Mt. Cook in New Zealand

The classic hike close to the highest peak in New Zealand was the Copland Pass Track — but it has been closed to the general public for years. Landslide made it too dangerous.

The best alternative is the guided Ball Pass Trek, a 3-day trek spending two nights at Caroline Hut 1830m (6000ft).

Alpinists may prefer the toughter Fitzgerald Pass route (Jubilee Route from Mt. Cook to the Copland Valley).

Know that the weather is often horrendous. It may be days before you see the top of Aoraki (cloud piercer).

Ball Pass route

One Reply to “Mt. Cook in New Zealand”

  1. Yes, the weather on the Main Divide, which the Copland and Fitzgerald Passes cross, can often be bad; but Ball Pass is further to the east, in the lee of Mount Cook itself, so enjoys more good weather. The Ball Pass trip is planned for 3 days for precisely that reason – to allow a weather margin – and it’s very unusual not to get the grand views on at least one of the 3 days. In NZ bad weather can come very quickly, but it also clears up very quickly. The Fitzgerald Pass trip is also planned to allow a weather margin, so that you can postpone the start of the trip by up to two days, if weather is not good enough for a crossing on the planned start day. Storms rarely last more than 1-2 days.

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