Mike Cook

I took up mountaineering about 12 years ago, starting off in NZ, before venturing onto the higher altitudes of the Himalayas and Alaska. After many years cross-country skiing and some rock climbing, I saw mountaineering as a natural progression of combining both pursuits. I love the outdoors, especially snow sports, and will throw the skis on at the first sign of a good frost. I love the freedom and natural beauty of the mountains, and spend many weeks (months?) each year in the pursuit of the snowy wonderlands, whether it is magical wilderness of the snowy mountains, or the scale and challenge of the big mountains overseas.

I was drawn to high altitude mountaineering for its sheer scale. The height and remoteness of the mountains; having to draw on all your skills in a challenging environment; the strong sense of camaraderie and the need for teamwork; but I especially love mountaineering for the fantastic views.

I’m probably considered a bit of a heathen compared to your usual telemark purist, as though I enjoy cross-country touring, I absolutely love downhill skiing, and will take my fat powder skis over my skinny free-heal skis any day. I make sure I get one or two weeks cross-country skiing on the main range in the Australian Alps, but always plan on spending time to go ‘rock hopping’ in Aust, or hunt for powder in Japan and the steeps in Colorado.

· 1995- 2006: Ten seasons at Mt Cook National Park, New Zealand.
· 1997 - Tukuche Peak (6890m), Nepal.
· 1998 - Mt Denali (6192m), Alaska.
· 1999 - Shishapangma (8027m), Tibet.
· 2001 - Mt Everest (8850m), Tibet via NE Ridge. Gained altitude of 8750m, above the
Third Step.