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Travel & Holiday

A world of experiences - Walking on ice

Raring for a cool and adventurous holiday away from sunny Singapore? Try glacier walking!
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - October 14, 2009
By: Sheila Lim
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A world of experiences - Walking on ice

Holidaymakers yearning for an “out-of-this-world” experience can find it through glacier walking. Depending on your level of fitness and thirst for adventure, you can opt for half-day guided hikes to multi-day adventures that include mountaineering and ice climbing activities.

Why it’s so thrilling:

It’s a rare treat to set foot into the white-and-blue world hidden within a glacier. Upon getting up close to one, the very first thing that will leave you awestruck is its breathtaking size. As the guide takes you further along to explore its amazing features, such as underground rivers, deep crevasses, ice caves and towering ice pinnacles, you’ll be filled with a sense of wonder and at the same time, be chilled to the bone by the possible dangers that could befall you with just one wrong step.

Where to go:

The most convenient place for Singaporeans to experience this cool activity is at New Zealand’s Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. Compared with the glaciers in countries like Scandinavia, Iceland, Europe, Canada and South America, these two are unique because the ice descends from basins below the tallest mountains in New Zealand to remarkably low levels – right down to rainforests just 300 metres above sea level.

Adventure seekers in search of more extreme challenges can head for places like Jostedal Glacier National Park, where Tunsbergdalsbreen, the longest glacier arm in Norway, is situated. Access is difficult, and the trip includes traversing a glacier river and lake in a boat, rest stops, meal breaks in tents and time to enjoy nature.

What you should know:

It would be wise to don waterproof apparel and lightweight boots for such outings. To prevent dehydration and protect yourself against the powerful reflection of the sun’s rays from the white surfaces, drinking water, sunglasses, sunscreen and protective lip balm are essential items. Walking and climbing equipment like crampons (footwear with spikes), trekking poles, ice picks, harnesses and ropes should be provided by the adventure tour operator.

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