Sunday, January 25, 2009

Perito Moreno Glacier:, El Calafate, Argentina

Jan 25 2009
Perito Moreno Glacier: On our Day 1 of real excusions, today Our first adventure was to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier and then ice trek on it! This is considered to be the most spectacular and unforgettable excursion in all Patagonia. Our experience was exceeded all our imaginiations and hype we had by reading e half a done travel books and watching the DVDs !

We have been to several glaciers in Alaska and in Candian rockies. However, when I got to Perito Moreno Glacier, it was a new world of glaciers for me.This glacier is a monster, with 60 metre high walls, stretching 30km back into the mountains, but most importantly, it moves quite a distance each day . It moves 2 meter in center and 10 cm in sides causing tensions , cracks and Craveasses.This means that the glacier is constantly moaning, creaking, groaning and squeaking, while every 10 minutes or so a big chunk of ice crashes into the water below. This is captivating entertainment, and you don´t want to let the glacier out of sight in case you hear a big crash and miss the splash! ! The day, and whole experience was absolutely amazing. If you ever get the chance, don´t miss it.

It´s incredibly active, We witnessed building-sized chunks of ice calve off the glacier´s 150 ft face into the water of Lago Argentino below. It periodically advances, touching the mainland, separating the lake into two. This causes one side of the lake to fill with water, until the pressure is sufficient to break the ´dam´caused by the glacier, creating an explosion of ice and water as the ice dam fails. Truly amazing!

Equally exciting was the expeirence of the Ice Tekking. We hiked through a lush, green forest for about 20 minutes, till we got to the base of the glacier, where we were fitted with crampons - spikey shoes that fit to the bottom of our hiking boots. We were briefed on how to hike in our crampons, then we set off, single file, up a narrow trail of ice. It was absolutely surreal.

The ice is actually layers upon layers of compressed snow, which absorbs all colors, except for blue, which it reflects. This is what makes the glacier these shades of blue. We had never seen anything like it. It was absolutely beautiful. bluetiful.
We hiked for a while, stopping along the way to appreciate our surroundings. It was almost overwhelming being surrounded by these glacier peaks, valleys and streams. There was a slight, cool breeze and the sun was shining intermittently. What an amazing experience. We were in total awe.

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