By Hamish Clark
The sudden rock fall came out of the blue.
Crashing down onto the glacier and hurling rocks into the air, forcing the cameraman and the guided tour party to take cover on the slippery ice.
The action was caught on video by David Nolan, an Irish tourist travelling during the Rugby World Cup.
“Our guide told us to get down and shield our heads and stay low until it passed. It took us all by surprise really,” says Nolan.
The massive rock fall occurred as Nolan was coming down the glacier after a six-hour guided walk.
Wave after wave of dirt and dust engulfed them.
Rocks flew by with the guide picking one up and then radioing to base
“If one of those pieces hit one of us and we were on top of the glacier trying to get help and evacuate us we were pretty lucky, it’s Mother Nature for you I guess – unpredictable,” says Nolan.
Franz Josef glacier is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the west coast, attracting up to 75,000 visitors a year.
The glacier is constantly moving and there are regular rock falls but few as big as the one last month.
“It was one of the biggest rock falls they had seen in years so he just said as long as everyone was ok we could get ourselves down the glacier as quick as we could,” he says.
The 28-year-old is on his way home to Ireland with a story of survival to tell, and he has the video to prove it.
source: newshub archive