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The Franz Joseph Glacier

by Pamela Blalock with (most) photos by John Bayley

We did a walk with Franz Josef Glacier Guides. They have a nice setup, where they provide boots, crampons, jacket, gloves and hat, as well as a guide. My boots were giant. It was either too big or too small. But I did surprising well with them. I could have used my knee support, which was with my tramping gear, now back in Nelson. They also gave us ice axes, which were really just heavy props for photos. They were too short to act as walking sticks, and we didn't really need them. I ended up with an outrageously heavy one that I could have done without carrying for 7 hours - my only complaint.

Our guide was very good. He kept the nervous folks up front - so I got to go first! He was very cautious and checked all the bridges before we crossed as well as any other hazards. I felt very comfortable on this trip. And I can definitely recommend it. This company does cater to the backpacker bus crowd, so you can get a rowdy group. Ours was pretty calm. We had great weather at the start, although the clouds rolled in an we did have rain for the last hour.

week 4

Enough of this glacial stuff. Jump straight to the

South Island Bike Tour

Milford Track

Routeburn Track

Doubtful Sound