Climbing A Glacier :)

Trip Start Aug 28, 2012
Trip End Aug 09, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, May 11, 2013

11-12th May – Franz Joseph

The drive to Franz Joseph took us past the Sothern Alps for some stunning pictures of the mountains including Mount Cook and Mount Hercules! Some people in the bus were a little worse for wear, but luckily the journey was a very simple one.  Drive for an hour, stop for an hour, drive for an hour!  The stop was an interesting one!  We stopped at a very traditionally New Zealand outback sort of cafe / museum sort of thing.  The owner or manager jumped on and gave us a speech about the museum that was $4 that had some real possums in it!  Major lack of enthusiasm for that so I didn't bother, nor did I get any food from there.  Instead I sat in the amazing sun and ate my museli!

We arrived in the tiny town of Franz Joseph to the tourism counter to book our hike for the next day; very exciting!  We then went to the hostel which was had pre-booked the day before and we got it for $20 cheaper than everyone else!  Why people aren’t pre-booking like us I don’t understand?  Our room wasn’t with any of the bus as a result though; instead we were sharing with a random guy who seemed fine, until it was sleep time and he not only spoke and laughed in his sleep, he made sex noises too; not a great nights sleep that one!

Of course that evening we our had general taste of Game of Thrones before having dinner, another episode, heading to the bar for about 20 minutes and then watching another episode; productive evening as always!  Of course we got an early night for a good nights sleep; this didn’t happen annoyingly so as we all had bottom bunks.  I even had a single bed :)

The next day was the day for New Zealand; the main thing we have been saving for in the country and one of the few activities we are actually paying for in New Zealand; climbing on the glacier!!!  Our session started at 8:30, which meant getting to the office to get prepped.  We had to get kitted up with waterproof trousers, a waterproof jacket, gloves, hat and boots, with our own little red bag with cramp-ons (spikes) ready for when we were on the ice.  All ready we headed over for our safety briefing before heading to the glacier on a HELICOPTER!  I have never been on one of these, so it was a great experience.  I couldn’t believe the momentum it gathered so quickly.  The journey was only 5 minutes (if that to be honest) but was great, and we soon got wind-swept as we jumped off the helicopter onto the ice.  It was actually dirtier than I was expecting, but the mass of it was over-whelming!

Our guide Will (only 20!) took us on our walk up with glacier after we had put on our spikes, in which I decided that I would make a pretty good spiderman – I kept jumping from one side of the walk to the other and decided that if I had spikes on my hands as well I could have just climbed everywhere.  The main reason for me doing this, is that we were start-stopping every 30 seconds or so, so I was entertaining myself in other ways, wanting to really just be running and jumping around everywhere, but knowing I couldn’t really because of safety.  We also kept walking up sort of alleys so we were sitting across it.  So much fun.  But sooner or later the walk was over and it was time to head down, probably only after covering about 200m!

The helicopter ride on the way back was better as we went higher and got better views of the mountains and town.  When back on land we went back for a nap as we were all shattered from our lack of sleep, then went to the hot pools for free (included in our ticket-bargain!) where pretty much the rest of the bus were.  We had a good chat and a good sweat before heading back for showers, dinner and you guessed it, GOT!  A brilliant visit to my first ever glacier; I think I will go ice climbing next time I’m on one!
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Mum on

You lucky girl - I have never been in a helicopter or on a glacier. sounds wonderful. Xxx

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