Rock avalanche on Aoraki

There has been a large rock avalanche from the South Face of Aoraki/Mount Cook altering the Hillary Ridge and damaging one of the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) remote alpine huts.


The avalanche was reported by a pilot yesterday and an aerial inspection has revealed that Gardiner Hut, which sits above the Hooker Glacier, has been hit by the slip and moved off its foundations.

DOC says there are no records of visitors to the area in the Aoraki/Mount Cook intention system at that time and aerial investigations do not indicate anyone has been caught in the incident.

“We have carried out an initial inspection by helicopter,” says DOC Services Manager Mike Davies.

“We are working with GNS Science to assess the stability of the area enabling us to carry out a more detailed investigation of the rock fall and the damage.”

“Until that assessment is complete we are asking climbers and other visitors to keep out of the Noeline Glacier region of the upper Hooker valley.”

Mike Davies says the area is a remote alpine location used only by experienced alpine climbers.

The Hooker Track is unaffected.

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