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GALLERY

Girls night out at Almer Hut, New Zealand

 

Living in Franz Josef on South Island, New Zealand makes you appreciate good weather. The reason is because this area receives about five meters of rain per year. That’s a lot of rain. Especially as my home town Canberra, Australia is lucky to get around 0.6 meters of rain per year. That meant you sometimes just had to go out and do things in the rain if you wanted to be outside. However, there are some things that can’t happen when it’s raining. That includes taking a ride in a helicopter. On the day that I had arranged a helicopter to fly ten girls into Almer Hut, located high up on Franz Josef Glacier, for a girl’s night out it was pouring rain. However, a miracle took place. The afternoon cleared. We had a very small window to fly, but would be enough to take in two loads? We took a gamble and just went for it! There was a very real chance we wouldn’t fly out the next day, and sometimes in this area helicopters can be grounded due to weather for several weeks. Then came miracle number two. Despite the weather setting in overnight and waking up to mounds of snow, it cleared up again by mid morning. We had just enough time to fly us all out! Then ... you guessed it - the weather set in again and no helicopters flew for several days. As you can tell by these photos it really was a once in a lifetime experience. I'll never forget walking outside the hut at 3am and seeing the glacier glisten like a hundred-thousand diamonds, and the sky above twinkling with all the stars.