fran joseph

Old Feb 6th, 2003, 06:52 PM
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fran joseph

hi,
we will be in fran joseph in 1st week of march.what are clothing requirements for glacier tours.in general what temps are like in south island at that time.... thanks
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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Just came back from that area. Make sure you have a very good windbreaker that is waterproof. We had very warm weather but rain and were soaked. It is a awesome sight so enjoy. The wind can be very hard even when the weather is good. Wendy
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 08:27 PM
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Which sort of glacier tour are you thinking of? If you are taking a guided walk up onto the glacier, you should wear some thick pants. I took a tumble and slid down some hard rough ice, shredding my thin nylon pants and abrading my leg. If I had been wearing denim pants, this would have been a simple slip and I would have been on my way.

We also took a heli-hiking trip. If you do that, be prepared for cold weather at higher altitude.

Wengod is right, you need good raingear too.
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 08:31 PM
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thank you Alf & wengod
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 10:58 PM
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ALF (or anyone else if they can answer my question)-
I am trying to decide between doing a heli-hike or a regular glacier hike. Since you did both, which would you recommend? I'm really interested in seeing as many cool ice formations, caves, etc. as possible and so would like the tour that offers the best opportunity to do so (unfortunately I only have time to do one of them). Is there a major difference in the types of scenery/formations you see in the 2 different tours? Thanks!
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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The big difference is that a guided walk up onto one of the glaciers will get you close to the front (terminus) of the ice, in the ablation/melting zone of the glacier. This means that there will be a lot of features exposed, such as tunnels, crevasses, and other odd melting shapes. If you take a heli-hike, you will be up in the accumulation zone of the glacier, where the surface will be covered by recent snow/firn/ice You will probably not see any crevasses, tunnels, etc. up there. Instead, you get high-altitude views of the land below, as well as across the icefields that feed the glaciers.

You get a very different experience, either way. If you want the best panoramic scenery, go heli-hiking. If you want to see melting ice formations up close, take a guided walk. Of course, the guided walk is cheaper and requires more work!

Let me know if you want to see photos of both and I'll send them to you.

Al F.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 06:11 PM
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Thanks for the question and responses, since I will be at Franz Josef the first week of March as well. I've booked a heli-hike. Its sounds as if Alf recommends I wear jeans to protect my legs, versus lightweight pants or shorts, as the website suggests. Any other thoughts are welcome.

Thanks, Martha
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 08:55 PM
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I was recommending heavy pants for the guided glacier walk, which involves traversing some icy slopes and slippery rock slopes. This won't be a problem on a heli-hike, where the topography will be much smoother and softer.
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 08:12 PM
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ALF-
Pictures would be great if it's not too much trouble. Still having trouble deciding which to do, both sound great. My only other thought is I'm doing a helicopter trip to Milford Sound that also lands on a glacier (not Fox or Franz Josef), so maybe the glacier hike would be better to offer a different experience. But the crevasses sound awfully scary and the heli-hike sounds beautiful. My email is [email protected], and thanks very much!
-Nicole
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 05:14 PM
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hi,
we are hiring a van from aat kings with driver to take us to queenstown from fran joseph so that we all can watch scenic area.are there any special spots we need to mention.any info is appreciated.the day is 3/2 and the van will be with us 8 am to 8 pm...thanks
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