Our other guide, Malcolm, is not only a senior guide, in his spare time he's an ambulance officer and a member or the local Search and Rescue team. Needless to say I felt very safe and well looked after during the trip.
Fox Glacier is the largest and longest of the West Coast glaciers, and has more 3,000 metre peaks surrounding it than other valley in New Zealand. Our ice odyssey started at guide base in Fox Glacier village where we got on a vintage 1969 Bedford and drove to the helipads. The boot room allowed us to ‘get booted’ and have a safety brief before the fantastic helicopter flight with Glacier Helicopters.
Every time I go on the ice I feel completely privileged to be alive. There is a certain amount of snob value too, the glacier melts 10-15cm every day in summer, so it's constantly changing. It’s a totally dynamic environment and the glacier we saw last Friday was ‘our glacier', no one else will ever see it looking exactly the same ever again.
For me the highlight, or should I say ‘blue light’, was the ice cave at the end of the hike. I felt like I went through my own glacial rebirth as I shimmied along the ice following the climbing rope out. I’m not even going to try and explain the rest of the trip on the ice, as I will only start spewing clichés and the pictures say it all.