Franz Josef Glacier and Rescue on the Mountain Part II
It has been awhile. Sorry for the delay – so many activities! Anyway before I begin I wanted to let you know that I am writing this blog post with this view. Below is Queenstown and across are the Remarkables – a mountain range filmed for many scenes in LOTR!!
For my two days in Franz Josef, we decided to take a helicopter up to the glacier, and with the help of a guide, we walked around for 3 hours. It was expensive but worth it. Walking around on a glacier with crampons is quite exhilarating. Your walking up and down hills on a big sheet of ice. Your mind tells you that you will slip but your crampons hold. The result is that you can manage to wiggle yourself in some interesting positions.
The hike went up the right side of the glacier and came back down on the left. It was extremely cold in the shade and burning hot in the sun. In the afternoon little rivers formed making the walking quite difficult. Luckily the company provided us with waterproof jackets, pants, and gloves.
The glacier formations ranged from deep crevasses to blue water pools. At the bottom of this post I will upload higher resolution photos.
Unfortunately on the way down we encountered a problem. Apparently a guide had fallen while cutting a new route into the glacier. The result was a broken ankle. While crampons can be extremely helpful on ice, they can also be very dangerous. Once they grab hold of the ice, they do not budge. If your walking in a direction not suitable for your ankles, the results can be detrimental. Our guide helped him out until another guide and a helicopter arrived to relieve her of her duty.
After the glacier, we relaxed in some glacier hot pools (admission was included in our tour). Not a bad way to end a day!