We took the helicopter up to the Franz Josef Glacier, and seeing it loom towards us was thrilling. We were suppled with boots and crampons, which I have never used before, so it took quite a few minutes to actually trust that they would work, and I wouldn't go hurtling down the slopes - but I didn't! We were lucky with the weather, which was sunny, warm but with enough cloud on the peaks to make you feel you were high up. We did a 2 hour walk along side crevices and through snow caves, and the the ice blues were just beautiful. The glacier is not smooth, as I imagined, more like boulders of ice which is caused by the ice breaking up as it slides over the terrain. The guides were knowledgeable and entertaining, and cut steps in the ice on the steeper slopes, so it wasn't too strenuous a walk, but you need to have a decent level of fitness I think. The views are stunning and the whole area is surreal, but it is disappearing fast, as the ice melts. The heli-tour is expensive (over $400) but it's one of those things you probably will only do once, so go for it. we did and don't regret it!
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