We arrived in Franz Josef in the pouring rain. I didn't form the most positive impression of the town, but revised it when we woke up to clear skies and views of the glacier and the multiple mountain peaks. Touristy for sure, but also pretty in kind of an old school ski town kind of way.
We kitted up at the outfitter, then took a short bus ride out to the glacier. It warmed up a lot as we walked about two miles out to the base of the glacier, and I stripped off some clothes when we stopped to put on crampons at the base. The glacier has been retreating since 2003 and the valley walk is apparently quite a bit longer than it once was.
I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to walk in the crampons and unfamiliar (too large) boots but it turned out to be just fine and my wonky and aged knees held up well for the glacier walk.
Franz Josef glacier has a dirty bit and a shiny white bit, shown above. Dan went with a separate faster group on the walk so I was able to get some photos of him on the glacier ( you can just make out his bright blue hat in the picture above).
We went through some ice tubes, which were really neat and kind of slippery. I love the blue reflections in the ice.
Walking through a crevice.
Heading back down into the valley after the ice walk. What a fun day, and also a sense of accomplishment on my part that my legs held up very well.