Saturday, 22 March 2008

More Glaciers and Fitz Roy

Mount Fitz Roy is absolutely spectacular. I didn't actually climb this mountain in Pategonia - Argentina but to a lookout that ended up being quite strenuous to get to the top. Professional rock climbers are the ones that tackle this challenge as its full of ice, snow and vertical rock. It took me around 3 hours to get to this point (pic) where the first 2 hours were spent walking through a forest in the valley and 1 hour climbing a steep rocky path that was just as hard to get back down as it was quite dusty and slippery. An aqua blue lake, a retreating glacier and icy clouds whisping off the top made a few fantastic photos and a view that i will never forget. We got to this point earlir than expected and so 2 of us decided to continue on around the lake to see if we could make it to the glacier. There is no path and nothing on the map telling us which way to go. Obviously you arn't meant to go there but hey, we went anyway. From the photo we went around to the right as you couldn't from the left and although it doesnt look that far, it took us another hour to get there. Loose boulders and gravel, steep rock sections and icy water waiting for us to fall in as we scrambled slowly making sure every planted foot was secure. And when we did arrive, WOW, there was a huge ice sheet with caves and waterfalls where you could hear it cracking and moving/melting slower than a snails pace down the mountain (pic). We spent a bit of time here admiring this awesome spectical with no other noisy tourists or people around. Getting back had its moments of peril, but we were back at the hostel safe and sound just as it was getting dark getting the most out of the day.

Glacier Perito Moreno is to me the most spectacular glacier out of all the ones that i have seen. Not much effort to get here as we took a bus to a lookout point for this one. But upon arrival it was jaw dropping. A mass of compacted ice as far as you could see right in front of you. The face of it is 60 metres high where usually once every 2 years a huge chunk breaks off and comes crashing into the water making an exploding sound. We certainly saw many small bits and pieces break off and fall but the next predicted huge crash is meant for winter next year. We also got to hop on a boat that takes you pretty close to it to view it from a different angle and all throughout the day you could hear it moving as it scratches and carves its way dow from the mountains. Love it!