Feels quite a bit like home by now: spent a day on one of the worlds fastest moving, and regarded as New Zealands most spectacular, glacier. Its name: Franz Josef... Out of the resemblance it bore with the beard of the (now) late austrian emperor, apparently. Personally, I've neither had the oppourtunity nor the inclination to study the facial hair of 19th century monarchs so my knowledge in the matter is limited.
It was quite alright way to spend the day, going up in a helicopter, hiking around for a few hours and then going back. I noticed quite a few in the group were really loving it, but honestly... It wasn't anything new or that spectacular, at least not when you grow up with a freaking mountain guide as a father. I had already hit steeper slopes with cramp-ons (the thing you strap to your boot to get grip on the ice), I had crossed glaciers in s***tier weather, I had seen bigger crevaces. There was one thing quite unique, the fact that Franz Josef terminates in a rainforrest. But apart from that, I just felt kinda silly walking in a group were people could barely walk steady, and I knew far more about cold weather and ice than the guide did, and he kept telling us to hold the freaking handlines they had put up anyplace the least bit steep...
The only thing I really kept thinking was actually how much more experienced my old man was compared to the guy who walked us. This dude had worked for like a month or two on a glacier and a few years in some of the fiords.
My dad has worked What is it, 20-25 years with snow, ice, cold, skiing...
I dunno, when it comes down to it, I think he sort of ruined me in matters like this: there's no excitement at all just walking along a set little 3 hour trail for me, like there was for the others. It's just too easy. If I do anything with winter, it has to be a LOT more extreme. And the funny thing is, I actually, for like the first time in my life, WANT to do that kind of stuff... The real version, in -20 with heavy snowfall, out in the wasteland with 5 days to the nearest city. Not the kindergarten walk with a cheerful little guide that tells you to take pictures and eat your vegetables.
Sooo yeah... No more snow activity in new Zealand... There's really no point to it when snow is measured in centimeters instead of meters.
Oh yeah, we saw a Kea aswell, that was pretty much the highlight :)
Cheeky f***ing birds they are...