Day 22 - Glacier!

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier
November 30th 2007
Published: November 30th 2007
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This was our last big day of adventure before making our way toward home. With Queenstown in our rear view mirror, we continued north toward Fox Glacier. There were some great photo ops as well as a stop to finally sample a Whitebait Fritter. It’s hard to describe but think of a small egg omelet filled with white worms with black stripes and big black eyes. It’s served on a piece of white bread with butter. Brian thought “not bad”. Amy tried it (because Brian didn’t let her look too closely) and she thought “yuck”! Our original plan was to drive the 5 hours to the glacier but hold off the 4 hour hike up the glacier until the next morning. We arrived with plenty of energy and the sky was blue (a rarity), so we decided to hit the trail. The trek started off on a dubious note when they took our shoes and gave us very stiff hiking boots and a set of crampons (metal spikes). Amy was worried about the boots because of her problem with blisters. As it turned out, blisters were not a problem probably due to the 4 pairs of socks Amy had to put on to make the boots fit. We started our hike at the base of the glacier and slowly made our way up a narrow trail through natural forest. The trail was challenging, including 500 steps, rock scrambling, and stone ledges with chain hand holds. Pretty exciting. Once we were on the glacier, we put on our crampons and climbed more stairs, this time made of ice, up to the mid level summit. The real summit is only achieved by an ice climb or helicopter. We took a bunch of pictures, ate some glacier ice, and then made our way down the 1.5 hour trail back. Once back at the base station, we collected everyone’s email address because we took a “team” photo at the top. Our guide, Col, also wanted a copy because this was her first solo up the glacier. She did a great job because there were some real dangers to be aware of including rock falls. They have rock spotters and electronic monitoring full time because the glacier is always moving that results in boulders falling on a regular basis. After a light supper, we were worn out and ready for a good night’s sleep. That’s it for now stay tuned.

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