Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and storm # 2

Fox Glacier Travel Blog

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On the Franz Josef glacier

Not to be too down by the disappointing penguin sighting at Dunedin or the cancellation of Milford Sound, I arrived at Fox Glacier eagerly anticipating the next morning's helicoper flight over the glaciers and Mount Cook.  But while the afternoon weather was nice, fresh clouds started rolling in that evening and I had a forboding feeling that I would be stymied by the Weather Gods once again - a prediction unfortunately realized the next day.  I awoke to a raging storm that blanked the area with relentlessly pounding rain that erased any chance of viewing the nearby mountains.

Fox glacier
  When I got to the helicopter tour meeting point, they had to  cancel the trip.  So by this point, I was three strikes out and very disappointed with my lousy luck so far on this trip.  This was where I decided to just go off-script - throw out as much of my planned itinerary as I could and just start working around the weather as best as possible.  I decided to cut my planned Lake Nelson tramp short by a day and spend today waiting out the storm so that I could try to reschedule the helo flight for tomorrow.  Braving the freezing rain, I at least spend the day trudging up to the Franz Josef glacier face (where plenty of signs warned people NOT to come this far because of the precipitation) and took photos of the ice chunks crashing off the face.  When I was too wet and numb with cold to feel my face, I headed back to the hotel to watch some TV.   According to the news, the entire Island was locked in a "Northwester."

The next morning, I was delighted to see that maybe, just maybe, my luck was beginning to turn after all.  A perfectly clear (but cold) day outside!  Sure enough, I got to go up on the flight and it was a perfect morning too.  We got to land on the top of the glacier near the mountain peaks for some photos.  Per the pilot, the snow pack at the top is over 300 meters deep.  It was so beautiful and peaceful up there, I didn't mind the -18 degree C temperatures.  

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On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Blue lake near the Haast pass
Blue lake near the Haast pass
Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier
Mt Cook
Mt Cook
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Blue lake near the Haast pass
Blue lake near the Haast pass
Mt Cook
Mt Cook
Franz Josef glacier, after an ice …
Franz Josef glacier, after an ice…
On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
Thundercreek waterfall
Thundercreek waterfall
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
canyon carved by the Fox glacier
canyon carved by the Fox glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Mt Cook
Mt Cook
Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
On the Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier
Franz Josef glacier town
Franz Josef glacier town
Fox Glacier
photo by: Hannah1982Bug