Well after sitting at the hostel for a 2 full days waiting out the downpour here it finally cleared up over lastnight. We took full advantage of that, went out to the coast in the morning and then hiked up to the glacier in the afternoon.
The hike to the glacier was partially on a “trail” through rainforest and partially just going through the rock fields below the glacier along the river. Some parts where there was an actual trail to follow it looked like a small trail, other parts we actual streams we were walking through or even more fun, waterfalls (some with water running, other not), some of the waterfalls had ropes to help you get up and down due to the insane level of steepness and slipperyness. We started calling it the Ho Chi Minh trail at that point…
Quite a few largish streams had to be forded along the way too, mainly because of the sustained rain the last few days. My next pair of hiking shoes will be waterproof, for sure.
We kept passing danger signs, each one more serious sounding than the last. Claiming it was not recommended to hike past certain points without an experienced hiker or guide. While I realize there are levels of risk to the trail (most of which I think would be climbing on and around the actual glacier which we didn’t do), part of me can’t help but think that all the “glacier hiking” companies what want people to pay $150 for a half day hike up to and on the glacier have something to do with there being so many signs saying it’s not recommended. Especially since the start of this trail is a tiny offshoot of the main short trail to a lookout point which is all most people do and there’s no sign at all there, not even one telling you it’s a trail. I enjoyed passing the danger signs at any rate + going at a much faster pace than the hiking tours that we passed along the way.
The glacier looks more awesome and amazing the closer you get, it really is a sight to see, a massive river of twisted and crevice filled ice wedged in between 2 mountains.
Watching the milky grey water (full of superfine powdered rock crushed by the glacier) flow out from the base of the glacier is really cool.
All in all it was 6 miles round trip and well worth the excursion, and drinking from the glacier was cool…
With the weather set to improve even more we have a helicopter ride up to the top of the glacier tomorrow, and hiking around on it.