Walking on Fox

Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 26 Mar 2011 09:50
More photos of the Fox Glacier and our adventure trekking up through the wooded valley side to walk on it.
This cardboard cutout gives the daily conditions on the glacier.
Looking back down the valley at the wide scree-filled river bed that we walked along to reach this
point. Here we started to go up through the forest to get above the side of the glacier.
Looking up the glacier and the corner it turns.
Yes, we walked down those steps, and then up an equally steep set as
the track weaves its way up the valley side.
The track up and on to the glacier! Another climb, but steps of ice this time. One of the guides looks down from the top.
The side of the glacier is very black and grey as it comes into contact with the rocks on the valley side. The path up can change on a daily basis as the ice moves and a new route up has to be found and another set of ice steps cut. We went up in the afternoon and the steps had already started to melt from the morning and had to be re-cut. 
The blue tinge shows through once you can see under the surface.
Standing on the top and in the middle looking up the glacier, and .....
.... looking down towards the face and over it to the river valley below. The river comes from the melting ice.
A small ice cave. Hood on to try and keep the dripping ice off! 
Mountaineers? - I think not - too cold - we'll keep to sailing (in the tropics!)  Standing on a relatively flat
section, looking up the glacier, and ....
..... a not so flat section - walking through gullies and shallow crevasses, back to the side of the
terminal face to head back down the valley.
The terminal face of the glacier.
The long walk back - the people give some idea of the grand scale!
The melt water rivers join; the fast running grey water from the terminal face bringing down sediment
and chunks of ice, and the slower running blue from a side creek.
Some of the many chunks of ice coming down the river get left high and dry on scree between the streams.