Helen and Randall on the road

A bit about our adventures 2011-2012

Tuesday 25th October: Franz Josef Glacier

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On a freezing cold and wet morning we turned up at the Franz Josef Glacier Guides centre to get kitted out for the full day trip. We were issued with boots, socks, waterproofs and crampons and then bussed to the entrance to the glacier national park from where it was a half hour hike to the terminal face of the glacier:

We volunteered for the ‘fast’ group and ended up with the lovely Tubs and his pick-axe, for cutting steps when they had moved or melted from the previous day or when we needed to go ‘off piste’.

A word about crampons: they are bloody marvellous. The ice on the glacier is like oiled glass, there is no way you can grip onto it and walking on it would be impossible, but with crampons as promised by Tubs we ‘stuck to the ice like velcro’. Fantastic! With crampons and a pickaxe we could go pretty much anywhere as we could walk on most surfaces, and where it was too steep Tubs could cut steps:

Randall and Tubs, our guide, talking about ice and geology.

Squeezing through a narrow crevasse:

After getting to about 800m up, nearly at the main snowfield, we had a quick sandwiches lunch as it was incredibly cold and wet, then started the descent via a different route to take us through an amazing ice cave about 6 metres long:

Then down to look at the cave at the terminal face:


At this point we were VERY wet and cold, as the ‘waterproof’ jacket and trousers weren’t. Luckily, the trip we had paid for included access to the Glacier Hot Pools so after dumping the gear back at the base we hopped in our van and drove up the road, gave the guy at reception his easiest EVER upsell (Him: “you can upgrade to a private pool with a private heated dressing room and shower for 24 dollars” Us: “Okay!”) and plopped into a heated outdoor spa pool for 45 minutes. Nice.


Written by helenbcn

October 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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