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Incoming Dense Fog

Image # 1D2_01680

Fox Glacier, New Zealand


Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 34 mm

ISO 200, f/9, 1/250 second

Manual Metering



Here's where things got 'interesting.' The conditions which had been basically perfect, changed quite dramatically, when a dense fog rolled in out of nowhere. We had started to head back toward the landing area to be picked up by the helicopters, but suddenly visibility was quite limited. I'm sure it was difficult for our leader to see to pick out any kind of a path leading back, and the climbing got considerably more difficult as a result. We overheard him talking with the people at the base back in town, and he was told to get to the pickup point "as quickly as possible." With 12 people, very rough and difficult to traverse ice, dense fog, we definitely were moving pretty slowly. After a while he told us that we didn't need to hurry any more, as the fog was now too thick and low, so the helicopters wouldn't be able to come for us at the moment, anyway.

The relatively light-hearted fun from a short while ago definitely took a different turn, as we realized that there was a small but real possibility that we could end up spending the night on the glacier. They told us that they had tents, sleeping bags, supplies, etc., should it come to that, but somehow that didn't seem that reassuring. We finally made it back to the pickup area, to wait it out, and see what happened.