Saturday, November 22, 2008

Glacier hike!

One of our most favorite experiences from our trip was the hike we did on the Fox Glacier in New Zealand. It was our first trip in a helicopter and our first time on a glacier. I didn't really know exactly what to expect, but I can say that the views, the caves and the experience totally exceeded any expectations I could have possibly had.

We started off by getting suited up in our really cool boots and wool socks and hopped onto the helicopter.

I was told to sit in front (!!), which was amazing and it was from there that I took this picture of our first view of the glacier.

Once we landed, we got an amazing view of the glacier and its surroundings.

Ice caves forming

We set off hiking, in a row, behind our guide, like ducklings. It's the safest way to go.

Alex, walking directly behind me like a good little duckling

Our guide, Graham, was really great. It's always amazing to meet people who absolutely love what they do, and he was one of those people. He continually offered to take pictures of us, so you'll see more pictures here of the two of us than from any other part of this trip. And he was always looking out for our safety! (whew!)

Graham, checking if this ice cave is safe

Us, posing for Graham in front of the safe ice cave

We found ourselves in all kinds of crazy ice caves, which was amazing. We even ended up in a cave where we had to slide across the ice on our backs to get through. So. Much. Fun.


Alex, ahead of me

Emerging from a cave

And I've never been so happy to sit on ice. Cool ground, warm air and a bit of a workout - delightful!

As we hiked back down the glacier, the clouds chased us down. Fortunately, we were able to get out before we were trapped.

Almost foiled by clouds again!

Alex and I loved the glacier hike. I even stepped on some weak snow and ended up with my entire left leg in ice water and I'm still not complaining. That says a lot! :)

Up next: We drive across New Zealand before arriving in Christchurch. This vacation recap may just have to keep going into December!

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