Getting a view of Fox Glacier just wasn't meant to be today.... I have been to this area of New Zealand twice before and both times previously I was lucky enough to be able to walk right up to (and the first time, 17 yrs ago, onto) Franz Josef glacier itself. I witnessed first hand how far the glacier had retreated between those visits, and now it's not possible to walk to the face of Franz Josef or Fox Glacier at all. The rate of retreat makes the entire area unstable and dangerous as the ice melting takes huge parts of the surrounding valley out with it.
Make no mistake, this glacial retreat is the result of climate change. So I was, frankly, disappointed to see innumerable helicopters taking people over Fox Glacier today. I totally get it - people obviously want to see this incredible, ancient, natural wonder (me included) and that is a safer way to do it. But it's this kind of human activity that's lead to climate change in the first place 😔 I know I am hugely over-simplifying a very complex issue, and I didn't exactly swim to NZ, so I can't claim perfect climate credentials by any means, but it just felt wrong.... Anyway, I left the glaciers in peace today, and did a beautiful walk (under some blue sky....welcome back to the sun! 🌞) around Lake Matheson 😊
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