We were up and out the doors early again on Day 7, heading for Fox Glacier to see what that type of hike is all about. It's not everyday that you get the chance to walk on a piece of ice thats been around longer than the human race.
After a safety briefing and boot fitting, we hopped on the bus with the guides and made our way to the terminal face of the glacier. It was about a 2 mile walk from the car park, during which time our guide made it abundantly clear that the cliff walls around us were very loose and could crumble down upon us at any moment. They didn't, thankfully, but it certainly added to the adventure of it.
Once at the glacier's edge, things slowed down considerably. The guides in front of us were meticulously cutting and re-cutting staircases into the ice so their groups wouldn't slip and fall. All well and good, but every guide was acting as if they were the first ones to carve the stairs. The result was that we wound up doing a lot more standing than hiking. Even so, just physically being on the glacier, watching the water flowing through it, and seeing just how powerful nature can be was worth the trip.
Once off the glacier, we made a quick turnaround and got out on the road towards Queenstown. It was our last major driving day of the trip and I could tell everyone was getting a little bit of cabin fever from being stuck in the van so much. That being said, we had to get over the pass by 6:00 pm or we'd be stuck on the wrong side of the mountains until morning. So we hustled our way across and then stopped at a random pull out to stretch our legs. What we found was a hidden gem. Nestled not far from the road was a waterfall feeding into a small creek. This may as well have been a playground the way our group was scampering up it. People took turns ice bathing in the pools and doing handstands on the shore until we were ready to get back on the road.
Our last stop before Queenstown was CrossFit Wanaka, who graciously opened their doors to us for an additional hour so we could train. We did 1RM split jerks, then a 21 minute AMRAP that included 5 shoulder to overheads, 10 sit-ups, and 15 wall balls. Every 7 minutes we did a 600 meter hill run. What a burner this turned out to be. I looked around the room at one point and it felt like everyone was on their knees gasping for air. Just what we needed to carry us the last hour on the road.
Check the video footage from Day 7 below.