Glacier Perito Moreno

The sheer size of Perito Moreno glacier – 30km long, 5km wide and 60 meters high – is surprisingly not the reason so many people flock here. In a world where glaciers seem to all be retreating, this one defies the odds and is advancing around 2 meters per day. All that ice constantly pushing forward means action a plenty at the calving end, conveniently located near a series of boardwalks and viewing platforms.

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Nice and close now

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The site of the broken arch

From our arrival in the early morning until our reluctant departure in the afternoon, we see, hear and almost feel each time a chunk of ice breaks free and slams into the water below.  The scale is inconceivable, evidenced by the seemingly “tiny” pieces constantly breaking free. These little pieces look small enough for me to carry around, though when they hit the water, the sound takes over a second to reach us, the first sign something is amiss. When it finally reaches our ears, the very loud <crack> is just like a gunshot, causing everyone to jump.

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Reflections on the lake

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Notice the little bits in the water?

More than a few times we see enormous slabs break free, smashing down into the water with such force the splash reaches back to the top of the glacier, and the ensuing wave triggers ever more collapses. One of the most surreal evens I witness occurs when a couple of enormous pieces rise up from under the water and smash into the face of the glacier – I can only guess they broke off underwater – the volume of water pouring off as they bob to the surface is hard to grasp.

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Loving Perito Moreno

Sitting down close to water level watching all this, with explosions, eruptions and cave-ins, complete with sound effects in every direction makes we wonder if we’ve entered the set of some kind of weird war movie. Absolutely unbelievable.

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All calm (for now...)

While we didn’t witness a collapse of this magnitude, this youtube video shows just how close it’s possible to get to this spectacle.

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Capturing the entire glacier

It may seem a little expensive at $USD25, but I would happily pay it again.


2 Responses

  1. David says:

    The large size version of the panorama of the glacier is a great shot.

    What do the locals says about why this glacier is not melting like others are reported to be doing?

    • Dan says:

      Thanks for the photo comment, I’m really working on my photography these days.
      About the glacier, the wikipedia page says it’s debated as to why the glacier is advancing, against the trend. Whatever the reason, it’s immensely cool!

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