It was a journey that started with a pit stop at the Cookie Time factory, continued with a flight over some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, included numb toes and nervous journeys under creaking ice towers, and ended at the top of New Zealand.

Mountaineering mates Matt Greenslade and Stefan King had just, for their first time each, summited Aoraki Mt Cook, our highest mountain.

The friends, an Air New Zealand pilot and an AUT security supervisor respectively, were 3724m up and just over 10 hours through a 17-hour return journey to the summit of the country and back.

Kiwi mountaineers Matt Greenslade, left, and Stefan King, about to climb Mt Cook in November 2017. Photo / Supplied
Kiwi mountaineers Matt Greenslade, left, and Stefan King, about to climb Mt Cook in November 2017. Photo / Supplied

Much of the pair's climb was in the dark, after they left Plateau Hut at 11.30pm, but by sunrise they were watching awestruck as Mt Tasman turned pink in the light of a new day.

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Just under three hours later, they were at the summit.

Conquering the mountain was "one of the special ones" for the 28-year-old and his 30-year-old friend, Greenslade said.

"Being New Zealanders, it's definitely one that will stay with us for life."

Matt Greenslade, left, and Stefan King, pictured in front of The Bugaboos mountain range in British Columbia, Canada. Photo / Supplied
Matt Greenslade, left, and Stefan King, pictured in front of The Bugaboos mountain range in British Columbia, Canada. Photo / Supplied

Asked why he climbed, Greenslade said that if you had to ask, you could never understand the answer.

"You're just getting away from everything ... when it's just you and the environment, everything else doesn't matter."

Welcome to my world

Wednesday: Diving off the high board

Thursday: Jumping off the Sky Tower

Friday: Shark cage diving at Kelly Tarlton's

Yesterday: Flying in a light aircraft
Today: Climbing Mt Cook