The Mt. Cook area has a decent number of hikes that one can do. I did all of the day hikes in the area, though 4 stood out as being the most notable. 2 of these were easy, relatively flat hikes along the valley floors. The first was the hike up Hooker Valley, to the base of the Hooker Glacier. And more importantly, the base of Mt. Cook.
Early morning (7am) saw the sun starting to hit Mt. Sefton.
And once I started the hike, I could see all the way down the valley, back towards Lake Pukaki.
Unfortunately the early morning light, while looking stellar in person with the shadows contrasting the mountains, wreaked havoc with my poor little camera. I got some usable pictures, but most suffered from blown highlights on any snowy areas. Which is a lot of the mountains in the area. Some shots still proved usable though. Not far into the hike the full profile of Mt. Sefton was visible.
Some Canadian Geese doing what I could only describe as white-water rafting.
Then Mt. Cook came into view, at the far end of the Hooker Valley.
The Hooker Glacier empties into Hooker Lake, and produces numerous icebergs of various sizes.
Mt. Cook and the Hooker Glacier face (at the bottom).
The triangular peak of Mt. Cook.
One of the few panoramas I shot that turned out usable.
A closeup of the glacier face.
Walking back out of the glacier lake area, the sun was now reaching much further into the valley.
One last look at Mt. Cook.
Mt. Sefton and the Mueller Glacier lake.
Looking back down the main valley, now with much more sunlight!
Mt. Sefton and the Mueller Lake one last time.
I like this panorama since it has one of the two big swing bridges you get to cross on the hike – it’s just too bad the mountain snow is blown out. Still, it was a good 2hr hike, and a pleasant way to start one’s day.