Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

on hold
Hiker crosses a suspension bridge over the Hooker River.
in Dispersion
Melting water flows down from the heights of the Southern Alps to the bluish stream of Lake Pukaki.
Hikers approach the foothills of Aoraki/Mount Cook
in balance
A mountain shelter set steeply on the edge of a steep cliff in the Southern Alps.
ice chips
Fragments of ice carved by erosion at the foot of a steep slope below the peak of Mount Cook.
river of ice
The Hooker River fed by the melting of the Southern Alps.
Zodiak Expedition
Group of visitors aboard a zodiak, in the lake formed by the Tasman glacier.
Ice & Bergs
Icebergs float in the lake formed by the ablation front of the Tasman Glacier.
Pure Ice, Pure Ice
Guide talks about the ancient ice of the Tasman Glacier, which flows from the heights of the Southern Alps.
Behind the Fog
Mount Cook behind dense fog over Lake Pukaki.
cloud hat
Summit of Aoraki Mount Cook accompanied by a lenticular cloud.
A Privileged Trail
Hikers walk along a walkway over wetland on the banks of the Hooker River.
small avalanche
Snow falls from a rocky cliff in the vicinity of Mount Cook.
In Suspended II
Suspension bridge over the Hooker River, in the middle of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.
Twilight Aoraki
Aoraki/Mount Cook appears behind mountains closer to the homonymous village.
Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.

After several tens of kilometers on one of Canterbury's many bucolic plains, the road ascends and enters the majestic domain of the Southern Alps.

We see the turquoise of Lake Pukaki defy the azure blue and, on the opposite shore, the vision as we travel. A persistent mist stains the backdrop with streaks of white and, from behind, in the style of the Caran d'Ache crayon boxes, the grandiose Aoraki/Monte Cook stands out.

Mount cook in fog, Southern Alps, New Zealand.

Mount Cook behind dense fog over Lake Pukaki.

The small village of Twizel appears shortly after and allows us to replenish the car and energy. We enjoy, for a moment, the panorama from a lateral perspective and continue our way towards the high foothills of the mountain range.

Late Arrival at Mount Cook, Povoação

Mount Cook, the village of the same name and the last stop on the route, is confirmed at the end of a vast alluvium painted yellow by a short, soaked hay.

It has welcomed adventurers for decades and proves to be a kind of first achievement for the cycle-tourists we see arriving, exhausted, to the International Youth Hostel .

There were many mountaineers gifted with the comfort of the small chalets installed there, precious moments of encouragement for the same challenge: the conquest of the great mountain.

Hiker over Suspension Bridge, Aoraki Mount cook national park, New Zealand.

Hiker crosses a suspension bridge over the Hooker River.

New Zealand Ceiling's Irresistible Appeal

Since 1882, Mount Cook has attracted climbers. The first expedition was formed by the Irish reverend William Green, the Swiss Emil Boss and the mountain guide also Helvetic Ulrich Kaufman.

Breathed in by a merciful meteorology, this trio climbed the mountain without major hitches and celebrated the feat in the heights, returning to base and for a while longer. Until rivals and supposedly impartial judges confronted them with a cruel reality: they had stayed 50 m from the true summit of the rise.

Cliff hut, Southern Alps, New Zealand

A mountain shelter set steeply on the edge of a steep cliff in the Southern Alps.

For several kiwi mountain climbers, news of their humiliation brought relief. Tom Fyfe, George Graham, and Jack Clark had long wanted that triumph.

Eight months later, pressured by rumors of the visit of other reputable European climbers, they hurried to the base of the mountain, conquered the Hooker Glacier, continued along the northern slope and reached the summit on Christmas Day 1884. days now, his feat lies in the shadowy background of memory.

Icebergs, Lake Tasman, New Zealand

Icebergs float in the lake formed by the ablation front of the Tasman Glacier.

