So staying on 2 extra days try and do the helihike, I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can get up there today. Watching the rest of the kiwi bus leave super early at 7am, the room suddenly feels quite empty and it is nice to have it to myself. Feeling like I’m missing out a little by not being on the bus, but knowing that is only 2 stops away from when I can catch up. As I’m up I make the most of the time by filling up on the free breakfast and doing some admin, as my check in isn’t until 10am. And as I look at the window I can see the sun is shining and starting to burn away the low clouds that were there first thing.
So by the time I’m ready to leave and check the weather it is looking great over the valley, however in the other direction there are suddently loads of low clouds coming across, which is where the glacier is, so suddenly feeling a bit unsure whether it will go ahead.
At check in they say that there is a chance it will happen, but the low cloud I spotted is causing a problem with the lift off of the helicopters at the glacier, but as it is still another hour for us to leave they think it will clear so we all get ourselves geared up and ready. The gear they provide is the over trousers, gloves, hat, socks and hiking boots that will fit crampons. We can take small bag that they give, which is just enough for the camera, water and a small snack. The guide has a quick chat to me also trying to find out about my past ACL injury as says that walking on the crampons will put more pressure on them as you need to stamp feet down more, but as I said I climbed Mount Doom ands do a lot of sport he doesn’t think it will be an issue, but just wants to know which is reassuring for me.
All ready to go the group heads out to the helipad area and still sounding like it is going to happen, but they make the decision at take off. The guide we have is from Nottingham and is chatting away about how he got into hiking glaciers and like most of the tour guides it is just through knowing a friend and turning up for a season job.
So it’s pretty cool already being geared up and heading to the helicopter as it is the closest I have been to one, but as we get out to the clearing the low cloud is visible and frustratingly it is cancelled as it is right in the path of where we need to go.
Totally dissapointed we all head back to try and rebook ourselves onto another one for the next day all in the hope staying another night will mean I can do it. I am tempted to try and move on, however no buses make that option not possible. And so for the next day there is only a spot on the ice explorer, so book that just so can do something on the glacier.
5th May 2016