Sunday, September 7, 2014

West Coast Clouds Part 2: Don't even try to get on the glaciers

So the Main Event for Angela and Emily's trip was supposed to be a helicopter glacier tour, where you fly up to the glacier get out and run round for a few hours, then fly back down, then congratulate yourselves on such an amazing experience.

Despite our best efforts, this just didn't happen for us. 

The morning of our tour, we drove down the coast an hour and a half through the rain and fog, only to arrive at Franz Josef Glacier Village to our expedition shop to be told it was cancelled. This was no surprise given the conditions, but they put us on the list for the afternoon in hopes that we could still get out later than day. That one was rained out too....  Choosing 'not dying in a helicopter crash on a glacier' was ultimately the right decision, no matter how bad we wanted to get out on that glacier.

They offered to shift us over to a guided glacier valley walk, which you can just do on your own for free (without a guide), so we politely declined that offer and just set out to once again entertain ourselves on a terrible weather day.

We ended up going on the hikes to both the Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier. It takes more than rain and wind to keep us down, but check out these awesome warning signs posted before you get on the trails through the valleys:

Quite the Death Trap

But going with the odds based on the incredibly high survival rate other tourists seem to have on the trails, we ventured forth, and it was pretty great, even if it wasn't Plan A.

It was a misty walk, but a little water never hurt anyone, right?

Emily was really feeling it next to that waterfall.

The clouds and mist did make for some pretty wicked pictures.

I imagine Mars looks like this.

A gentle reminder of the perils of the valley.

Luckily we had these trusty Ranger signs to tell us when we'd gone far enough.
Emily is high-fiving him for this service.

But it turns out, this guy's not very nice at all.

So he immediately lost all authority over us.

And despite his best efforts to ruin our day, we still managed to have some fun:

And see some amazing glacier views:

So I guess we can't really complain if our Plan B pans out as well as this.

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