Ice

Trip Start Sep 12, 2005
1
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Trip End Sep 11, 2006


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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Fri (16th) I took the bus to Fox Glacier. This glacier is only 23km down the road from Franz Josef but none of the bus companies like Magic and Kiwi stop here so it's even quieter (and I think nicer) than Franz. An added perk to this was that the trips were cheaper in Fox and hence the reason to come here to do my glacier walk. I figured if I was going to be doing it by myself anyway, I may as well plump for the cheaper option. So, I booked myself on the hike for the following day and then went down to Lake Mattheson which is also known as Mirror Lake as on a calm day it can give fantastic reflections of Mount Tasen and Mount Cook which are on postcards and posters all over New Zealand. It had stopped raining today, but it was still a bit cloudy and unfortunately I couldn't get a very good shot of the mountains, though the pictures didn't turn out too badly - you can still get a sense of the reflectiveness (is there such a word?) of the water. Back at my hostel, I checked into my room and chatted non-stop to my roommate, Laura for what must have been a good two hours. She'd just done a tandem skydive and so was pretty hyped from that. It took a while, but we eventually realised that we'd both booked on the same hike for the following day so things were looking up. That evening we loafed in front of the tv which had a huge selection of videos. Watched Rowan Atkinson live which was hilarious and then watched a NZ film called 'Once We Were Warriors' which was incredibly violent and didn't exactly paint the Maori's in a favourable light.

So up early on Sat (17th) to meet for the hike. After getting geared up with boots, jumper, hats, gloves and crampons we set off for the glacier. It was a great day, absolutely beautiful weather; we were so lucky. The Fox glacier is less steep than the one at Franz Josef and so I had no trouble fitness-wise keeping up on the 8 hour trek and just had a fantastic time. I was so surprised how beautiful I considered the glacier to be. Truth be told I thought I might get a bit bored after a while - one chunk of ice looks pretty much like the next, right? I was wrong. The blue ice was just mesmerizing, and our guide was brilliant at explaining the processes involved in creating the different shapes and colours. We managed to push on further than any other trek that year and literally got to a point where we could go no further without proper climbing gear. Afterwards I was so pumped. We had a really good bunch of people on the trek and a few of us met up that night for a couple of drinks. Oh, and I also went into a small glow worm grotto which was absolutely covered in the little critters and was a beautiful sight.

Think that's about it for Fox...
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