Heli Ice Climb on Fox Glacier

Rate this Adventure 2.5 miles 980 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Emily Hlaváč Green

This day long adventure is an intro to the exhilarating sport of ice climbing on a large moving landscape of glacial ice and includes epic scenic helicopter flights out and back.

Fox Glacier is one of the most remote, yet awesome places to visit on New Zealand's wild west coast of the South Island.  The weather here is extreme; it changes daily and the heavy rainfall paves the way for incredible green landscapes and native birds. The glacier rises above the township and is a lengthy 12km long, a mighty moving river of ice falls over 8,000ft, on its journey from the base of the Southern Alps to the West Coast.

The glacier is no longer accessible by directly walking onto it, though there are a few different ways to check it out. Fox Glacier Guiding offer variations for different budgets and levels of ability across their Heli Hikes and Heli Ice Climbing. All of these include an epic scenic helicopter ride up to and back down from the glacier which gives you a real sense of the magnitude of it. 
For the adventurous, I'd recommend the Heli Ice Climbing. This is a full day on the ice and introduces the exhilaration of ice climbing further up the glacier. In a small group, an experienced guide will kit you up in boots, crampons and axes. They'll then lead you around the glacier so you can trek as the sun spreads across the ice, crawl through caves and crevaces and climb up walls using newly learn techniques. Some of the climbing is vertical and not for the faint hearted, but is always safely secured on ropes.
All in all it is a full day and is a decent physical challenge.

After a day on the ice and another scenic heli flight back down you can head to the local pub for a hard-earned beer and a bite!

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