Ice Climbing Extraordinaire
Franz Josef Travel Blog› entry 25 of 35 › view all entries
Crampons? Check. Ice Axes? Check. Helmet? Check. Courage? Oops! Some how (after a few drinks) Craig from the UK had convinced me to go ice climbing with him. So our guide, Jewels, picked us up along with a girl from Ireland, Emma, to climb the glacier for an all day adventure. I was close to speechless when I saw the glacier at Franz Josef and even more shocked that I had said yes to climbing it. After a bit of practice, a little prayer, and some motivation I scaled the glacier. The four claws at the front of my crampons digging into the chunks of ice. Even with the line tightly secured around my harness it was quite a sensation to slip and dangle from the ice axes. I gained speed and confidence with every climb and by my fourth climb I was racing up that glacier. The only fear we had was of the Kia, an alpine parrot with a razor sharp beak. Early in our hike we witnessed as a Kia ripped open a climbers bag to get to his food. Our guide put his bag on top of the ropes protect them from being torn up by the pesty birds. The three Kias that taunted us also proved to be a motivation. When we got to the top we would grab chunks of ice and throw it at them in order to scare them off but they never went very far away. At the end of the day I was happy to soak in the hot tub for an hour with my fellow climbers. The bruises on my knees didn’t show up until later but it was a small price to pay for such a wonderful day.