Glacier walking in Franz Josef

Trip Start Mar 03, 2005
Trip End Mar 31, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

We rolled up to little Franz Josef village, which is basically just a selection of motels, hostels and the odd restaurant / shop, in the late afternoon. Has to be said that the views are awesome...... We picked the hostel that had the freebies thrown in (no surprise there!!), this time it was free soup and use of the jacuzzi - nice!!! So, we dumped our stuff and stripped to bikinis and headed to the jacuzzi, which bizarrely was in the middle of the car park!! Fortunately it was in a little shed so we weren't completely exposed! The views were so fabulous: the perfect alpine views of snow-clad mountains. Who could ask more when sat in a jacuzzi in a car park?!
The next day we were prepped and ready with our 4 pairs of socks each, and about 6 layers of t-shirts / jumpers to head to the glacier. We decided to go for the half day hike, which in hindsight was a mistake, but hey...
Anyway, the little bus took us to the car park, and from there it was about a 30min walk up to the glacier front. We were kitted out in a fantastic blue 'all-weather' jacket and heavy boots, looking really stylish!!! We got to the glacier, it looked quite dirty at the face, and you could see a kind of ladder hacked into the ice which we had to climb!! It was then Kim decided to tell us that she was a bit scared of heights, nice one!! So on went the talon things to my boots, and then it was off to climb the glacier!!! I had to master the technique of digging my 'ice-talons' which were attached to my boots into the ice so I didn't slip..... had a few near misses which could have been nasty, but poor Lee did actually fall over, and while she was taking my picture, it was a comedy fall and well funny!! (Sorry Lee!)
The glacier climb was well good, but didn't last long enough and we didn't really get that far up onto the thing...... If I did it again I would defo do a full day.
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