New Zealand: Fox Glacier: 02/04/04: trying to ice climb in awfull weather

In the morning, the weather didn’t promise a good day, but at least it was dry. And I was ready to learn a bit about iceclimbing. The real thing: not just walking on ice, but hanging on these ice axes and sticking your feet with icecrampons in the icewalls. That’s what I hoped for.

We ended up being with 2 in total + 1 guide. This was looking great. We got all the equipment, extra rain clothes, and off we went. First a little walk to the glacier, and it started raining of course. There, we put on the icecrampons, 1 ice-axe to be used as a kind of walking stick, and we started to walk on the glacier. It was remarkable how well you can trust these crampons. After a few minutes, I really felt good in walking up and down just by sticking the cramps in the ice. But the weather was getting worse and worse: extreme rain, hard winds, low clouds. The guide didn’t really trust it anymore, so decided that we couldn’t actually go to the ice walls where we would do the real climbing. Too bad.
My shoes were like little swimming pools as we also walked through little streams of melting water on the glacier. Some of the cracks we passed were really deep.
Back in the village, a hot chocolat was really a good thing to get a bit warm ( I luckily wasn’t too cold or too wet with the extra rainclothes: 3 layers of rainclothes, not to be totally wet).
In the afternoon, I was so fed up with the rain and the forecast was still bad for the next coming days. So I hoped that by passing the Haast-pass, I would leave the bad weather on one side of the mountains.
Rain on the West coast is quite normal: West Coast = Wet Coast



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