My first impression of Franz Josef Glacier was a poor one, especially after I had seen and hiked Fox Glacier. The glacier has retreated high up the mountain, thanks to climate change, so only a tiny part of it can be seen from the ground now. After trudging up to a viewing spot it’s a deflating sight.
Forget scaling it from the valley; it’s too dangerous for the untrained to do so. When I was there, I reckoned that the only way to get a good view was to see it from above. This skint backpacker couldn’t afford a helicopter landing on the ice, but skydiving over it seemed like a good alternative. [Read on]