Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 158 (147km): Perito Moreno Glacier

So after being lazy yesterday we were rewarded with a beautiful sunny day. Good, I think this plan is going to work out. Since we ate our last oatmeal the day before we hit up the Hostel Restaurant for breakfast with Dachary and Kay. We had been told the day before we could get an omelet instead of the lame breadfast (coined by Dachary and Kay). The omelet was described as huge and enough food for two people. As it turned out it was pretty lame and barely enough for one person but it would suffice.
The team geared up and ready to hit the road
After breakfast we packed up and drove off to see the glacier together. The sun was still shining and it was an enjoyable ride. It's fun being in a gang of BMWs. As we were approaching the parking area I caught my first glimpse of the glacier from the road. Wow, it's big. It started me thinking about how it looked on the map though. It is just a tiny spec of the south ice field, and I was having a hard time conceptualizing the total size of the entire ice field.
One side of the glacier face
Trying to take it all in
Right up until about 750m before the glacier parking it was sunny. Where we parked it was rainy. We took a shuttle to the main area and started to explore the walkways. Thankfully the rain subsided. We started with the lower lookout to get our photos in front of the glacier etc... Then we went to the middle lookout to do some ice crashing spotting. We were hanging out for a while, and we saw a few tiny ones. Then we got super lucky.
The ice face
The incredible texture of the top surface of the glacier
I can never resist an opportunity to look at my map. I was showing everyone the magnitude of the South Ice Field
It started off as a medium chunk, then a piece the full height of the glacier started to break off and then a third piece. These two pieces made a gigantic splash and the debris rocketed all the way to the shore. The splash itself was the most intense part. It was amazing to see and I think we got very lucky that we saw one that big. Kay was the only one alert enough to get photos, the rest of us just watched in awe.

The aftermath of the big break
Time was marching on though and Alberto and I still needed to get to Torres del Paine. Satisfied with our glacier experience we set out to leave. Perito Moreno is very impressive to see. I have never seen anything like it. The surface of the glacier is very intricate and the scale was interesting to see in person.
Group shot with Perito Moreno
It is an amazing sight to behold in person
By the time we made it back to El Calafate it was 3pm. I enjoy pushing the pace and staying on the move but I am also sensible. We decided that it was a bit too late and wasn 't worth trying to make it to Torres del Paine so we opted to stay another night camping in El Calafate.

Bonus! We got to spend another evening hanging out with Dachary and Kay. 
Oh how Adventure riding has changed. I wonder if Ted Simon busts out his iPad at the end of a long day.

1 comment:

  1. those ice fields look phenomenal!! it must have been crazy to see that big chunk fall off!