Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Fox Glacier

The lower 4km of Fox Glacier and walking poles

Today I had my first day off and decided to go up the glacier anyway.  As guides we are allowed and even encouraged to go up and get familiar with our surroundings.  It is important to know the placement of hazardous crevasses and moulins.  It is amazing to watch this glacier change everyday.  The surface ice melts or ablates at an amazing rate.  Steps must be carved out of the ice every day or else they would completely disappear in just 3 days!  We strap on the crampons and go to work shaping, redirecting and  keeping safe all aspects of the glacier and all that effort is for only one of our trips.  You also have the option of flying up in a helicopter and seeing the upper portion of the 13 km long glacier, getting into the more wild areas with more freedom during the full day hike and then there is the ice climbing.  By the end of my 6 months working this season I should be qualified to lead all of our trips with the exception of the ice climbing.  For now I am happy and excited enough to be up on the ice and mucking about with my ice axe.

Practice cutting steps.

Looking down the valley and to where the Fox Glacier used to be. The cliff in the center is over 300 meters tall.

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