We journied to Franz Joseph from greymouth going via Punakiki pancake rocks and blowholes which were pretty awesome. Arrived at the rainforest retreat holiday park and set up our tent (TREV). It was quite late so we had a walk around and then cooked some food and headed to bed.
Up bright and early for our full day hike up the Franz Joseph Glacier. I was pretty excited but i dont think kate was sharing in my excitment. arrived at the guides base and got kitted up with our Walking boots, waterproofs hats and mittens and got given our crampons for walking on the ice. We were then all loaded onto a bus for the short journey to the carpark 45 minutes walk away from the base of the Glacier.
We arrived at the carpark jumped out and headed off through the bush towards the glacier. We were then split up into groups and made our way to the foot of the Glacier. We all put our crampons on and then prepared for our ascent. The first part the Terminal face was very steep. Our guide a Japanese fella called Thai led the way carving out steps in the ice for us to walk up. we went through a couple of tunnels and Crevaces andf made our way to where the Ice was blue. We were all given ice axes to help with walking and climbing up and down some of the steep sections.
We stopped for lunch which was when it started to feel cold so out came the hats and gloves. After lunch we headed on further and started to go through some really tight crevaces and across some big gaps in the ice. At some points our guide attached a rope into the ice and we almost had to abseil down some near vertical faces. We finally reached the top after a good few hours walking everyone was feeling cold and there were some very tired legs especially Kates ( she struggled to walk for the next couple of days she was a bit like a penguin). We made our way down up and down over the crevaces and finally reached the bottom where everyone was relieved to be able to get their big heavy boots off and wear some normal shoes.
Headed back to TREV and made ourselves a big plate of pasta then headed to the bar for some well deserved drinks before a fairly early night ready for an ealry start to head to Queenstown the next day.
Andy and Kate xxxx