First, I’m sorry for putting that song into your head. Consider the Queen/Bowie rendition (Pressure, from which Mr. Ice and friends borrowed liberally and subsequently paid the price); it’ll help.
On to the point of today’s post. Steph and I hiked up to and upon Fox Glacier. It was a strenuous and extraordinary adventure and one we won’t soon forget. In addition to the physical and visual rewards, we learned a great deal about the umpteen million year old glacier that has receded and progressed along its track through the 90 years or so the Fox Glacier Guides has been leading groups up onto the ice. We saw the various points upon which they once stepped onto the ice. Today, those points are hundreds of feet above the valley floor.
We were given heavy wool socks, leather boots, jackets, walking poles and, most importantly, crampons. The surface of the glacier was covered with ground rock, but in spots was extremely slippery. The crampons were essential gear and made walking on the surface, particularly in the steepest spots, possible.
The white ice close to the surface is filled with oxygen while the deeper ice has been compressed such that the oxygen-less blocks allow light closer to the cool end of the color spectrum to pass through. Hence the blue hue.
Also interesting was the rainforest induced vegetation on the way to the glacier and at its edges.