Images from Argentina: Perito Moreno Glacier

perito moreno glacier

“Glacier Perito Moreno with Mountain, Argentina” by Tyuzo.

Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier has been in the international news lately as it takes stage during the unfolding drama that is global warming. Ironically, Perito Moreno is one of only three Patagonian glaciers not retreating due to warming temperatures. In fact, its advancement is causing mammoth walls of ice to break off almost daily. Or, as Maciej Ceglowski poetically puts it:

In a world of sissy nature that requires protection, handholding, wilderness reserves, careful study and constant medical attention, the Perito Moreno glacier is a refreshing throwback. This glacier wants you dead. It wants to come out and crush you under billions of tons of ice, carve its name into your face, and maraud out into the plains of Patagonia until it reaches the sea. You don't have to go into the mountains looking for the Perito Moreno – it's coming out of the mountains to look for you. It wants to come over there and mess you up good.

Describing the breaking off of ice, Ceglowski continues with perfect prose accompanied by phenomenal photography:

The glacier had a marvelous grasp of human psychology. It knew exactly how to manipulate the crowd through intermittent reward. Many minutes would pass without anything happening; then, without warning, a piece ranging in size from a Volkswagen to an apartment building would slough off and fall into the water. The enormous size of the fragments made them appear to be falling in slow motion. A few seconds after one hit, there would be an enormous BOOM like that of a nearby thunderstorm, and tall waves would spread through the rapidly flowing meltwater, sloshing the Old Smuggler against the sides of your glass. Sometimes a chain reaction might take down an entire sector of the glacier's face, sending a cloud of cold mist towards us and causing complete chaos in the water and the viewing stands. “Vamo, vamo!” the crowd would yell, as everyone pressed forward and the wooden viewing platforms creaked ominously. At other times, the glacier would sit quietly for an hour or more, in a test of wills, taunting us.

Javier who writes at Blogsfera from Gualeguaychú, Argentina offers his thoughts regarding the phenomenon:

Uno de los acontecimientos naturales más imponentes que se pueda ver y oír. Hace unos años conocí el parque nacional y a orillas del “Lago Argentino” escuche como cruje el hielo al ir quebrándose, es estremecedor, por lo que puedo imaginar que los desprendimientos que están ocurriendo en estos días deben ser ensordecedores.

Según se informó hace un par de días comenzó la filtración en el dique de hielo que separa el Brazo Rico del Lago Argentino del Canal de los Témpanos, lo que va formando un túnel que poco a poco va socavando el dique hasta que se desploma.

Si lo queres lo podes seguir en vivo por la señal de TN. El video que colgué es solo un avance de lo que va a ir ocurriendo.

It's one of the most impressive natural events than can be seen and heard. Years ago, I first discovered the national park and, along the shore of “Lago Argentino,” listened to how the ice crunched as it breaks. It's frightening, which is why I'd imagine that, these days, it is deafening when it crumbles.

According to reports, a couple of days ago a leak started in the dyke that separates Lago Argentino's Brazo Rico from the Canal de los Témpanos (“Channel of Icebergs”), which formed a tunnel that, little by little, undermined the dyke until it collapsed.

If you'd like, you can follow live coverage on the channel Todo Noticias. The video below is just a foreshadowing of what will keep occurring.

To see the video that Javier mentions, please check out his post. Go Travel Argentina has written in English and Spanish on Perito Moreno Glacier and Robert Wright has a collection of photos with a brief introduction to the surrounding region.

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