Fox Glacier, New Zealand

On the final day of my recent trip in New Zealand (see Southern Alps trip report) we decided to come down from Pioneer Hut a day early to avoid forecast storms in what proved to be the right decision. You can fly out from Pioneer Hut but like a lot of parties we opted to walk down to Chancellor Hut following the line of the Fox Glacier. We would take a helicopter out from Chancellor Hut as the retreat of the Fox Glacier has exposed the unstable moraine wall and the resulting risk of rock fall has removed walking the whole way out as a sensible option. We set the alarm for 5:00am in order to be well on the way before the sun was at its strongest and the snow at its softest. We roped up for Glacier travel as the route begins on the crevassed neve of the Fox Glacier. The route then traverses Chancellor Dome, at the bottom of which was a huge field of avalanche debris. The next feature was “the trough” where you walk along next to the Fox Glacier until you exit the trough via a low grade rock climb – it was good to be back on rock and off crampons.

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16 responses to “Fox Glacier, New Zealand

  1. I love the helicopter pic showing the sweep of the blades. Funny about the crampons. Before a trip crampons, ice axes and ropes invade our dreams. When we are ready, having learned/experienced what we came for, the yearning for what is comfortable and familiar grows stronger.

    • There is no better sight than the helicopter home! I rapidly discovered I’m a thousand times more comfortable climbing on rock than on crampons so even a short rock climb was my opportunity to feel like I knew what I was doing again. I need more mileage on crampons and some lower leg muscles I’m not sure I’ve got currently!

  2. Amazing photos! Especially love the final one – so typical of NZ to have so many different colours and terrains fit in one little square. I’ve been browsing your blog and been super inspired – this is the kind of place I’d love mine to end up being. So, I just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration and I can’t wait to see what you post next!

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