Walked Franz Josef Glacier, 23rd March, 2010

One word from walking this glacier, surreal. One moment your in town, supping on a hot cup of tea, travel a few miles, sorry I mean kilometers, and you’re at the base of a huge glacier… would you like ice with that drink Sir?

What a fantastic experience, squeezing myself through cracks and crevices in the ice, attempting to not fall down shafts, while it sported slight rain, it only made it that much more spectacular, giving it a fresh blue twinge to the ice’s colour.

About Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier descends deep into the lush rainforest of Westland’s National Park, from a height of 2700m above sea level to only 240m in as little as 11 km, making it the worlds steepest and fastest flowing guided glacier.

The glacier was named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria by the German explorer, Julius von Haast in 1865. The Maori name for the glacier is Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere (‘The tears of Hinehukatere’), arising from a local legend, Hinehukatere loved climbing in the mountains and persuaded her lover, Wawe, to climb with her. Wawe was a less experienced climber than Hinehukatere but loved to accompany her until an avalanche swept Wawe from the peaks to his death. Hinehukatere was broken hearted and her many, many tears flowed down the mountain and froze to form the glacier.