Glacier Tramping!!

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January 7th 2008
Published: February 7th 2008
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We are trampers all right! We packed sooo much into the next two days, it was unbelievable!!! We woke up and headed right for another adventure, kayaking the Okarita lagoon! We got there mid-day, and rented two single kayaks and headed off to observe the wildlife! We should have had amazing mountain views, but that morning the clouds werent agreeing with us, so we basically just saw about 50 birds. Although the white heron is a very rare bird in NZ, there are only about 15 in the whole country and they nest in okarita, so we saw about 10 of them! I do love kayaking because you can get so up close and personal with the wildlife! THe tide was going out and it was very remarkable to see the change in the lagoon as the water was going out to sea! Nature, amazing us once again!

After kayaking, we spent some time at the rental shop just journaling and drinking their great coffee! (Oh, and charging the ipods! VEry important!) WEll, i thought the coffee was great....of course ryan has this ultra advanced and sensitive rating scale and I dont think he ever had a coffee that he liked on the whole trip! 😊 Soon we realized it was getting late and we wanted to hit the Franz Josef glacier hike that day too, so we knocked out a couple more kms and headed on another great hike! THis one was much easier than the day before, but just as picturesque! WAterfalls, cliff faces, glaciers, you name it, this park had it! We had a great time observing some idiot who went past the dont cross line, and then get stuck on the side of a rock face with no way up and no way down! (Lucky for him, he got down, eventually....i stopped watching) We practically ran back to the car, as I had noticed that we were also near Lake Matheson and maybe we could fit in one more hike before sunset! REady, SEt, HIKE! We sped off to the lake and just as we were rounding the corner, and the sun was reflecting off our disco ball, the clouds parted to reveal the peak of Mt. Cook (the tallest peak in NZ) in all its glory! We jumped out of the TRon (just as we hit 2000 kms!) and practically started RUNNING around this lake! There were 4 designated look out points and we were blowing past them like we had seen it all before. Run to lookout, get out camera, take 3-4 pictures, say, Wow. AWesome. Beautiful. STop to Appreciate! Then continue on to the next one! It really was some of the most amazing views we had seen, as you can see from the pictures!

The next day we got up early to go GLACIER TRAMPING!!!!! Now THIS Was the awesomest idea anyone has ever had! We met up with about 10 other people and our guide, Graham, and set out on an hour hike through the sweaty mangy jungle! I must say, it was much more work to hike in those old heavy boots they gave us! And yes, we hiked through the jungle to get to the glacier! When we got to the entry point, we had to strap on some crampon spikes to our crazy old boots and they said we could take a walking stick as an option. No one in our group took one, and each one of us cursed and regretted that decision later in the day! We started our trek walking along the precut steps (that need to be cut each morning and also maintained by the staff throughout the day because of shifting, melting, and crumbling! I mean, we are walking on ice here!?) of the day trippers, and after about 15 minutes Graham was like, OK, lets about....over there!? ANd he just starts ramdomly walking around the glacier and pointing out super interesting geological features as well as glacier features like small moulins (waterfalls that cut out shapes in the ice!) After tramping for about an hour, he declares that we are going to eat lunch on those rocks ' over there ' which are about 4 hills and crevases away! AND; weĺl be there in about 30 minutes. W HAT!? He starts swinging his ice pick round and round and carving out all these tiny steps for us to go up and down and all around this glacier! His enthusiasm, and strength, was INSANE! And guess what, we got there in 30 minutes! And then we are trying to make our way back and were in a pretty crazy spot and he peers over the edge...".ooohhhh! WHat interesting terrain!" as he starts hacking and carving out more steps over the cliffs and edges of the glacier! It was sooooo crazy! We were on the glacier for about 5 hours, and luckily an impending rain storm held off. The hike back home through the jungle seemed like NOTHÑING after the day we just had! It was one of the best things ive done on the trip so far! SO AWESOME!!!

Additional photos below
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stop to appreciate!stop to appreciate!
stop to appreciate!

the floating head that is mason

20th February 2008

Cool glaciers!
Wow! you guys hike the crazy looking fox glacier? It look dangerous, but adventurouse at the same time. Really cool pictures of the site and not to mention the glacier crevassess.
29th March 2008

Miss you Steph!
I love your pictures and your stories. Can't wait to see you in Hawaii!

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