Argentina

The Time I Went Hiking on a Glacier

It’s just a big chunk of frozen ice, I thought.  Why does everyone get so excited to see the glacier, Perito Moreno? But it was one of Argentine Patagonia’ biggest highlights so I knew I couldn’t not go.  When I finally saw the glacier in person, I started to understand the draw.  Yea, I’ve seen glacier’s before, but so not close up, and not surrounded by sky scraping Andes mountains.  my day at the glacier started with walking around the balconies, on the hill across from Perito Moreno.  The balconies provide great views for both the north and south faces of the glacier – which is a good way to start the trip.  occasionally, we would hear a loud “BOOM” that sounded almost like thunder (I actually freaked out and thought it was thunder the first time I heard it), but it is the sound of pieces of the glacier breaking off and falling into the lake. I even got to see the pieces falling off a couple of times.

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The real highlight of visiting the glacier, was the chance to go trekking on it.  I was lucky enough to be tipped off by friend that the tour group Hielo Aventura will take visitors on short and long tours on the glacier.  Money well spent.  Seeing the glacier from the balconies, was nice and all, but getting to actually climb round on the glacier for over an hour, was very cool.  Afterwards, I was worried that maybe the first day of my trip was a little too good (luckily Cerro FItz Roy was at least as amazing).

The southern Patagonia Ice field is the third largest in the world (after the Antarctic and the Arctic, obviously).  What was actually interesting about the the glacier Perito Moreno, is that it is in stable condition, and not shrinking, unlike so many glaciers in the world. Another fun fact I learned while trekking on the glacier, is that the reason why glaciers sometimes look blue is because the ice works like a prism and refracts light.  the deeper the light travel in the ice, the darker blue.

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