Tragically, A German tourist, 58, collapsed and died while taking part in a guided walk at the Franz Josef Glacier valley basin on New Zealand's South Island yesterday (January 24). The man collapsed at about mid-day; while first aid was administered at the scene and at the Franz Josef medical center, attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
COMMENT: As I have emphasized in my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD, and a number of my postings as well, all foreign travelers should have a complete physical exam before they embark a trip abroad, particularly if they are over the age of 40. If they are planning to engage in strenuous walking or hiking, the importance of such an evaluation is doubly important.
The Franz Josef Glacier is the steepest and fastest moving glacier in the world and this walk ensures unrivaled views of this imposing terrain. The unusual combination of rain forest and the mighty river of ice in such close proximity is unique to glaciers in this region. After a short walk through the lush temperate rain-forest of the glacier valley visitors will experience thrilling views of the glacier with its steep crevasses and soaring pinnacles of crisp blue ice.
Websites promoting the walk state that participants should have "a reasonable level of fitness and agility."