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La Perouse Glacier


An inaccessible area reached either by intricate and involved climbing from the east or by a long two or three day struggle through thick forest up the Cook River. Once into this area, however, there is some superb climbing and a sense of remoteness.


Cook River
From the West Coast a hard two or three day bush tramp up the southern bank along a route marked by coloured blazes (but don’t expect a track) leads onto the lower La Perouse Glacier.
From the Hooker Valley and Empress Hut cross Harper Saddle (refer to Routes 2.25, 2.26i & ii). From the Tasman Valley and the Grand Plateau, cross either Mt Malaspina or Clarke Saddle (6.19 & 6.20). The La Perouse side of the saddle is fairly easy, but the Plateau slopes are steep and crevassed. Another route from the Plateau lies up the spur of Mt Malaspina and then down the ridge to Clarke Saddle (which may involve an abseil) or down a steep couloir off the ridge.
The La Perouse Glacier itself is complicated by a lower and upper icefall which are both often heavily crevassed. The lower icefall can usually be avoided on its northern side, but the upper icefall can present difficulties, especially later in the summer.
A number of bivouac rocks exist in the lower valley, (particularly on the walk in up the Cook River) and on the way to the West Ridge of La Perouse, but these can sometimes be hard to find. Many parties have snowcaved on the upper névé of the glacier.
Up the Cook River to the La Perouse Névé 2-3 days.
Empress Hut to the La Perouse Névé via Harper Saddle 3-5 hours.
Plateau Hut to the La Perouse Névé via Clarke Saddle 5-6 hours.

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Type Name
Mountain Drake
Alex Palman