New Zealand 2003 travel blog

Franz Josef Glacier (1)

Franz Josef Glacier (2)


Glacial Outwash

We toyed with the idea of a guided walk on the glacier itself but instead we decided to take the free walk up the side of the glacier to Roberts Point. It was a five hour round trip but we waited until the morning rain had begun to clear.

It was a rugged walk and quite steep in places, crossing streams and waterfalls but staying well within the temperate rainforest so couldn't see out into the valley at all.

However, after 2.5 hours of hard walking we were rewarded when we emerged from the forest into the wide vista above the glacier. We had timed it perfectly - the sky cleared and we could see all the way up to the top of the glacier, where the blue ice pinnacles glistened in the sunshine. I spent the next five minutes boring Kate with remnants of my geomorphological knowledge, including moraines, drumlins, outwash plains and roche mouttonées. Phil Crowther, my geography teacher, would be proud. We had lunch then scrambled back down, feeling sorry for the others making their way up as the weather worsened.

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