I arrived at Fox Glacier on Wednesday the 15th of July. The air was fresh and you could finally see the snow-capped mountains close-by instead of far off in the distance. It was drizzling on and off, but surprisingly not really cold. The wind was down and the mist swirled around in a mysterious blanket.
Fox Glacier was named by former Kiwi Prime Minister, Sir William Fox, in 1872. Not a very modest man! I was told by Kiwis and foreigners alike that of the two glaciers in this region, Fox and Franz Josef, Fox had smaller group tours and was a better glacier to go to.
Cliffs surrounding the glacier
There are tons of little waterfalls in the mountains surrounding the glacier. We had a rest and a drink at this one.
Fox Glacier behind me
Rock Fallout. It's quite dangerous around the glacier because without warning boulders will come tumbling down the mountains.
Glacier valley. The glacier has advanced and retreated along this path for thousands of years.
Preparing for my first climb
Below: A video of me ice climbing for the first time. Ahh! Watch at your own discretion.
I made it!
Below: Setting up for the big pose
View from the cave looking out
Evening view on the valley from the ice
p.s. On the night of the 15th of July, an earthquake registered at 7.8 shook up the South Island. The epicenter was at Dusky Sound at the southwestern tip of the island. People in Fox and Franz Josef glaciers felt it. Everyone, that is, except for me! Can't figure out where I was at that time! It was the biggest earthquake of the year worldwide and the biggest one in New Zealand in 80 years! No one was hurt, but the end of the South Island moved 12 inches (30 centimeters) closer to Australia. Interesting...