We stayed at Franz Josef Glacier, but the next morning, we went to the neighboring Fox Glacier. Here we did a 4 hour trek to the terminal face of the glacier, then climbed onto the glacier itself. They provided all the gear you needed, including crampons, socks, ice picks, books, and waterproof jackets, and the tour guides worked tirelessly to pick away at the glacier to ensure there are easy hiking paths.
Our guide was into rocks and geology. The photo to the right had some significance. Something about the green coloring? Any of you geologists know?
We got to try some fresh glacier water. Tasted like rocks to me. :P
The glaciers are absolutely gorgeous. If you do the helihike, where you take the helicopter up to a higher part of the glacier, you get more brilliant coloring in the ice. Due to weather conditions, all helihikes were canceled for this particular day.
Blue ice! I think it’s the first time we’ve visited a glacier. The ice is blue because it’s so compressed and very little to no air bubbles are trapped inside. When this happens, the red and yellow light rays can go further into the ice and are absorbed, while the blue light rays are bounced back. A little science lesson for ya.
The hikers look like little ants.
Can you still see the hikers?
Tips for Hiking Fox Glacier and Staying in Franz Josef Glacier:
- Following the hike, we headed back to the hotel and grabbed dinner with a few people in town. We ended up grabbing food from Wok Box, a fake Chinese food truck in town. We already suspected it to be bad, but it was worse than I could ever imagine. If there is one tip you remember about Franz Josef Glacier, never ever EVER eat at that place. The Chinese food is probably the worst I’ve ever had. The worst! The lodging we stayed at was Rainforest Retreat. They had a huge shared kitchen and a grocery store down the street. Cooking your own food is probably a nice option here.
- You’re not going to want to forget your cameras for Fox Glacier. It’s not a strenuous hike, so you can easily carry some extra camera weight.
- Wear layers for the Fox Glacier hike. It’s warmer until you get onto the glacier. They recommend 3-4 layers.