The hike was kind of cold, but being from Colorado, it didnt phase me as much as the others I think, not to mention the sun eventually came out. The scenery around us was enough to keep me warm anyway. It was very odd to see these steep cliffs that have been carved out from the glacier over hundreds and thousands of years, rich with vegetation. The landscape was basically rainforest which transitioned into rock which transitioned into a frozen, moving, ice pack. The climate around the area supports both extremes of the environment, and the result is a truly breathtaking assault of landscape beauty. Here are some pictures of the glacier and the surrounding area:
|On our way up to the glacier. Just a few years ago, the glacier was here, which is why the vegetation is minimal.|
|Panoramic of Fox Glacier|
|A crevice (say "creh-voss")|
|Is it just me or does this look like a howling wolf?|
|Looking at the surrounding area. Notice the ridge in the middle on the left? The glacier used to fill this valley and was as tall as that ridge.|
|Contrary to popular belief, this glacier is not very affected by "global warming". Just a few years ago it actually grew several hundred meters -- it is always changing, morphing, and moving.|
|The valley were we approached the glacier...from on top of the glacier|
|One of the enormous cliffs on the way to the glacier. Seriously, this picture does no justice to how tall it really is.|
Man is it just me or is it getting deep in here? Someone better get a shovel.
Clearly Im joking. In fact, the glacier was strongly connected to the ridge that we were hiking on, just a few yards from were vegetation was. But before we went onto the glacier (seriously this time) we put on "clamp-ons" and were given a spiked walking stick to help traverse the slippery ice.
|Putting on the spikes|
Once we were all strapped up, we walked on the glacier for a good hour and a half and it was incredible. Just seeing all the formations from the always-moving object was astounding. It does not have mercy for anything or anyone. It crushes rock with ease, gathers up water inside and explodes it out the front, and owns the valley that it is in. Some of the highlights of the hike were learning how the wind and melting water affect the shapes seen within the ice, travelling down into a crevice, and actually going under the glacier, into a small tunnel where we had to slide out.
|Travelling into the crevice|
|This wave-like shape is seen all around the glacier and it is from melting water, being blown by wind, across the glacier . Very cool.|
|Yeah Im pretty much a professional BAMF. Take note of all the ice chunks flying around me.|
|I figure I should put this picture on my resume from now on. I mean that wouldnt be creepy would it?|
|Looking down on a large crevice|
|In the glacier tunnel|
|Our tour guide looking down on us in the tunnel|
|Emerging from the glacier tunnel, this is what I was greeted with|
Talk to you soon!