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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Never eat more than you can lift." -- Miss Piggy

343--New Zealand: Glacier meets Rainforest
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 21 2006 - 02:04 PST
cherie writes: Franz Joseph Glacier surges down the narrow valley gap oozing forward at an astonishing rate of 2.5 meters a day. One of the fastest flowing and steepest glaciers in the world, Franz Joseph’s solid river of ice pours dramatically into a rainforest only 240 meters above sea-level. The glaciers flow-rate began exceeding the melt-rate in 2005, and the most recent advance of the glacier has attracted ice-climbers from all corners of the globe.

Colin, Dan, Sarah, and I took a guided day tour of the glacier. The labyrinth of absurd ice formations was mesmerizing. Glaciers, like English muffins, have lots of nooks and crannies. Find out more by clicking on Franz Josef Glacier Guides

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie ice-climbing on the Franz Josef Glacier.  One of the fastest flowing and steepest glaciers in the world, Franz Joseph moves 10 times faster than other valley glaciers.

Cherie ice-climbing on the Franz Josef Glacier. One of the fastest flowing and steepest glaciers in the world, Franz Joseph moves 10 times faster than other valley glaciers.

Meet the ice-climbers: Dave (England), Collin (Canada), Sarah (Canada) & Cherie (USA).

Meet the ice-climbers: Dave (England), Collin (Canada), Sarah (Canada) & Cherie (USA).

Ice, ice, baby.

Ice, ice, baby.

Beware of a chick with an ice-pick.

Beware of a chick with an ice-pick.

Sarah, prepare to be bold.

Sarah, prepare to be bold.

Colin looks on.

Colin looks on.

Cherie on a "bridge."

Cherie on a "bridge."

Don't slip.

Don't slip.

Keep looking.  There is a trail, somewhere.

Keep looking. There is a trail, somewhere.

Keep looking.  There is a trail, somewhere.

Keep looking. There is a trail, somewhere.

Cherie in mid-climb.  (Don't worry, I'm smiling!)

Cherie in mid-climb. (Don't worry, I'm smiling!)

Heading to the top.

Heading to the top.

Dan's got a good swing!

Dan's got a good swing!

Sarah on top of the world.

Sarah on top of the world.

The "other way" to get across the crevasse.

The "other way" to get across the crevasse.

It's all in the landing.

It's all in the landing.

Cherie, exploring the glacier.

Cherie, exploring the glacier.

Up, up and away.

Up, up and away.

Keep going.

Keep going.

Sarah.

Sarah.

Colin on the climb.

Colin on the climb.

You call this a trail?

You call this a trail?

The ice-trek continues.

The ice-trek continues.

An arch of ice glistens in the sun.

An arch of ice glistens in the sun.

Colin takes a drink of cool glacier water.

Colin takes a drink of cool glacier water.

Cherie inside an ice-cave.

Cherie inside an ice-cave.

Follow the light at the end of the tunnel.

Follow the light at the end of the tunnel.

Surrounded by ice.

Surrounded by ice.

Dan emerges.

Dan emerges.

Sarah.

Sarah.

Dwarfed by the ice.

Dwarfed by the ice.

Cherie, Dan, Sarah and Colin.

Cherie, Dan, Sarah and Colin.

Carving steps.

Carving steps.

Cherie and Colin.

Cherie and Colin.

The process of snow transforming into glacier ice is called "firnification."

The process of snow transforming into glacier ice is called "firnification."

Good thing we had a small breakfast!

Good thing we had a small breakfast!

Cherie steps over a crack.  Glaciers, like English muffins, have lots of nooks and crannies.

Cherie steps over a crack. Glaciers, like English muffins, have lots of nooks and crannies.

Colin and a mountain of ice.

Colin and a mountain of ice.

Exploring the ice.

Exploring the ice.

Glacier steps.

Glacier steps.

It's time for a snack break!

It's time for a snack break!

Time for a brief rest.

Time for a brief rest.

Dan!

Dan!

Just another day on the glacier.

Just another day on the glacier.

Hang on, Colin.

Hang on, Colin.

Ice-cold fun.

Ice-cold fun.

No looking back now, Cherie.

No looking back now, Cherie.

On top of the world?

On top of the world?

Dan.

Dan.

Cherie.

Cherie.

Glacier-butt.

Glacier-butt.

Sarah.

Sarah.

When snowflakes freeze and thaw, they recrystallize and form glacier-ice.

When snowflakes freeze and thaw, they recrystallize and form glacier-ice.

Just when you think you're at the top...there's another peak just ahead.

Just when you think you're at the top...there's another peak just ahead.

Cherie and Sarah.

Cherie and Sarah.

Time for a water-bottle fill up!

Time for a water-bottle fill up!

Cherie.

Cherie.

A brief pause.

A brief pause.

Colin exploring the valley.

Colin exploring the valley.

Follow this line of eager risk-takers.

Follow this line of eager risk-takers.

Peak after peak...we just keep climbing.

Peak after peak...we just keep climbing.

Squish by.

Squish by.

Cherie.

Cherie.

Ice-climbing ladies.

Ice-climbing ladies.

This is cool.

This is cool.

Long legs have no advantage here, Sarah.

Long legs have no advantage here, Sarah.

It takes five-years for the ice to flow from neve to terminal on the Franz Joseph Glacier.

It takes five-years for the ice to flow from neve to terminal on the Franz Joseph Glacier.

Cherie.

Cherie.

Colin crossing over an ice-chasm.

Colin crossing over an ice-chasm.

Cherie.

Cherie.

Quenching thirst.

Quenching thirst.

From a distance, climbers look like ants on the ice.

From a distance, climbers look like ants on the ice.

The ice gets "dirty" as we reach the bottom.

The ice gets "dirty" as we reach the bottom.

Our shoes.

Our shoes.

Our gang at the bottom.

Our gang at the bottom.

Heed the signs.

Heed the signs.

Cherie.

Cherie.

The reward: a hot spa!

The reward: a hot spa!


links:

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