Chancellor Dome

Mount Cook

A classic itinerary with views across Westland National Park

Alpine Climbing Easy

Distance
4.9 km
Ascent
765 m
Descent
765 m
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
28˚
Chancellor Dome Map

This fine summit provides a great introductory peak in the Southern Alps. Although a relatively straightforward ascent, it requires all the skills needed for the higher summits in moderated doses and without the same levels of danger and commitment. The summit feels like it is amongst the higher mountains and a world away from the grassy banks surrounding the Chancellor hut. An early start from the hut is recommended as the snow slopes at this altitude can thaw relatively quickly once the sun hits them.

Description

The Chancellor hut is a cosy old school alpine hut best accessed by helicopter from Fox Glacier. It can be popular with guided parties wishing to climb Chancellor Dome or descend down to the blue ice of the glacier below. Places are available on a first come, first served basis. There's a radio in the hut with a weather forecast broadcast each evening and the opportunity to book a return helicopter journey. Kea's abound this area so keep your eyes peeled for the mischievous birds and tie down any kit left outside!

From the hut, follow the winding rising path up through the snowgrass, a good opportunity to wake muscles and mind up! Before long you reach a slight plateau and rocky/scree slopes where you normally meet the snow line. To your left/north, there should be a broad snow filled gully which rises steeply but thankfully shortly to meet the ridge line. Follow this broad ridge, with spectacular views all around on a clear day, to the summit. Retrace your route for descent.

Difficulty

Easy

The ascent involves simple glacier hiking and/or short, straightforward rock scrambles. Equivalent to Alpine F, F+

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The route is well protected or easy enough that protection is not required.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, November, December

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area