Aoraki Over Hooker
Mount Cook, also known as Aoraki, towers above all other peaks around it in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Often lost in the clouds — people sometimes call Aoraki “cloud piercer” — the mountain is a technical challenge for climbers, and was used as a training site by Sir Edmund Hillary for his ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953. On the day we hiked up the Hooker Valley to Hooker Lake at the terminal end of the glacier of the same name, the weather was quite foul, but stunning visually. The bright blue of the glacier face at the far end of the lake, the water with its distinctive glacial-blue tint, rain and snow falling in the distance hiding Aoraki, all added to a dramatic hike.
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