Mitre Peak (New Zealand)

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For the mountain in the lower North Island, see Mitre (New Zealand).
Mitre Peak
MitrePeakNZ.jpg
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound
Elevation 1,690 m (5,540 ft)
Parent peak Aoraki / Mount Cook
Location
Mitre Peak is located in New Zealand
Mitre Peak
Mitre Peak
South Island, New Zealand
Coordinates 44°38′S 167°51′E / 44.633°S 167.850°E / -44.633; 167.850Coordinates: 44°38′S 167°51′E / 44.633°S 167.850°E / -44.633; 167.850

Mitre Peak (Māori Rahotu) is an iconic mountain in the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of the most photographed peaks in the country.

Etymology[edit]

The distinctive shape of the peak in southern New Zealand gives the mountain its name, after the mitre headwear of Christian bishops. It was named by Captain John Lort Stokes of the HMS Acheron.[1] The Māori name for the peak is Rahotu.[2]

Geography[edit]

Part of the reason for its iconic status is its location. Close to the shore of Milford Sound, in the Fiordland National Park in the southwestern South Island, it is a stunning sight.[3] The mountain rises near vertically to 5,560 feet (1,690 m), i.e. just over a mile, from the water of the sound; it is more technically a fjord. The peak is actually a closely grouped set of five peaks, although from most easily accessible viewpoints it appears as a single point.[3] Milford Sound is part of Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Site as declared by UNESCO.[4]

The only road access to Milford Sound is via State Highway 94, in itself one of the most scenic roads in New Zealand.[5]

Climbing[edit]

Mitre Peak is difficult to climb and not many people do so.[2] The first attempt was made in 1883, but was aborted due to bad weather. The next attempt on 13 March 1911 by J R Dennistoun from Peel Forest. People did not believe Dennistoun, who claimed to have built a cairn on the peak to which he had fixed his handkerchief. Those facts were confirmed by he next successful climbers in 1914.[2] There are six routes up to Mitre Peak, and most climbers start by getting a boat to Sinbad Bay.[2][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Media related to Mitre Peak at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling, ed. Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. p. 255. ISBN 9780143204107. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sinclair, Roy (27 October 2014). "The 'magnificent' Mitre Peak: More popular than Aoraki/Mt Cook". The Press. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b McLintock, A. H., ed. (22 April 2009) [First published in 1966]. "Mitre Peak". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand". UNESCO. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Driving to Milford Sound?" (PDF). Transit New Zealand. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Mitre Pk". Climb NZ. Retrieved 21 January 2015.