24 Jun A Hike on Franz Josef Glacier
The quest to complete my 55 Places continues…
During my month-long trip to New Zealand, I was able to cross off my bucket list item #25, “Try not to lose my footing on a glacier”, at Franz Josef Glacier on the west coast of the South Island.
I had been fortunate for the weeks leading up to this part of my journey to have beautiful weather throughout my entire trip. I even had 2 out of 3 good days in Milford! But, the west coast is notorious for having the rainiest weather in all of New Zealand. And sure enough, as we got closer and closer to Franz Josef the weather got grayer and more dismal. I only had one full day there before moving on to the next part of my journey, so I signed myself up for a full day glacier hike, rain or shine.
As luck would have it, I woke up the following day to seriously rainy weather.
I’ll say that hiking on the glacier was really tough. I just don’t think people are supposed to go on glaciers. It’s a dangerous place and while I had crampons on my shoes, I just couldn’t trust that those little spikes would keep me from sliding all the way down to the bottom of the glacier. Actually, a girl in my group ended up falling and sliding a bit… she was okay but the ice really wasn’t very forgiving. I’m sure she left with some bruises.
By the end of the day, I was ready for the hike to be over. I was literally limping from a pain in my left knee… perhaps hiking 50+ miles the week before was catching up with me? Also, my feet were completely soaked from pools of water that had amassed in my shoes. I literally could POUR the water out, and a week later my shoes are STILL a little damp!
I’ll say that I’m glad that I did it, but I think one glacier is enough for me. Consider that bucket list item done and done!