FitzGerald Pass Map.
Warning to Unguided Parties: Fitzgerald Pass via the Jubilee route is a high alpine climb. Only experienced mountaineers should attempt this route unguided. Good judgement to assess avalanche hazards and an exact knowledge of the route are essential. The route is not marked on the ground and should not be attempted in reverse, i.e. descending after coming from the West Coast, unless climbers are absolutely familiar with finding the correct line. Missing the top of the buttress is a very serious proposition. Because of the climbing over steep terrain climbers' packs must not be too heavy.
Participants need to be very fit in order to accomplish the crossing from Aoraki Mount Cook to Douglas Rock Hut in a single day (approx 11-12 hours). Previous mountaineering experience and good cramponing and ice axe skills are essential. We strongly recommend that participants do a guided Ball Pass crossing or Introductory Climbing Course with Alpine Recreation first in order to learn the necessary mountaineering skills and to allow guides to assess participants' suitability.
Day 1: 4:00 pm gear check at the Alpine Recreation office, 30 Murray Place, Lake Tekapo.
Day 2: Early morning start, 4:00 am. Drive to Aoraki Mount Cook. Starting from Aoraki Mount Cook Village, 780 m, you walk up the Hooker Valley to the Hooker Lake. Here you leave the formed track and you climb over easy terrain until a rock buttress needs to be negotiated.
The guide will belay you up the 150 m of exposed but technically easy rock until you reach snow slopes that lead to the north-eastern part of the Stewart Glacier. You climb steep snow and ice slopes and around crevasses until you reach a shoulder where the view opens up to the south face of Aoraki Mount Cook. A steep snow traverse leads to the final slope that takes you to FitzGerald Pass, 2109 m. 7-8 hours from the road end.
From FitzGerald Pass it is a short and easy descent to the top section of the Copland Valley route. Here the guide will return to Mount Cook Village and you will continue on your own. From the point where the guide leaves you it takes about 4 hours to reach Douglas Rock Hut. Douglas Rock Hut - Welcome Flats Hut takes 3 hours. Welcome Flats Hut to road end is 5 - 6 hours.
Days 3-4: Spare days in case of delayed start due to adverse weather.
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