Frequently Asked Questions

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To help you prepare for your next adventure, we have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions. If you can't find the answer to your question here, get in touch with our friendly team who are happy to assist you!

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find you?

Glacier Base is located on 63 Cron street, Franz Josef, 7856. Here, you can find some of our team to enquire or book on one of our trips.

Heli Hikes depart and return from Glacier Base, 63 Cron Street, Franz Josef Glacier, 7856.

What is the check-in time for my trip?

Please check in for your trip one hour prior to the trip time stated on your booking confirmation. You will need to check in with our team in person at Glacier Base, 63 Cron Street Franz Josef Glacier, 7856.

This allows enough time to prepare you for your trip, fill in the medical information, notified about the weather and get you kitted up with all the necessary equipment.

Can I wear my own gear?

Most of our clients choose to borrow gear supplied by Franz Josef Glacier Guides. The benefits being that you will come back to your own fresh gear and do not run the risk of damage caused by the ice.

You are welcome to wear your own waterproof jacket, as well as quality ankle-supporting hiking boots upon assessment from one of our guides; or you can choose to wear the weatherproof boots that we provide. Feel free to call us or stop by our base if you would like advice.

Do I need to bring a lunch?

Yes if you are on an ice climbing trip. As our heli hike trip is only up to 4 hours of duration, it is down to your discretion whether you need to bring a light snack to keep you refreshed. We do encourage you to bring a small bottle of water.

Do I need to bring a backpack?

We ask that you do not bring a backpack on your Heli Hike or Ice Climb as there is limited space in the helicopter.

On all our trips we provide you with a small waist bag to carry your essentials (phone/camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, water and a snack). Please do not bring valuables, camera bags, selfie sticks, portable chargers or spare batteries.

Will I see blue ice?

Given the changeable nature of the glacier, we cannot guarantee which features will be visible on any given trip. However, because we land high up on the ice, you're able to explore glacier terrain where blue ice very often features.

Our ice support team will be looking for the most interesting features as they prepare the hike route for the day. Your guide will also keep a keen eye out for the most spectacular hike route available for your trip.

What is the temperature on the ice?

The temperature on the ice is typically eight to ten degrees cooler than in Franz Josef township. With wind chill factored in, it can feel even colder. Alpine environments can be very changeable, we recommend being prepared for a range of conditions by wearing a warm base layer (ideally merino wool or polypropylene) and a warm mid layer (merino wool or fleece) which will then be covered by the waterproof jacket we supply. In the winter, please come prepared with at least 3 insulating layers. We ask guests not to wear jeans on the ice as these absorb water quickly, making you colder faster.

Why can I not wear jeans?

When wet, jeans become heavy, cold and uncomfortable. We recommend you wear lightweight trousers or shorts. We provide waterproof over-pants to wear on top of your shorts or trousers to keep you warm and comfortable during your trip.

How long is the helicopter flight?

The helicopter transfer from the valley to the landing pad on the glacier is around 5.5 minutes long each way. You'll get great views of the valley and the surrounding mountains on the way, but the primary function of the flight is to provide access to the glacier. If you're keen for a longer scenic flight with no hiking on the glacier involved, we can give you some recommendations of local operators who provide this service.

Can children participate?

Due to the nature of the glacier we do have some restrictions on the participation of children. These restrictions are in place to ensure the on-going safety of all our guests and team members.

There are minimum age, weight and height requirements for children wishing to join our Heli Hike trips, see our terms and conditions page for this information. Due to glacier and weather conditions these guidelines may change. Participation in the hike is ultimately the decision of the lead guide on the day. All children under the age of 18 years old must be accompanied by a paying parent or guardian for the duration of the trip from check in until return to base after the hike.

The minimum age for the Heli Ice Climb experience is 16 years and a full paying parent or guardian must also accompany anyone under 18 years for the duration of this activity.

If you have any concerns or queries about a child's participation on one of our tours please get in touch with our team on 0800 484337 and our team will be happy to help.

 Do I get my money back if it is raining?

It is the high annual rainfall in the glacier region (6-8m per year) that allows the glaciers to grow and without the rain, these magnificent glaciers would not be here. However, heavy rainfall, high wind and low cloud can also prevent helicopter operations as we adhere to strict safety standards in this area.

In the event of cancellation of a Heli Hike trip due to weather, we offer the following options:

  • Reschedule for the next available date/time
  • Refund (dependent on the Terms and Conditions of your booking agent)