Aoraki-Mount Cook from the West Coast, NZ

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (12)

Ian Stehbens on May 31, 2011

My first encounter with this giant peak was from the other side. Approached from the south it towers above the two glacial valleys that flank it, and there seems no way to comprehend its scale. No familiar yardsticks are to be found.

I then explored the peak from vanatge points that I was able to go in a chartered chopper, and that included traverses across this western face. To be able to photograph it at such close quarters was truly a privilege, but one that left me in awe. Even now as I sit examining images of the crevices and faces, of ice falls and rock falls, of neve fields and horns I remain awe-bound.

Recently, as I drove the West Coast, this cloud window opened before me. I couldn't stop the car fast enough, such was my excitement. Here in towering majesty, my familiar mountain appeared once again.

Edges of the Pacific Tectonic Plate are being pushed upwards to pierce the clouds, whilst ice and quakes conspire to etch it and bring it down.

bdeh on May 31, 2011

Nice picture Ian, but I prefer the other one. Greetings Berend

very nice photo


All the best from Iran,Mahmood

Ian Stehbens on May 31, 2011

This is a grand mountain, and I was so pleased to be able to see it albeit for just a brief time. Thanks for you comment and evaluation, Berend.

Warm greetings,


Ian Stehbens on May 31, 2011

Thank you Mahmood. It is good to share with you. I send greetings from Australia to Iran,


Ian Stehbens on June 4, 2011

When opened to full size this view of Aoraki - Mount Cook is awesome and the tilted structure of this up-thrusted earth's crust is immediately obvious.

The 3 summits of Aoraki are seen clearly: rocky High Peak (3754M) on the left, Middle Peak (3717M) on the right, with Low Peak (3583M) just a skip below Middle Peak.

The large glacier descending this western face of the massif is Empress Glacier and it feeds the Hooker Glacier which currently terminates about 10 Km to the south.

The small tributary glacier, Sheila Glacier, descends from the col below High Peak. To the north of the col (Green Saddle) is Mt Dampier (3440M), stepping down to Mt Hicks (3198M).

This view from the West Coast was received through a 300mm lens. I was standing on the new flood levee of the Cook River looking up at Mt Cook in admiration, especially as I had been up on its glaciers only a year ago.

ƤōƝƓ on June 4, 2011

STUNNING! Golden ☆ + LIKEd

Ian Stehbens on June 5, 2011

It is a majestic peak from any angle!! Thank you for your appreciation, Ah-Pong.


brezza on June 9, 2011

7 likes,Ian Stehbens. A very good shot and landscape. Greetings from Italy,brezza

petros bounas on June 11, 2011

Nice capture, like-8 & YS. My best wishes from Greece,petros.

Ian Stehbens on June 11, 2011

Thank you Brezza. It is a great and majestic mountain.

Warm regards,


Ian Stehbens on June 11, 2011

Hi Petros. Thanks for your appreciation of this photograph. I am honoured that you have included it in your * favourites.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 31, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens