The Fox Glacier Guides are New Zealand’s most experienced glacier guidance company and its easy to see why! We went for the Flying Fox Glacier Guide and we cannot wait to tell you about it.
Our day started off on a bit of a downer. We originally booked our Helihike with Franz- Josef Glacier Guides who for the second time cancelled on us. We were told again that no one was operating as the clouds were too low and visibility was too poor.
There was no prior warning and after a four hour drive for the experience we were gutted. Especially as this was a surprise present for Joshua after spending three weeks in the field with the army.
So this time around we persevered and stumbled across the Fox Glacier Guides, who were extremely helpful and booked us onto a tour leaving that same afternoon!
We jumped in the car and after a 30 minute drive we arrived at Fox Glacier Guides.
Soon enough we were well briefed, geared and stood at the helicopter pad extremely excited!
♦ The flight. This was an experience in itself. We flew through the valleys enjoying spectacular views, past incredible waterfalls landing in an exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier.
♦ On the ice. We landed on the ice and straight away had to duck and cover from the ice spray until the helicopter left. Our tour guides then greeted us and showed us how to put on our crampons ensuring that we were safe and comfortable.
They explained that the Fox Glacier is a river of ice that is an incredible 12km long. And in the remote area of the Glacier there are beautiful natural ice caves, crevices and arches which they would love to show us. They warned that the glacier changes daily so to bare this in mind, as what they saw yesterday may not be here today – so for them it is as much of an adventure as it was for us.
We walked for roughly three hours stopping in numerous locations. There were incredibly powerful waterfalls and crazy deep crevices. We even managed to walk through one – It was a tight squeeze to say the least.
There was a tiny cave we came across and once our guide deemed it safe we were all able to pull ourselves through it with a rope. We were on our backs and our noses pretty much touched the top of the cave.
Throughout the trek our tour guide had to stop on numerous occasions to clear the ice with his axe in order for us to pass. He would check crevices and we could either go through, around it or take a different route. The fact that we were guided in this manner made the trip feel unique and exciting. We did a route that potentially no one has done before or will do again.
With a group of just 8 people it was very intimate and we all had the opportunity to ask questions, take heaps of photos and get to know the environment in the best way possible.
TOP TIP – We drunk the most refreshing glacier walker – be sure to bring an empty bottle up there with you.
♦ What to bring. We were advised to bring 3-4 thin upper body layers, no jeans as these would get too wet so we both went for shorts. Waterproofs, thick socks, boots and crampons were provided. We brought a day pack with us holding water, a few snacks, hats and our Go Pro.