FATMAP difficulty grade
Mt Dixon is one of the most popular summits gained from the Plateau hut - it's a perfect training and acclimatisation peak for Aoraki whilst providing aesthetic and engaging climbing along a knife edge ridge and up steep snow slopes.
Its ascent is dependent on the state of the bergschrund at the foot of the gully leading to the ridge line - this often thaws out by late season making access extremely difficult.
It's well worth checking on the state of the bergschrund in advance of your trip. Follow the gently rising glacier up from the Plateau hut to the wide couloir leading up to the south east ridge.
Cross the bergschrund wherever you can and pitch your way up the steep snow and ice slopes between rock bluffs.
There are a number of fixed anchors of mixed quality about 60 metres apart (pegs, bolts, slings) to gain the exposed ridge.
The first section of ridge is very narrow and requires careful rope management.
Carefully follow the ridge until the angle eases and the ridge broadens. The upper slopes are steep and sometimes icy so ice screws and snow pickets can be useful as protection for a short pitch or two until the angle eases once again.
A final steepening toward the summit can provide some more calf burning front pointing before the small summit is reached at 3,004m.
Take in the views, snap some photos and head back down the same way before the snow slopes begin to melt.
Two 60m ropes will allow you to abseil the gully (you can leave a rope stashed on the way up).