My new Year in Fox began with heavy rains and flooding. We received over ml of rain in 48 hours. This much rain closed down our glacier tours and washed out 3 bridges on the west coast of new zealand. The phone and internet connection separated too completing our isolation for the world. It was exciting and worrying. The public was not allowed into the valley to see the glacier anymore but some of the guides and I went up to see the destruction taking place. I couldn't take many photos because of the intensity with which the rain was falling. I did get one photo from the car of the 500 meter valley filled with rushing water from side to side.
|The Fox Valley completely flooded. Chunks of ice float downstream to the ocean.|
After 2 days of heavy rain the storm subsided and we had a team of 28 guides move up into the valley in an attempt to restore our access to the glacier. The river had rerouted and washed away a 200 meter section of our path. The ice itself had been washed clean of dirt, steps and any sign that people were ever on it. Mother nature has a way of showing us that we are not in control. We are little more than stewards of the land around us. Baring witness to events of total natural force bestows a perspective on people that is quite rare. We already know that these cataclysmic events are beyond our control but actually seeing them in action awakens the understanding.
|A roaring river and a field of ice boulders now stands in place of 200 meters of our original path.|
|The glacier shining bright|
|With days off the ice we find other things to occupy our time like tuning our axes.|
A few days later when the sun had returned some friends and I drove north to Franz Josef for a horse ride. It was a good day basking in the sun atop a horse and off the ice.
|Kat couldn't be happier to be riding Cheeto for the day.|
|An excellent picture of us on our horses thanks to KT our guide.|