the weather and conditions

It is a totally different thing than Aconcagua (which I have climbed). There is little meaningful similarity. Dogs have climbed Aconcagua.

If you have never used axe or crampons and are not being guided - don't do it.

Get down to Blue Lake, out from Guthega, and practice with axe and crampons on the nearby slopes. No need to climb vertical ice. NZ climbing is about moving fast and continuously with proficient footwork and judgement of conditions.

Then maybe try climbing easier peaks from Tasman Saddle or Pioneer Hut. Then think about Cook.

D
User Avatar
Damien Gildea

 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:19 pm
Thanked: 211 times in 130 posts

Postby Roger » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:41 am

Paul

You may find the Technical Mountaineering Course run by alpine guides in NZ a really useful introduction and a great foundation for your future mountaineering aspirations.

Cheers, Roger
User Avatar
Roger

 
Posts: 231
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:44 am
Location: Australia
Thanked: 9 times in 5 posts

Postby radson » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:34 am

ooh I hope my comments were taken in a tongue in cheek manner :o

Also , in addition to Damien and Roger's very thoughtful comments, you could try the Volcanoes on the North Island of En Zud. No Crevasses to fall into, but still have ample opportunity for horizontal rain, sleet, zero visibility and incessant conversations on the supposed superiority of the All Blacks.
User Avatar
radson

 
Posts: 1937
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:34 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanked: 109 times in 76 posts

Postby Haliku » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:52 pm

Mountain Bandit wrote:I have never used crampons or ropes in ice before so certainly need some experience in those fields.


:!: Denali, Cook? You are jumping way ahead of your learning curve for mountaineering in my opinion. Even Aconcauga is pushing it as you appear not to have any high altitude experience. Why not consider Ecuador/Peru/Bolivia as a learning ground for glacier travel and high altitude? Then consider the 7 summits, Cook or whatever your dream goals may be. Cheers!
User Avatar
Haliku

 
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:42 am
Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 2 posts

Postby dadndave » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:23 am

I'm having another crack at Mt Earnslaw (At the head of Lake Wakatipu north of Queenstown)in February if that's any help. A bit of crampon work required but basically it's not a technical peak.
User Avatar
dadndave
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 13616
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:21 am
Location: Independent Republic of North Beerwah
Thanked: 1195 times in 792 posts

Postby m_dquist » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:12 am

New Zealand is a great place to learn to climb, as long as you are patient with the weather. It's where I first started when I lived there in 2003. Obviously you won't jump on Mt. Cook right away, but there are plenty of smaller, less technical peaks there. If you can jump on a plane relatively last minute you can get there and climb something in just a few days if you know you have a weather window. Flying to South America would be much more of a mission and access to supplies, the peaks themselves, and the need for acclimatization all take time. The Southern Alps rock, I wish I lived as close to them as you do.
User Avatar
m_dquist

 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:14 am
Location: San Francisco, California
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby radson » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:26 am

Roger wrote:Paul

You may find the Technical Mountaineering Course run by alpine guides in NZ a really useful introduction and a great foundation for your future mountaineering aspirations.

Cheers, Roger


..oooh that's my wife on their front page waving her ice axe in the air.
User Avatar
radson

 
Posts: 1937
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:34 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanked: 109 times in 76 posts

Postby dadndave » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:45 am

m_dquist wrote:New Zealand is a great place to learn to climb, as long as you are patient with the weather. It's where I first started when I lived there in 2003. Obviously you won't jump on Mt. Cook right away, but there are plenty of smaller, less technical peaks there. If you can jump on a plane relatively last minute you can get there and climb something in just a few days if you know you have a weather window. Flying to South America would be much more of a mission and access to supplies, the peaks themselves, and the need for acclimatization all take time. The Southern Alps rock, I wish I lived as close to them as you do.


True. If you live in Oz, you can watch the highs drift across the Tasman and catch the weather window. Especially with the bargain airfares happening.
User Avatar
dadndave
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 13616
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:21 am
Location: Independent Republic of North Beerwah
Thanked: 1195 times in 792 posts


Return to Oceania and Pacific Islands

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.