|Paul and Tom tried to do a Grand Traverse of Mt Cook. The forecast was perfect 3 days out so we set off walking up the Hooker glacier to Empress hut (via Ball pass route, then down onto the glacier and up the glacier all the way). We hoped to do the west ridge but it was covered in rime, so we went up the Porter Col route instead. 13 hours of snow up-to waist deep and a small avalanche that was a bit too close, then 5 pitches of ice up to grade 3, and we got to Porter Col and checked into the Middle Peak Hotel (only 150m vertical from the summit). The next morning the wind was a bit strong and the clag was down and we were exhausted. We sat in the bivi for a couple of hours waiting for conditions to improve, then gave up and descended the Porter Col route. Back at the hut I found I'd got frostbite from sitting around in frozen boots (I'd thawed the outside with boiling water but should have poured some inside as well). Walked out the next day as the NW strengthened, now I can't climb for another month until my toes heal!