Franz Josef Glacier Guides
"Our hosting systems have been developed so as to be able to offer a personalised appraisal of pre-existing medical conditions, fitness or answer questions in order to be able to maximize the safety and enjoyment our clients experience while out exploring the ice."
Gabe Wilkinson, Assistant Operations Manager
Franz Josef Glacier Guides is an internationally recognised guiding operation. Established in 1990, we pride ourselves on providing the most incredible glacier experience. We can accommodate most fitness levels through our tours, from Valley walking tours, Glacier Heli hikes and Ice Climbing. If you are after a more bespoke experience or wanting a more adventurous trip with a small guide to client ratio, our Glacier Adventure trip is the one to choose.
We guide all year round on the Franz Josef Glacier. With Summer being the most popular for warm weather but winter offering a chance to get away from the crowds.
Safety system strengths
Working in such a dynamic environment we pride ourselves on a robust safety system. That starts with our guides all collaborating in a team weather and hazards discussion in the morning to be able to accurately forecast the weather and present that to clients, so they are informed of the risk of partaking in the activity on any given day. We host our clients as they check in for their trip, answering any questions they have and appraising their fitness and preexisting medical conditions. We can then inform them of the conditions on the glacier and what kind of obstacles will be on their trip. The on-ice tours are over seen by highly skilled guides qualified by the New Zealand Mountain Guide Association. We have a support guide who is on the ice able to respond and help anyone who is having trouble getting around the trail or is nervous and requires more 1-on-1 help for an upcoming feature such as a cave or crevasse.
It works well for us because
Ice Support Guides create video handovers for the following day to share with the guiding team so that all guides operating on the ice are aware and understanding of the hazards on the current trail. A map is also created so guides can easily reference to find locations of glacial features and hazards.
We make sure we match clients expectation, safety and experience by informing the client of the conditions of the trail and the risks associated with the activity as well as the weather. The client then has the power to choose if our trip is right for them.
Our systems go through constant review every year both externally and internally to make sure we are staying current and up to date with the latest safety standards.
Michael Rooke, Guiding Operations Manager