Technical snow, ice and mixed climbing
Celebrating the summit of Mount Dixon
Descending the summit ridge of Mt. Dixon
Overlooking the Hochstetter Icefall
Mt Dixon Guided Ascent
Mount Dixon (3004m) is a beautiful pyramid shaped peak located on the edge of the Grand Plateau, and is one of the best vantage points for viewing its neighbours, New Zealand's most iconic peaks - including Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman. Mount Dixon can be a good preparation for Mount Cook, but is a fantastic climb in its own right. It is climbed from Plateau Hut and an ascent typically takes 8-12 hours. The ascent involves steep snow, ice and mixed climbing.
|Guide:client ratio||5 days|
|returning client discount, if you have been on an Alpine Recreation trip before.|
- IFMGA/NZMGA certified mountain guide
- National Park fees
- Hut accommodation
- Local accommodation for any nights required during the trip
- Free transport (Tekapo - Mt. Cook return)
- ALL meals (including snacks & energy bars) for the duration of the trip
- ALL technical climbing equipment (with the exception of boots)
Meals and accommodation before/after the trip are NOT included.
We strongly recommend aircraft access. Most climbers opt to fly to Plateau Hut, because of the roughness of the Tasman Glacier moraine, unstable rock on Haast Ridge and the time taken to walk in. Chances of a summit success are increased by flying in, because you can take immediate advantage of a fine weather day for a summit attempt (if you walk in you will need a rest day before commencing your summit attempt at midnight).
The peak climbing season for Mount Dixon ascents is November to March, but it is sometimes possible to climb the mountain outside of these dates, depending on conditions. 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.
Venue: Plateau Hut
Plateau Hut, built in 2005, is the base from which you climb Mount Cook. It is a public hut that works on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be pre-booked. Climbers must carry their own sleeping bags and food to the hut as well as some party equipment and their personal equipment. Plateau Hut photos...
Previous Experience & Agility
Participants need to be very fit, well coordinated and mentally and physically strong to cope with sustained steep climbing, the extreme environment and height exposure. Summit day involves 8-12 hours climbing.
A climb of Mt Dixon is technically easier and shorter than a climb of Mt. Cook, but can involve a lot of front-pointing in firm conditions. Previous mountaineering and technical snow and ice climbing experience is required. Participants should have good footwork and be competent on crampons.
If you are not able to climb safely with crampons on steep snow slopes, then you need to do a climbing course with us first.
You will be required to submit a list of previous mountaineering and climbing experience.
These requirements are in place to ensure the safety of you and your guide and to make sure you have a realistic chance of success. If you do not have the necessary experience or fitness to attempt Mt Dixon now, contact us. We will create a customised pathway to prepare you to achieve your goal in the future.
Video of climbing Mount Dixon (This video was made by Hegyi Barom and does not depict an Alpine Recreation party. It is available on YouTube and is provided here for your convenience).
A climb of Mount Dixon takes at least two climbing days. It is often climbed in conjunction with other peaks from the Grand Plateau or as preparation for Aoraki/Mt. Cook. To book a guide for less than 5 days is unrealistic as it allows no flexibility in case of bad weather, and reduces your chances considerably of a successful climb. If you are lucky enough to have 5 full days of fine weather, then the remaining time will be put to good use upskilling your climbing technique.
East Ridge (right):
The standard route on Mount Dixon from Plateau Hut, gains the East Ridge up steep snow, ice and rock gullies (the technical crux). Climbers then ascend the long and exposed East Ridge to the summit. The route is graded 2+, but can be tough for its grade in firm conditions.
South Ridge (left):
The South Ridge is technically more challenging, with a variety of grade 3 or 4 options to gain the ridge itself. The climb involves steep snow, ice and rock climbing.
The descent is via the East Ridge.
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 helmets, harnesses, crampons and ice-axes. Outdoor clothing, packs and boots can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary. Please see the equipment list for further details.