Aoraki/Mount Cook Grand Traverse

Aoraki/Mount Cook Grand Traverse

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 23, 2014
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring

Grand Traverse of Aoraki Mount

Report by Alexis (Team Griders)

The idea of climbing Mount Cook came from Vassily, who has always been fascinated by New Zealand's highest mountain. I immediatly shared his enthusiasm about the Grand Traverse : this seemed to be the most beautiful way to reach Mount Cook summit! So we left France and the winter on the 13th of december and landed in Christchurch the next Day.

Our climb Lasted 8 days, including two days of bad weather at the foot of West Ridge.

For the whole report I invite you to see the film of the expedition :)

Video Report

Film of the expedition (French with English subtitles) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_AGlEnU5Xw

Thanks for watching, I hope you enjoy it!

Comments on the route

This is not an easy way to reach Mount Cook, and although it is part of the less difficult routes it is a way more serious climb than the Linda Glacier Route. Hooker Glacier can be very opened (see day 2 in the video), and the acess to pudding rock can be very tricky (I didn't trust the acess to pudding rock and we choosed the glacier which was already quite opened).

West Ridge is a long climb. It took us two days to complete it, but I must acknowledge that we fell one time in the middle of the climb (light wounds only - luck!) and it slowed us. We digged a small bivouac place for two people on a small plateform on a secondary ridge pointing south, where the very end of north west couloir reaches the ridge (days 5/6 in the video). In the upper part of the ridge, we used mostly the gullies in the south face and didn't reached the ridge until it was only snow (around 3200m). I don't know if it's the good way but it was the hardest part of the climb.

The Grand Traverse is absolutely Beautiful but exposed escprcially when in ice (which was mostly the case for us!). Good legs requirerd!. No problem to climb down by Linda Glacier Route, ti gives the feeling to go back to civilisation after the isolation of the Grand Traverse!.

We slept on Grand Plateau in our tent and went down to Tasman Glacier via Boys Glacier (I couldn't film thiss section, thought I had no more battery but found one still working at the end). This is quite long and dangerous but it seems to be the only way. The way down from boys glacier to Tasman Glacier is a long slope full of falling rocks...

This remains still one of the most beautiful route I have ever climbed, but one of the most exposed too!

Pictures

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Hooker Glacier or Pudding Rock?

Mt La Perouse from camp 2
Mt La Pérouse from camp 2

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Somewhere on West Ridge

Low Peak
Low Peak

The ridge!
From Middle Peak, the easy part of the Ridge

The Summit Ridge!
The Summit Ridge



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