The Grand Traverse, Aoraki Mt Cook – climbing route in 3D

In three weeks time the route that I hope to attempt in New Zealand is the ‘Grand Traverse’ (GT), together with Alan Silva.   The GT crosses from the West coast of New Zealand to the East coast, via the summit and summit ridge of Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.

The Climb New Zealand  database describes the route as:

“A ‘GT’ involves traversing Low, Middle and High Peaks (or vice versa) of Aoraki/Mt Cook. The section from Low Peak to Porter Col involves some rock, whereas the rest of the traverse is ice (and this can be hard, especially in winter). The ridge line from Low to High Peak is New Zealand’s highest and most exposed mile providing the most spectacular and famous traverse in the Southern Alps. In its day it was regarded as one of the most impressive achievements in world mountaineering.”

The GT is a HUGE route with 44km of horizontal distance, 3000m of ascent and 3000m of descent.  We will need a very good three-day (at least) weather window.  Hopefully we can make it with two overnight bivvies (Bivvy = Bivouac – sleeping in the open on the side of the mountain).

The GT has seen some interesting ‘events’ in its climbing history.  One of the highest profile being the ordeal of the climbing party consisting of Mark Inglis and Philip Doole who got stuck high on the summit ridge in a snow cave 1982 for 13 days  in a blizzard. Inglis lost both his legs to frostbite.  He went onto become the 1st double amputee to summit Mt Everest in 2006.

Attached below is a 4 minute, 3D fly through of this beautiful route.

Posted on December 5, 2012, in Grand Traverse Aoraki Mt Cook. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Good Luck wth the Traverse Axe man – Most of us will be relaxing over Xmas


  2. Kate (Isadora) Smith

    Well, it sounds to be a great way to spend Christmas but I don’t think my family would think so. I am looking forward to reading your blog together with any photos. Love your route details.

    This last month I have been in close contact with Mark Horrell and suddenly last week, after putting two and two together, it dawned on me it was the same guy you shared a tent with up Everest. I was quite surprised when he talked about Margaret and Mr Green Boots. He has written a piece about Mallory and Irvine. A conversation followed between him, two other guys and me. Of course none of us had any fresh information but it’s always good to read other folks views even if some of them are a little pompous. Enjoy Mark’s observations and he prints quite a lot so there is always something worthwhile to read.I hope you have a great trip and I will spare a thought for you when I’m tucking into the turkey and enjoying the warm fire. Happy Christmas Axe and a Great New Year.Cheers Kate ( UK )


    • Hi Kate, thanks again for your comments, you are a faithful follower. ! Yes Mr Mark was my tent mate on Everest and I must say he was very well behaved!! He also writes a fabulous blog. I hope you and your family have a wonderful christmas Kate. I can’t wait to get back to New Zealand!


  1. Pingback: Thinking of climbing Mt Cook? Start here - MountaiNZ Inc

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