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Alpine Recreation logo
Fitzgerald Pass and Copland Pass
Southern Alps crossings
Fitzgerald Pass (lowest point) and Copland Pass (to the right)
Copland Ridge, Hooker Glacier and Hooker Lake
Rugged alpine terrain
Climbing up Copland Ridge above the Hooker Glacier and Hooker Lake
Copland Shelter
Copland Shelter
Taking a break before crossing the pass
Copland moraine wall
Glacial recession
The Copland Ridge is accessed by climbing the difficult moraine wall
A small alpine tarn in the upper Copland Valley
Ever changing landscape
A small alpine tarn in the upper Copland Valley
Stream crossings on the way down the Copland Valley
Rugged West Coast
Stream crossings on the way down the Copland Valley

Copland Pass Crossing

The classic Southern Alps crossing from Mount Cook Village to the West Coast

The Copland Pass was once one of New Zealand's greatest alpine crossings, linking the grandeur of Mount Cook, with the West Coast bush and the hot springs at Welcome Flats. Erosion of the Stewart and Copland Gullies in the mid 1990's on the Hooker Valley side of the pass has made the crossing significantly more challenging, with the Hooker Hut left stranded on an inaccessible piece of lateral moraine.

The Copland Pass route crosses rough glacial moraine. Alpine Recreation recommends the Fitzgerald Pass as a more pleasent alternative.



The Copland Pass Crossing is a challenging 4 day alpine traverse of the Southern Alps from the Hooker Valley to the Copland Valley. The route follows the shore of the Hooker Lake and the lower Hooker Glacier, before ascending up the steep and crumbling moraine wall to the base of the Copland Ridge. From here, the traditional Copland Pass route can be followed, clambering up Copland Ridge to the Copland Shelter.

Cross the pass with your guide and descend on the western side of the Main Divide to Douglas Rock Hut. Continue on your own along the DOC track to Welcome Flats Hut and the West Coast while your guide returns back over the pass back to Mt Cook Village.

Scheduled dates


Copland Pass Crossing dates are scheduled on a case by case basis - please contact us with the dates you would like. We recommend that you settle guiding dates well in advance as guide availability during peak season is limited. Please allow extra time in case you are held up in the mountains due to weather.



All of your equipment will be checked during the gear check at our office at the start of your trip. Any equipment you need to borrow from us will be issued by your guide. Alpine Recreation provides packs, helmets, harnesses, crampons, ice-axes and any outdoor clothing, pyou may require at no extra cost. Please see the equipment list below for further details.

Copland Pass Clothing & Equipment list