The Joy of The Glacier

Franz Josef Travel Blog

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The Ice Man Cometh

Today we went Glacier Hiking at Franz Josef Glacier! But first some interesting facts:

·         It takes 50 years for the Glacier to move from the top of the mountain 8 miles down to the bottom

·         This glacier is one of the 3 in the world that ends in a semi-tropical rainforest!

·         Unlike the majority of the world’s glaciers, the Franz Josef Glacier is not regressing due to Global Warming.

Eating lunch on the Glacier
Actually it is advancing. This is due to the air blowing over hot Australia (which may someday heat and burn up!) across the Tasman sea picking up moisture then dropping it on the mountains in New Zealand as Snow. So what you have here is a reverse global warming. While Australia will be getting hotter, New Zealand will be getting colder!

 

   Andrew and I got our gear, added spikes to our boots and followed a guide into the Glacier. It was a 6 hour hike all the way to Glacier. To walk on the glacier you need to make sure your spikes are dug into the ice-toes going up, heels coming down. The guide had to stop every few feet to chip away at the ice and cut for us some steps. Our guide was a skinny little dude who could cut a step in less than 30 seconds! I thought he was a native of New Zealand, but was surprised to discover he was from a country that had no snow- Malaysia!

 

Once we got to the glacier we had to be extra careful to not fall into a crevice. Walking on a living glacier was quite the experience. The colors of the ice, the formations of the melting ice was a feast for our senses. 

 

What was striking about this whole experience was the feeling of the “ying-yang”. The contrasts of the opposites. The clash of the “differences.” The ice was freezing cold, yet were in a sub-tropical rainforest! The blue ice was a colorful contrast to the green jungle foliage all around us. The white ice looked “dead” yet it was really alive, moving a few inches each day on a journey that came to life when it melted into the fast flowing cold river..and the circle of life continues! Immortality of nature in its purest form.

 

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The Ice Man Cometh
The Ice Man Cometh
Eating lunch on the Glacier
Eating lunch on the Glacier
Our Guide Kevin from Malaysia
Our Guide Kevin from Malaysia
You dont want to fall into this on…
You dont want to fall into this o…
He came, He Saw, He Climbed!
He came, He Saw, He Climbed!
The Ice Cave in the Glacier
The Ice Cave in the Glacier
Cutting Ice Steps
Cutting Ice Steps
Crawling out of the cave
Crawling out of the cave
Father and Son
Father and Son
The Hike up. The Glacier is 45 Min…
The Hike up. The Glacier is 45 Mi…
Resting before the climb
Resting before the climb
Putting the Spikes on
Putting the Spikes on
THe foot of the Glacier
THe foot of the Glacier
Dangerous walk
Dangerous walk
Looking for danger spots
Looking for danger spots
We all could not belive that this …
We all could not belive that this…
A glaicer in a Semi Tropical Forest
A glaicer in a Semi Tropical Forest
Franz Josef
photo by: Vikram