Aoraki/Mt Cook has a similar naming situation to Denali/the mountain formerly known as McKinley. Unlike the full switch that was made to Denali in 2015, New Zealand amended the name Mt Cook, along with a number of other names in the South Island in 1998 to include both the Maori and European name. Hence the name is neither Mt Cook nor Aoraki but it is actually Aoraki / Mt Cook.
The Trek we did had an amazing view of the mountain. We did Sealy Tarns, which you could then continue up to Mueller Hut but we did not do that, after the gradual intro the trail is incredibly steep it’s literally just stairs. 2000 stairs. It’s probably a very different hike in the New Zealand summer, but having all the snow was amazing on the way up (although we did see an avalanche in the far far distance) and very stressful and slippery on the way down.
I took a lot of pictures because I was using it as an excuse to take a break.
The pictures on the way up were all majestic, and the pictures on the way down involved a lot of falling. The sun had melted a lot of the snow and then once it was in the shade it froze into ice. With a single trekking pole between the four of us, it was a struggle.
There are no pictures of me falling because I had the camera. It’s an important strategy.
But we all made it safely down in the end.