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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Mt Cook: Introduction

This section doesn't describe a long-distance walk per se, but by combining three treks in the Mt Cook area of New Zealand you can create a five-day hike that takes in glaciers, mountain huts and some of the most stunning views you'll ever see. The weather is a constant threat round these parts and because of the snowy conditions you should definitely check in with the Department of Conservation in Mt Cook before heading out on trickier routes like the Ball Shelter Route, but these aren't mountain climbs, they're treks, and in the summer you shouldn't need special equipment.

Route details

Because this section describes a collection of shorter walks rather than a long-distance trek, there isn't a route as such. However, if you want to spend five days exploring the Mt Cook area you could do a lot worse than follow the following itinerary, which combines mountain trudging and glacier hiking with a gentle introductory day.

Day Walk Time
1 Mt Cook Village to Hooker Glacier and back 4 hours
2 Mt Cook to Mueller Hut -
3 Mueller Hut to Mt Cook 2.5 hours
4 Road End to Ball Shelter 3.5 hours
5 Ball Shelter to Road End 3.5 hours

I didn't make a note of how long it took to climb up to the Mueller Hut, but please note that the descent time included a lot of sliding down snow drifts, and it took us a lot longer to climb up!