Day 6: D-Day. Otherwise known as, one of the most terrifying experiences in my short twenty-one years (almost!). Also known as, the fear of heights strikes again! I’m sure you get the picture. We did a glacier hike on Franz Josef Glacier this day, and it was both completely terrifying and exhilarating. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience, but I’m glad I made it through it. This particular glacier hike involves a hike on a trail, then through water and over rocks, then up rocks, then putting on crampons, then hiking 1/3 of the way up the glacier. And when I say up, I mean on an incline… using ice stairs and just climbing, stomping as hard as you can to avoid sliding down the whole thing and dying at a young age (oh wait, that’s just in my mind. It’s supposedly perfectly safe). The whole thing is a 9 km return hike. Going up the ice stairs, I was terrified out of my mind and had NO idea of how I was going to get back down. Lots of tough thinking and promising myself a really nice gift for surviving this hike so close after the other one, and promising no more terrifying hiking experiences got me to the top. I also owe thanks to the Michael Jackson song “Black or White” which courtesy of the tour bus radio was stuck in my head the whole time. At the top, we stood for about 5 minutes, me frozen in place, trying not to fall down from the wind, refusing to sit because then I would have to stand again, and then headed to what I thought was the most fun part of the trip– weaving through “ice tunnels” which basically made you feel like you were in an ice cube, very tight and secure. Emma kicked butt and stayed behind me to make me feel safer, and the trip down wasn’t as bad as I was expected. Definitely an experience to remember. I owe all thanks for the pictures to Karalyn- she took her waterproof camera with her, because it alternately rained and hailed the whole time. Have I mentioned how terrified I was? Ok, ok, shutting up now. Check out the pics, and their website. Seriously cool.

^^Standing at the top of one of the gravelly hills… we’re not actually on the glacier yet.

^^Weaving through the tunnels at the top

^^Um yes, I went 1/3 the way up that and lived to tell the tale.

http://www.franzjosefglacier.com/tripguide.html

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One thought on “Day Six: A Glacier Experience to Remember

  1. These pictures are so amazing! I'm dying to hike some of the glaciers down here in Patagonia too. What an awesome experience!

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