This was the first nice weather day in weeks, and there were a total of about 16 people summit (mostly guided parties on the Linda). We had the Zurbriggen to ourselves though in perfect neve/ice conditions! Descent down Linda was deep, wet snow but well covered.
Went up the Zurbriggen then turned back at the rocky summit ridge due to daylight concerns. Regrouped then went up the Linda Glacier a couple days later. We might have been the last people to summit for the season. The glacier was getting pretty open. A couple parties within days after us couldn't negotiate a path through the lower glacier.
Wanted Zurbriggen's Ridge, but the start was too soft. 15.5 hours RT from Plateau Hut. Excellent mountain!
Climbed this with Bob Enagonio. Good rock climbing (for the Southern Alps), long day, topped out just before sunset, spent the night at the middle peak "hotel" before going back to Empress Hut.
Soloed the East ridge-best day of my life (so far)
Made it half way up the Linda only to be turned around by deep, fresh snow. Returned to Mt. Cook village to throw down a few beers. Vaguely remember being kicked out of the Old Mountaineer's bar for tossing a Scientology pamphlet and hitting the barowner in the face...who happened to be a Scientologist.
After waiting 5 days for the weather to improve, got in a late season climb after a dry and warm summer. Glacier was full of crevasses and very open making for a long climb. Summit rocks were gorgeous. Nasty weather on the descent.
Jan 1979...most vivid memory: incredible cornices. second memory: it thrashed me
Great climb with a great guide in excellent weather.
We tried the route on a beautiful day after severe five days snow storm and found it in very difficult conditions.
We spent eight hours only to get to the ridge from the Plateau Hut by deep, sometimes waist-deep snow. Then there was the first rock step fully covered with snow. Soon after climbing it we decided to return because of the very dangerous route conditions - deep fresh snow, lack of protection and clear signs of coming weather change. We were back in the Hut just in time before the snow storm and high with came again, and captured us inside for another three days.
Anyway, it is very beautiful mountain and I am surely will try it again!
With T. Haines. We attempeted E Face, but conditions were very bad. Lots of powder, so we hooked back up with the Linda after a 3 hour detour and snatched the summit against all accounts of the Linda being "unpassable." We found this was not so. First to summit in 2006! See Trip report "Mt. Cook: The Whole Thing"
Well, we bailed about 250m below the summit, in crap conditions, but we managed 5 long, fun pitches up to 5.8, WI 3+. Minimal pro to be had in the compact rock, somewhat stressful rappelling back down to the schrund... with Andrew
Climbed with Nick Herrald during a brief break in the weather. We flew to Plateau Hut in somewhat cloudy conditions, but by 10PM, the clouds had disappeared and we had an excellent freeze. We left the hut shortly before midnight and made our way up the heavily crevassed Linda glacier. Routefinding was quite difficult and a circuitous route was necessary to reach the Linda shelf. From here, we climbed the couloir through the summit rocks in approximately 8 pitches. Conditions were very firm with long sections of hard water ice. The summit ridge was also quite icy, with one short steep step to cross the bergschrund below the summit. We climbed the route in 8 hours, descended in 7 hours (with two 30m rappels through the summit rocks). Conditions on the lower glacier during the descent were very soft, making for slow progress. After a rest day in the hut during bad weather, we flew out the following morning.
This is the most brilliant mountain in the world
Great climb going back this year for a diferent route, and some of the other mountains.
Unfortunately, didn't make the summit..but still wanna make an entry! Got beaten by a very underdone South African climbing partner ~ learned from that one. The ice conditions were bad too with broken icefall / wide slots, but the weather was beaut! Will try again in late spring. The Grand Plateau is a lovely spot with many climbing options on a number of 3000+m peaks, and the climbing hut is comfortable, warm and friendly.
Joe Nawalaniec, Blenheim, NZ.