Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) but only the consequences of the skier falling.
Low Exposure: The route is well protected or easy enough that protection is not required.
Medium Exposure: The route features some exposed and/or difficult to protect sections.
High Exposure: Much of the route is difficult to protect and a fall could be disastrous at certain points.
Extreme Exposure: The majority of the route is "no fall" terrain.
Summit day usually starts with a 1am wakeup call.
It can be difficult to eat at that hour but your guide will provide a hot drink and breakfast before you start out.
With hard snow conditions, progress is fast across the lower part of the glacier and as the valley narrows into the Linda Glacier you will start to encounter more crevasses to navigate around.
Early in the season, this can be straight forward but as the season wears on progress can be slow.
Sunrise should see you at the top of the Linda Shelf where you will begin to encounter your first rock on the route.
The summit rocks are generally easy climbing, but after this you begin to feel the effects of the altitude and effort.
While the summit ice cap is easy climbing with short periods of pitching it can seem like a long way to the summit.
The summit of Mount Cook is like no other, here you stand on a small island in the South Pacific at an elevation that puts you higher than anything from Asia to South America.