Making vacation plans for July 4th? Why not opt for something completely unconventional and clamber up New Zealand’s epic Fox Glacier. Don’t worry, you can include totally American activities like hot-dog eating and beer drinking. (Reading this and thinking, but I’m not American…? Well, I still think it’s a good idea for any nationality to hike Fox Glacier and enjoy a pre or apres beer and hotdog!)
Armed with water bottles full of wine (what? We were celebrating the 4th!) and water, we hiked for about an hour alongside the glacier, up around and through the forest. Parched? No problem. Just hold your water bottle under the fresh ice melt for some pure, ice-cold goodness.
Then we fitted ourselves with these…
To walk on this.
We didn’t actually climb with pickaxes, more walked up ice stairs like these:
This image reminds me of the first time I saw Superman, when Clark was on his crystalline planet Krypton. Right?!
Glacier hiking was one of those items very high on my bucket list (I kind of hate the term bucket list, by the way, but I’m not sure of any other substitute phrase for “list of things I want to do in my life” at the moment). I don’t think I could wipe that silly grin off my face all day long.
Franz Josef is another popular glacier to hike in Kiwi land (check out my friend Alli’s post here). Can’t make it to New Zealand but want to hike on a glacier? Check out glacier hiking in Norway or Switzerland, if you are Europe-bound. In the U.S., head to Alaska or Montana.
Here’s the kicker: our guide was from the U.S.! Minnesota to be exact. He actually kind of looked like our friend, Ed, who is also from Minnesota. (I love saying Minnesota in my head with that mid-Western, Fargo-ish accent, ya, Men-es-O-tah). Anyway, I thought that was pretty interesting, having an American guide in NZ. Apparently it’s pretty easy to get a working visa for New Zealand, if you can basically contribute to society in any meaningful way… The wheels in my bead are turning.
And I mentioned apres-
ski hike, right? The Cook Saddle Cafe and Saloon was the perfect spot to cozy up by the fire with a glass of wine and some tasty food.
We stayed at Glacier Lane B&B, where Chris and Tamra treated us like personal guests in their home. Offering us wine from their personal collection and snuggle time with their pooch, they encouraged us to make ourselves at home while they went out for date night. How relaxing and calming to wind down after a full day of ice climbing and feel totally at home.
All of our eleven days in New Zealand were epic, but Fox Glacier on the 4th, it was one for the books!!
What are your plans for the 4th of July, or the summer in general? Do have glacial aspirations? Have you ever hiked on a glacier before?