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Mt Wakefield, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Climbing Wakefield Ridge with Tasman Glacier Lake below. Photo: Peter Laurenson
5.87km to summit
Total Ascent
9-12hr return
From Hooker Corner on Tasmand Valley Road
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Mt Wakefield, AorakiMt Cook National Park (gpx, yo 9 KB)
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If you’re willing to endure a short but rugged scramble from the valley floor to the tree line than what’s required on the nearby Mueller Hut route, then there’s another option, but without the crowds.

The route up Wakefield Ridge starts at Hooker Corner. A cairn signals where the rough trail heads directly upwards for about 200m until the bushline is reached and where the route becomes more obvious. This is alpine country and a winter trip requires crampons and an axe. Depending on conditions you may also need to use a rope further up. Awareness of avalanche risk is essential as you traverse snow slopes further up the ridge towards Mt Wakefield, 2058m.

Wakefield Ridge sits between the Hooker and Tasman glaciers, and allows expansive views of both valleys and the surrounding peaks. This location gives an even greater sense of being in the heart of the landscape than at Mueller Hut.

It’s also satisfying to reach the summit of Mt Wakefield – though Aoraki leaves no doubt from this vantage point as to which peak reigns supreme.