Today, I visited Franz Josef. The direct walk to the Glacier is pretty meh to be honest. Nice walk, but the glacier itself is just ice dirtied by mud.
That only took like 1.5 hours, so after that I decided to a new track called the Robert Point track, which is a five hour return trip, and takes you onto a ridge overlooking the glacier.
So I start the track, they have a nice big sign telling you to follow the markers, tells you it’s for experienced trampers only, warns you not to try cross the main river, and gives warning that three people have died on this track.
Ok cool. Now immediately, there is a river to cross that looks like it might have a track on the otherside.
There’s also a track leading up to the left, so I follow this one.
So I’m on this one, and there’s definitely a track, but it’s a bit difficult to see at times. I’m thinking ‘Geeze, I’m going to have to email DoC, this isn’t a very well marked track!’. Trees have fallen over on to the track at points but you can make it around.
So this is more or less the track, there’s a clear track for most of it, though sometimes it’s a little hard to see. Certainly if you’d got stuck there in the dark, it would have been sketchy.
Eventually the track ends abruptly at a river and I turn around.
Get back to the start of track and start looking for track markers. Nope, can’t see a clear one, so I cross the original river and ahh, there’s some stones laid across the river.
And a very clear track, this must be it. And a sign.
This track is far clearer, and is much more enjoyable to walk.
There are even other people on it.
I walked on this track for about an hour, but by this time I felt like I didn’t have time to reach the top and get back before dark, and it had started raining, so I turned around.
Moral of the story: Put a marker on the other side of the river DoC!.
I actually did talk to a DoC worker and the end, and told him about it (“It must have been a bit thick in there hey?” in referring to the wrong track I walked down), and he told me that there was supposed to be a track marker on the other side.