April 11th 2007

Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers – New Zealand

Toured through Arthurs Pass, and Castle Rocks prior to heading through the New Zealand Alps to the Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers. No drama here unless you count leaving over a case of beer at the Flock Lodge fridge…and it was good beer too. More single lane bridges. Imagine this, racing down a main road and hitting single lane bridges, some of which you share with a train! New Zealand drivers are determined to go through, pedestrians and cyclists are at great risk here.

Heres a hint: Glaciers grow with rain and snow- 278 out of 365 days a year. We did not hit a dry day. Not even close. Imagine a Kitimat downpour, add 50% and you just about have it. No material , Goretex included can keep you dry. Our Glacier walk included:

  • boots with three socks that still did not fit,
  • rainpants, gloves, toques and coats 1 size fits all.
  • 1105 steps cut in the ice by 6 ft long legged guides.
  • Kea mountain parrots that can unzip your pack and eat your lunch- they also like windshield wipers

Struggling but still smiling- Its early onThe squeezer!Nordic distainMy five foot zip companion Amanda did not fare too well. By the end of the day, I was lucky that she was only not speaking to me. Plumb tuckered out with everything hurting for days. Son Joel spent the day ice wall climbing, he looked quite happy, so I let him drive the five hours back to the dry side , Christchurch.

Christchurch is Kelowna bounded by Long Beach on one side and Whistler on the other. What better place for a Vancouver boy to live?

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