Monday, March 1, 2010
Walking on Franz Josef Glacier
How often do you get the chance to walk on a glacier?
We spent our next day hiking up Franz Josef Glacier, one of the steepest and fastest flowing glaciers in the world, moving up to 10x faster than most valley glaciers. The glacier gets almost 30m of snow every year pushing the ice down the valley, sliding on a layer of water under the glacier, like a “river of ice.” More info on how this works here.
Franz Josef Glacier is also unique in how low it extends (270m above sea level) through a dramatic glacial valley all the way to the temperate rain forest, a pretty cool visual. We were on the glacier for about six hours and were lucky to climb higher than any groups have climbed in the past five years – it was the last day of work for two of the senior guides so they wanted a special climb for their last hike!