Situated in Glacier Country on the West Coast of the South Island ‘Fox Glacier Guiding’ is New Zealand’s most experienced glacier guiding company and offers a full range of tours and ice adventures to suit all fitness levels. Our friendly and professional guides will take you on the glacier trip of a lifetime be it a gentle valley guided walk to the glacier face, a thrilling helicopter ride with a hike on the glacier, day heli-treks, overnight alpine trekking and a heli ice climbing adventure.
The ‘Flying Fox:Helihike’ is a fly-in, fly-out helihike that combines the thrill of a helicopter flight taking in views of the dramatic upper icefall and the excitement of exploring part of the Fox Glacier where spectacular ice caves and arches have been created by the forces of nature.
We have small groups the maximum guide to customer ratio is 1:11
Equipped with leather walking boots and other equipment, you board the helicopter for your first flight over the pinnacles of the lower icefall. Here, the ice is in constant motion. Your landing site on the ice is a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier at approximately 800 metres above sea level. You will see the stunning Victoria Falls, which is the melting river from the hidden Victoria glacier. At this stage, your guide outfits you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions and you follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing formations.
Each departure is a true voyage of exploration. There are so many changing features that the guides always find something new. Weather permitting, ice time is up to 3 hours. Please note that this is a natural and ever-changing environment. Ice features change constantly and no guarantee can be given that specific features will be seen. This is a weather dependent trip.
We have small groups the maximum guide to customer ratio is 1:4
Feeling amped? Then our Extreme Fox Heli-Hike is for you; spend an exhilarating day on the West Coast’s largest glacier and challenge yourself. Forge your own unique trail through the dramatic terrain of Fox Glacier’s steep upper icefall. Our expert guides (we are New Zealand’s most experienced glacier guiding company) will show and teach you how to use your technical climbing equipment.
Ready to blaze a trail? We bet you are! You’ll land on Victoria Flat and put on your crampons (ice-hiking spikes), then you are on the move. A good level of English comprehension is important as your guide gives you technical and safety instructions while you explore the upper icefall.
What you will see and do will depend on the ice features on the glacier at the time. You might ford crevasses, use rope to travel, or be lowered into and climb out of moulin (deep ice holes). You might climb and abseil down ice walls, or ascend short ice pitches, using ice axe and crampon climbing techniques. How much you do will depend on the day’s ice conditions and the level of ability of your small group (3-5 people).
The ‘Fox Trail: Terminal Face Walk’ is suitable for all from ages five an up and will guide you on a leisurely and informative trip to the face of the glacier where you will view the final resting place of the ice that has travelled 12 kilometres from the base of the Southern Alps to the river valley floor. Watch, and you may see large ice boulders being pushed down the Fox River by the current.
You are now standing in a dynamic and changeable environment where nature is at its most powerful and raw. Listen as your guide provides a fascinating commentary, interpreting what you can see and hear. Your guide will bring the walk alive with their amazing knowledge of the terrain.
At the “front” of the glacier, known as its Terminal Face, the Fox River emerges from the ice, and it’s possible you might witness an ice collapse. Your guide will point out that the glacier ice you can see is covered in rockfall and debris at present. (This is called moraine). This is occurring because the glacier is currently in a phase of retreat, and glacial valley walls that have been held up by the ice for thousands of years, are now exposed and are collapsing onto the glacier. This can make for a hazardous environment, but you are safe with your professional guide.
Please note that while your guide may take you closer to the ice than any unguided walkers, this trip may also traverse the public access track. This is dependent on the dynamic environmental conditions in the valley on any given day. Your safety is always our paramount concern. The Fox Trail requires moderate fitness. You’ll spend up to two hours walking over valley terrain that can be challenging in some places. Come and experience the mighty Te Moeka o Tuawe/Fox Glacier!
Price: Adult $599 per person
Duration: 8 to 9 Hours
Departs: 08:15 am
Fitness: Good level of fitness required
This day long experience introduces the adventurous to the exhilarating sport of ice climbing, on the spectacular ice walls in the upper part of the Fox Glacier. Your professional guide will tailor the day to offer variety and challenge to the novice and expert alike. Before heading to the ice you will be equipped with specialised mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes and technical gear.
During your thrilling helicopter transfers to the ice you will enjoy breathtaking views of the majestic Fox Glacier and surrounds.
Guides who instruct on these days receive special training to ensure they teach skills in the correct order so you advance quickly. You will be surprised by the quick progress that you make. The maximum guide to customer ratio is 1:4 ensuring that you receive close personal attention.
There are many steep walls to challenge you and you will quickly master basic cramponing and ice axe techniques. The adrenaline will start to flow as you challenge yourself with longer and steeper pitches. Using ice tools and the front points of your crampons, you climb vertical and at times, overhanging ice walls and pinnacles, secured at all times by a top rope attached to your harness.
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This has to be one of New Zealand’s finest days in the mountains. It starts with a thrilling flight by helicopter, over magnificent rainforest and ice pinnacles, into the valley of the Fox Glacier. Your helipad is at 1,270 metres (4,000 feet) on Chancellor Shelf, just above historic Chancellor Hut. In season, this area is rich in flowering alpine plants, mountain antelope &Chamois, can frequently be seen.
From Chancellor Hut, the route ascends through snowgrass basins to a spot where a glorious view of Mt Tasman appears. Here your guide will organise you for a safe ascent of the gully. This gully gives access to a broad ridge and a beautiful snow shelf below the summit of Chancellor Dome. A highlight is the final ascent to the summit at 2,004 metres (6,526 feet). This climb, takes you to the point that affords the best view of the Southern Alps highest peaks and the magnificent snowfields that feed the Fox Glacier. To the west, you see the surf of the Tasman Sea breaking on Gillespies Beach.
After a relaxing lunch you descend to the hut, and fly down the glacier back to Fox Glacier township. As an introduction to mountaineering this trip cannot be surpassed.
Please note: This is a mountain trip with helicopter access, not a helihike on the glacier and is weather dependant.
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Our Chancellor Dome experiences are very specialised, limited availability high guided experiences.
The first day of this trip is essentially the same as the Chancellor Dome Heli-Trek, except that you do not fly back to the Fox township at the end of the day. Instead, you relax in the tussock by Chancellor Hut and drink a glass of wine, while your guide prepares dinner and watch the spectacular sunset on the Tasman Sea below.
Awaken and feel alive as you breathe in the fresh mountain air and soak up the morning vistas before enjoying a leisurely breakfast.
As you descend through the alpine vegetation zones to the glacier, explore the fantastic alpine gardens and waterfalls of the Chancellor Shelf. There is a good chance of viewing chamois (mountain antelope), kea (nestor notabilis), the world’s only mountain parrot and, in season, the glorious great mountain buttercup (Ranunculus lyallii) and mountain daisy (Celmisia coriacia). You’ll have time to discover the wonderful ice features of Victoria Flat before the helicopter arrives to return you back to the Fox Glacier township.
This is a truly magnificent and complete experience – climb a mountain, explore a glacier, overnight in a historic hut and feel the moods of the mountains.
Maximum guide to customer ratio is 1:3. We require a minimum of 2 people for this trip to go ahead
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Phone: +64 3 751 0825 Freephone (NZ only): 0800 111 600 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org