Edmund Hillary's New Zealand Origins

The Hermitage Hotel was installed in Mount Cook in the same year. We pass by its renovated facilities the morning after our arrival and see how Japanese guests – but not only – take pictures, excited, next to a black statue overlooking the mountain.

We soon prove that this is a tribute to Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand beekeeper who overshadowed the fame of his three compatriots and all climbers in the world, by ascending with the sherpa Nepalese Tenzing Norgay, to your roof.

From an early age, Hillary felt attracted by the discovery and achievement of achievements. In secondary school he already dreamed of the Southern Alps. He began to practice what would become his great skill in the mid-30s and conquered the first summit, Monte Ollivier (1933 m), in 1939.

At one point, he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force and served in World War II as a navigator. This unexpected mission saved him from a summer honey production that he was half fed up with and which was becoming less and less profitable. It gave him access to a real world, of which he had built a vast imagination by reading countless adventure books.

Once he returned home and recovered from a military accident in the Solomon Islands, he again gave in to the mountain's call.

Hooker River, Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

The Hooker River fed by the melting of the Southern Alps.

Edmund Hillary and Mount Cook. A Workout for the Ultimate Conquest of Everest

He conquered Mount Cook with such ease that he repeated his ascent the following year as a kind of training for the much more demanding challenges he was about to face.

In 1951, as part of reconnaissance expeditions, he began his mountaineering relationship with the Himalayas. Two years later, he joined a British expedition of over 400 people (including 360 porters and 20 guides sherpa) led by John Hunt.

According to his instructions, Hillary teamed up with the sherpa Tenzing, one of the few who, against the prevailing superstition in the ethnic group, aspired to the same successes as the Western climbers.

Among several mishaps, Hillary and Tenzing were eventually ordered by Hunt to advance to the summit. They reached it with enormous effort, at 11 am on March 29, 1953.

On her return to base, Hillary told her companion George Lowe, the first person she saw: “Well George, we knocked the bastard off".

Lake Pukaki and streams, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Melting water flows down from the heights of the Southern Alps to the bluish stream of Lake Pukaki.

The Inevitable Consecration of the British Empire's Chief Mountaineer

After three months, he had received several honors and decorations, including those of Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

As we travel through New Zealand, we see him every day, looking rude and simple, on the back of five dollar bills.

Edmund Hillary was for many years the only kiwi alive to deserve this distinction. He insisted that the mountain accompanying his profile should be Aoraki/Mount Cook and not Everest, in honor of his passion for the Southern Alps.

The New Zealanders and the people of the Hermitage Hotel repaid him with an Alpine Center and Museum dedicated to him. The same in which we sat in front of a screen, as delighted as dozens of other visitors, reviewing his full life, before heading to the trail that leads to the base of the elevation that inspired him, on a sunny but cold and windy afternoon .

Despite that patriotic attention, Edmund Percival Hillary continued to climb Himalayan mountains, 10 in all. It didn't stop there. Arrived at the South Pole, part of a Trans-Antarctic expedition of the Commonwealth.

Later Ups and Downs in the Life of Edmund Hillary

In 1977, he was not a victim of the TWA 266 air crash because he was late. He returned to dodge fate two years later, when a close friend, Peter Mulgrew, replaced him aboard the Air New Zealand 901 that crashed into Mount Erebus in Antarctica, killing 257 people on board.

Hillary maintained her passion for discovery and adventure until very late, and only the meritorious and environmental actions in Nepal and other parts of the world competed with this facet. But luck couldn't smile on him forever. In 1988, aged 88, he succumbed to a heart attack.

The Aoraki/Mount Cook of his youth stands on top of an assumed eternity but he also has his setbacks. In 1991, between 12 to 14 million cubic meters of rock and ice fell from the northern peak, reducing it by about 10 meters.

Suspension Bridge, Aoraki Mount Cook national park, New Zealand.

Suspension bridge over the Hooker River, in the middle of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

A Long Walk through Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

We leave the comfort of the Hermitage Hotel and step onto the trail that winds along the rocky bed of the Hooker River and crosses it over a suspension bridge. The valley is greenish-yellow, full of succulent vegetation that several herds devour.

