Posted by: kellylyneddy | July 13, 2013

50 Shades of Blue

Her tongue pushes forward, caressing the peninsula, slowly climbing it. Glistening, she pushes forward silently, quietly, firmly. Relentless with desire. Growing and feeling the constant pressure, the Perito Moreno Glacier calves and sends large columns of ice crashing like thunder into the cool milky water below……GOTCHA!

Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina

The Southern Patagonian Ice Field is enormous and feeds 48 glaciers which make their homes in both Argentina and Chile.  It is one thing these countries must share. Perito Moreno Glacier is one of very few glaciers that is growing today. It’s blue ice and accessibility draws thousands of visitors each year making, this site one of the major tourist attractions in Southern Patagonia.

Tyler was the “glaciologist” of our group. Having visited a small number of glaciers on two continents, North America and New Zealand, he was eager to visit this South American beauty. Tyler’s experience in interpretation and previous glacial knowledge dusted off his tour guide hat as we rumbled towards Los Glaciers National Park. The drive to the glacier along Lago Argentino is a beautiful one.  A small windy road running along the lake, only allowing for vistas of the glacier from time to time.

“Look MOM! there is a giant piece of ice floating in the water!” Shouted E1.

Glacier hiding in the background, 7 km away (bird's eye view)

Glacier hiding in the background, 7 km away (as the crow flies)

The beauty of travelling during the off season with kids is two fold. Number one, we get up and get going early(especially when granny is around), and number two there are so few visitors that you couldn’t wish for a better view or experience. We arrived early, explored a few of the walkways and landings eventually choosing a spot in the sun.  We waited…and waited….and when the warm sun began to light up the shades of blue within the ice, the glacier began to speak to us.  A crick here, a crack there, like an old man rising from a night’s slumber. A hollow whistling sound as the wind passed over it’s meringue-like top. It was eerily beautiful.

As we enjoyed the warmth of the Patagonian sun…and wind… the glacier came to life.  Large columns of ice came crashing down into the water below, followed by a thunderous crash.  We could not have found a better picnic spot that day.

2013-07-04 16.27.36 2013-07-04 16.21.48 2013-07-04 17.40.56 - Copy 2013-07-04 15.11.17 - Copy 2013-07-04 16.35.16 - Copy

FYI…for the glaciologist in all of us!

Perito Moreno Glacier is advancing at a rate of about two meters a day.  As a result, sometimes the glacier’s ice tounge meets the peninsula and creates a dam between two arms of Lago Argentino.  The natural ice dam causes the water to rise in one arm of the lake and, seeking escape, the water takes the path of least resistance.  Eventually the water carves out a small cave or tunnel underneath the ice, equalizing the water level. When the hole is large enough the two arms of the lake join again and the glacier is quiet, but only for a moment.

The tunnel will become too large and the ice too heavy to support.  The glacier will fracture like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mavy4kH1Utw

And of course, E2 fell asleep.

And of course, E2 fell asleep.

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Responses

  1. Awesome!! Sounds incredible 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Spec-T-tacular……those are amazing shots!!!!!

  3. Absolutely awesome folks. Great job on the write-ups as well as the pics.
    Your Mom;s friend.

  4. Great Pictures, we envy you.

  5. Oh wow!!! Those shots are breathtaking 🙂


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