Welcome to the town of Franz Josef, home of the Franz Josef Glacier. This glacier is unique in 2 ways: 1) it is one of the only glaciers to be right next to a rainforest, and 2) it is one of the only glaciers to be so close to sea level (only about 250m to the ocean).
So today, Fanny and I decided to do something adventurous (yet again) – we decided to go glacier hiking. Thankfully, there is a company with wonderful guides to get us there. Our adventure began with a simple hike through the rainforest. I must say, hiking through a rainforest to get to a glacier is a bit odd, but that’s how it works here at the Franz Josef glacier. After this hike, we are led to a rope fence that basically says, “keep out or die” and has a sign posting newspaper articles of hikers who’ve died on the glacier. As I’m looking at the sign in semi-horror, my guide then proceeds to pull down the fence and tell me to step over it. He says the sign doesn’t apply to us because we’re with a guide. Uh huh…
Anyhoo, so we proceed. After a hike up rocky terrain (our guide explains that this rocky terrain used to be the glacier itself), we strap on our crampons (spiky thingies on the bottom of our hiking boots) and proceed onto the glacier. We go up. We go down. We go down through crevices. We go through ice caves. All in all, our hike takes about 7.5 hours, including lunch on the glacier itself overlooking the valley. Every moment of it was gorgeous! The ice formations were beautiful. Okay, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m just going to have to show you the rest in photos…
P.S. Many more photos to come when I return home – this is just a sneak peek…
Franz Josef Glacier at the start of our hike
Looking back down towards the valley floor
It was a tough climb but the views were worth it!
Girl, you are AMAZING! If we had been there you would have been whining throughtout the hike! But you hiked it and as still smiling at the end! Those are fantastic photos, can’t wait to see the rest. Much Love!
I’m perfectly capable of doing a hike without whining, I’ll have you know. Especially when I’m the one who’s suggested it and paid money for it! Miss you guys!
Hi Stephanie, I’m Fanny’s friend and I wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying your blog. Today’s post helped me think back to a time when my husband Paul and I hiked on a glacier in Glacier Park, MT. Truly an awesome experience. Ciao to you both!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog! Yes, hiking a glacier is truly an amazing experience! I’ve heard so many great things about you guys from Fanny – I hope one day we get to meet in person. 🙂