Make your way to the top of Aotearoa on this heli tour and ice climbing experience at Franz Josef Glacier.
A landscape in a constant state of movement, the surface of Franz Josef Glacier might look placid enough, but seeing it from the air tells a very different story. Appreciate its enormous crevasses, razor-sharp escarpments and vertiginous ridges on this heli tour and ice climbing experience up the Aotearoa ice face.
This activity takes place from the town of Franz Josef in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Part of the Southern Alps along with Fox Glacier on the west coast of South Island, it is approximately 7000 years old and is a massive 12 kilometres long. The ice face descends from a height of 3,000m above sea level to 240m over a distance of 11km, making it one of the steepest glaciers in the country.
Meet your pilot & guide at the activity base in Franz Josef for this helicopter tour and ice climbing experience on Franz Josef Glacier. The ultimate package for the wild at heart, combine a scenic tour of New Zealand’s fastest-moving glacier from the sky – and then learn to climb its dramatic ice face from the valley floor. A fun yet challenging experience that starts with a scenic helicopter flight over the glacier, take in the full panoramic majesty of Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere nestled within the surrounding mountains as you ascend. Landing high on the glacier, kit up with crampons and ice axes as you step-cut your way through the terrain to reach a towering ice face. Starting with a short safety briefing and demo, you will spend the next few hours learning how to climb one of the most revered glaciers in the world, using mountaineering techniques to reach the summit – and soak in those majestic views. Mastering the basics of trepointing (front-pointing) over the course of 4 hours, you will take it in turns to climb the ice - working in small groups under the supervision of your instructor. After a big day of climbing, your guide will radio in the chopper to whisk you back to town – putting the landscape into perspective as you travel back to the activity base.
One of the world’s fastest-moving glaciers (up to 50cm a day), ice caves, tunnels, seracs and crevasses are constantly changing and evolving so no two days are ever the same. Guides craft their way through the terrain using their ice axe to find the most impressive glacier features and safest hike route. Ice climbing is a challenging sport and you'll need a good level of fitness, flexibility and agility to complete this trip.
Your glacier trip includes access to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. What better way to relax after a day in the valley than in the rejuvenating warmth of our hot pools?
All participants must weigh between 35 kg. and 115 kg.
This activity is not recommended for pregnant women.