Moving out of order for a minute and fast forwarding to our time in Aoraki/Mt. Cook. We drove out of Te Anau through winding roads, beyond the beautiful turquoise depths of Lake Pukaki, into the protected area of Aoraki. Originally we only had glacier kayaking planned, but fortunately Kevin found the number for Southern Alps Guiding and managed to book us a heli hike tour of the Tasman Glacier!
We were finally greeted with incredible clear weather and were able to take the ski plane to the higher area of the glacier. As always, I have more pics of these amazing views from the plane that I will post later.
We had the honor of being guided by the company owner and his colleague, Charlie and “Ant”. Charlie has had over 35 years of mountaineering and climbed Aoraki / Mt. Cook 28 times! We were in very capable hands.
We got to look through ice caves, see rushing water under the glacier, and peer into deadly crevasses.
We also learned that cramp-ons were awesome on snow and ice. Might need to pick some up for our next ice storm!
We couldn’t believe how much we got to see of this awe inspiring work of nature. If you come to Aoraki / Mt. Cook, you have to go up with these guys.
They’ve only recently gotten permits to land on the Tasman Glacier, and it was amazing to have the whole space to ourselves. It certainly made having our tour at Franz Joseph being cancelled seem fortuitous. We would not have gotten such breath taking experience, like we did with Southern Alps Guiding.