#24 - wow! the franz josef glacier
Franz Josef Travel Blog› entry 24 of 113 › view all entries
*****DAY THIRTY-SEVEN (January 8, 2009) - CLIMBING THE GLACIER!*****
I got up VERY early in Hokitika to make it down to Franz Josef for a 9am heli-hike on the glacier. I was bummed (but not surprised) when the heli-hike was canceled because of bad weather. :( So instead, I signed up for a half-day glacier hike. I figured, hey, I'm here - I'm going on that glacier one way or another! So, I booked my trip and then decided I needed to figure out a place to stay for the night. It wasn't that difficult to find all the hostels since they are pretty much all located on the same little street.
So when it was time to hike, I got in line with 51 other hikers and proceeded to pick up our socks (all of which were wet! ich!), boots, raincoats & cramp-ons (I was so excited - I had never used those before!). We boarded a bus and we were off!
There is a bit of a little hike to get out of the glacier that definitely surprised me. I think dressed thinking I was going to be freezing up on the glacier, but what I didn't REALLY realize is that I would be HIKING.
So, the hike was AMAZING! It was really cool to hike up a glacier and do the whole cramp-on thing. The views were incredible and it was awesome to be surrounded by blue ice. I had to keep reminding myself that this was REAL and not just a Disneyland ride. It was so amazing - when we got to the top....there was a HUGE green Kea (an alpine parrot) sitting on the top of a huge piece of ice. It was beautfiul! I'm just so bummed I didn't react quickly enough to get a picture of it. I think Daniel did, I'm going to have to try to track that down.
The weather held out for most of the hike...we did have some rain, but it seemed very appropriate for the whole experience.
I really loved my day on Franz Josef! I was SOOO pooped by the time I got back to the hostel (remember I had been up since 6am-ish or so and drove down to Franz Josef that day...it was a long one). So after Maria and I had our YUMMY pizza at the Blue Ice cafe (nice name, huh?), I CRASHED!!! I seriously think I went to bed at 9pm. Such a great day!