Hiking the glacier

Franz Josef Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 35 › view all entries

This morning I was up nice and early to do a short hike on the Franz Josef glacier. They lend you all the equipment boots, cramp-ons, and even jackets, gloves and scarves. So you can turn up in your shorts and sandals if you want to. After 1 hour of trekking over large stones we arrived at the glaciers face and put on our crampons. then it was on to the ice.

This was my first time on a glacier and it was a pretty surreal experience. The temperature at the base of Franz Josef is around 15°, and is situated in a valley that contain rain forests, so you begin to wonder how there is a glacier here in the first place. The answer is at the top of the mountain where it snows. The snow then compacts down to form the glacier which is over 700m high in places.

Hiking up the glacier was fairly easy, as there is a prepared track to follow with stairs and ropes to hold on to. The guides say as the glacier is continually melting these have to be moved and recreated on average twice a week.

Sadly the flight I had planned to the top of the glacier was canceled this afternoon due to low cloud. Plan B is to make take a flight over fox glacier tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed the weather is good.

Check out the great photos from here.

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Franz Josef
photo by: Vikram