Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby

A Healthy Glacier

About 48 miles (75 km) southwest from El Calafate, Argentina lies Perito Moreno Glacier, a healthy advancing glacier so wide at its terminus that you cannot see it complete from the ground. No photograph can do justice to its grandeur, and it is only through our memories of walking for hours along its front that we can attempt to comprehend its sheer size.

We took a regular bus from El Calafate which allowed us to stay in the Park for about 4 hours before returning. Enough time to walk most of the “pasarelas” or metal walkways in front of the Glacier.

Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
View of Perito Moreno Glacier as we approached from the hill.

At its terminus, Perito Moreno Glacier is more than 2 miles (3 km) wide, and about 240 ft (75 m) of height above the surface of the water of Lago Argentino: comparable to a 20 story building. It has a total ice depth of 560 ft (170 m).  Check it in Google Maps so you can see what I am talking about by clicking here.

Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
The “pasarelas” are a system of steel walkways several kilometers long.

 

Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
An HDR image treatment was useful when the sun was shining over the ice.

Loud cracking sounds resembling gunshots warned us of the movement of the huge ice flow slowly inching its way into the lake, and occasionally a deep rumble accompanied the fall of a large chunk of its wall. The lake itself is a beautiful azure color due to the small suspended particles of rock called glacier milk which disperse light just as blue smoke does when the sun illuminates it against a dark background.

Weather was cloudy and chilly, with occasional drizzle. Very appropriate to this icy landscape and a blessing for keeping the contrast low in my photos… and many photos I shot that day!

I have a growing gallery with my Patagonia photos. Click here to see them!

Image of tourists at Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
The pasarelas give tourists an excellent view from different heights above the Glacier.

 

Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
I had never seen blue ice before and I enjoyed photographing details of the ice wall.

 

Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
As the Glacier advances and its front meets the water, building-sized chunks of ice fall into Lake Argentino. See more pictures by clicking here.

Did I succeed in showing you the enormity of this natural wonder? I might not, but I like my photos and, if anything, I hope they will convince you to go down there and experience it for yourself.

Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
One of my favorite views is through the deciduous southern beech forest, with its Lenga trees.

 

Image of Perito Moreno Glacier. Photo by Eduardo Libby
Our last view of Perito Moreno, with floating ice pieces slowly melting and feeding the waters of Lake Argentino.
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