As we make our way over the hay or pebbles, we approach the glittering snowy ridge that lurks between the dark v formed by two already-shaded slopes. Forty minutes later, we are much closer to the foothills and the viewing angle is distinct.

Lenticular cloud, Mount Cook, New Zealand.

Summit of Aoraki Mount Cook accompanied by a lenticular cloud.

It reveals to us an eccentric lenticular cloud that persists over the summit as if registering the tones with which the twilight colors the mountain.

We sit on stones polished by glacial erosion and do the same. Until the night closes and the cold becomes impossible to bear.

Aoraki and the Legend maori that the eternalizes

According to Maori legend, it was the cold that created that same mountain. Aoraki was a young boy son of Rakinui, father Sky. On his journey around Mother Earth, his canoe ran aground and on a reef and overturned. Aoraki and the brothers climbed to the top and avoided sinking.

But the south wind froze them and turned them to stone. The canoe became on New Zealand's South Island, Aoraki, the highest on the eponymous ridge and the brothers on the rest Southern Alps.

For centuries, European settlers have heard us pronounce the word Aorangi – the Ngai Tahu version of the region's Maoris – and have interpreted it as meaning cloud breaker when the indigenous actually referred to a person.

Aoraki-Mount cook national park, New Zealand

Aoraki/Mount Cook appears behind mountains closer to the homonymous village.

The deviated notion became popular, but despite the misunderstanding, the natives' claim was echoed and Aoraki, in the official New Zealand nomenclature, equated with Mount Cook.

The latter, in turn, was given to the mountain by a Captain John Lort Stokes – an officer who served the HMS Beagle board – who thus decided to honor the most famous of British navigators.

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s - Calhambeque Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Muktinath to Kagbeni, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Kagbeni
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, gold
Ceremonies and Festivities
Kumasi to Kpetoe, Ghana

A Celebration-Trip of the Ghanian Fashion

After some time in the great Ghanaian capital ashanti we crossed the country to the border with Togo. The reasons for this long journey were the kente, a fabric so revered in Ghana that several tribal chiefs dedicate a sumptuous festival to it every year.
on Stage, Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua (Antilles), Guatemala

Hispanic Guatemala, the Antigua Fashion

In 1743, several earthquakes razed one of the most charming pioneer colonial cities in the Americas. Antigua has regenerated but preserves the religiosity and drama of its epic-tragic past.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
full cabin
Saariselka, Finland

The Delightful Arctic Heat

It is said that the Finns created SMS so they don't have to talk. The imagination of cold Nordics is lost in the mist of their beloved saunas, real physical and social therapy sessions.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Rabat, Malta, Mdina, Palazzo Xara
Rabat, Malta

A Former Suburb in the Heart of Malta

If Mdina became the noble capital of the island, the Knights Hospitaller decided to sacrifice the fortification of present-day Rabat. The city outside the walls expanded. It survives as a popular and rural counterpoint to the now living museum in Mdina.
Torshavn, Faroe Islands, rowing
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Thor's Faroese Port

It has been the main settlement in the Faroe Islands since at least 850 AD, the year in which Viking settlers established a parliament there. Tórshavn remains one of the smallest capitals in Europe and the divine shelter of about a third of the Faroese population.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Merganser against sunset, Rio Miranda, Pantanal, Brazil
Natural Parks
Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
UNESCO World Heritage
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
La Digue, Seychelles, Anse d'Argent
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
Boat on the Yellow River, Gansu, China
Bingling Yes, China

The Canyon of a Thousand Buddhas

For more than a millennium and at least seven dynasties, Chinese devotees have extolled their religious belief with the legacy of sculpture in a remote strait of the Yellow River. If you disembark in the Canyon of Thousand Buddhas, you may not find all the sculptures, but you will find a stunning Buddhist shrine.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Tombolo and Punta Catedral, Manuel António National Park, Costa Rica
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.