Ascent of Mount Fox

First glimpse of the glacier through the cloud.
First glimpse of the glacier through the cloud.

After finishing the Rees-Dart Track, we travelled over to the West Coast of New Zealand where it rained torrentially for a day and a half. By the time the rain had subsided, we were in the tiny village of Fox Glacier, which, funnily enough, is near to the Fox Glacier. The sky was still cloudy and rain still fairly likely, but we decided to entertain ourselves by climbing Mount Fox anyway. The view from the top of Mount Fox was supposed to provide great a great panorama of the Fox Glacier and surrounding mountains.

The path to the viewpoint quickly gained a personality, featuring some extremely steep sections. At one point, the path was near vertical with an elevation gain of about 1040m! This was no rock climb however, the ground was held in position by the roots of kahikatea and other large trees. The climb was relentless; in total it took about 2 hours to get to the viewpoint (just below the summit) and we were setting quite a pace (Richard was almost gasping for breath at one stage!).

Rachel climbing one of the vertical sections of track.
Rachel climbing one of the vertical sections of track.

During the entire climb the view was very much obscured by the vegetation, but it was obvious that the cloud was very much around us, suggesting that the climb would not yield the promised view. However once we climbed past the tree line, we were pleased to find that the view out to the sea was clearing. Whilst this was a nice view, the cloud on the mountains was thick.

First glimpse of the glacier through the cloud.
First glimpse of the glacier through the cloud.

We climbed on and after about 20 mins we reached our final destination and suddenly, the cloud began to part providing us with the view of the Fox Glacier and the surrounding mountains. We were quite glad that the near-vertical climb had been worthwhile!

Fox glacier with sunshine on the tussock in the foreground.
Fox glacier with sunshine on the tussock in the foreground.

The downward journey was rather slow. Lots of slippy tree roots, rocks and mud!

Here’s the map of the route; the GPS only seemed to work on the way down….

Series - New Zealand '12

  1. We’re in New Zealand…
  2. Dunedin – Sealife Central
  3. Tramping the Rees-Dart
  4. Ascent of Mount Fox
  5. 45 river crossings before 11.30 am
  6. Sea kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park
  7. Abel Tasman coastal track
  8. Karori 3 hour rogaine
  9. One day in Bangkok

5 thoughts on “Ascent of Mount Fox”

    1. GPX track added 🙂 Can’t believe that the one way route was only 3.5 km! The signpost at the bottom of the route suggested that it would take 8 hours for the return trip!

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