Not to harp on about snow and ice – being in the midst of a New York winter doesn’t help. Snowy days are followed by slushy watery mixes of snow and rain. Snowy banks form along the road covered by brown sludge and dirt. But it all started out as beautiful fresh snow. Fluffy, white, pure, clean. There is indeed something special about a fresh snowfall and a city covered in muffled silence and peaceful powder. And then snow, compacted and frozen becomes something entirely different – glacial material. Despite snow being white, ice and glaciers are a deep blue color, evidence (if grossly simplified) of the compression of air bubbles in the snow until the ice becomes an ethereal blue, crystal aquamarine colour – stunning and mesmerizing.
The science is actually pretty fascinating…but even if one just focuses on the aesthetic, glaciers are gorgeous. And nowhere have I seen as gorgeous glacial material as in Patagonia. Moving, active glaciers – alive as they slide down mountains. Full of abstract shapes and sharp crystals. The ice can sometimes look like pockmarked, dirty surfaces, other times like castles of sharp crystals and castles. The ice can look smooth and shapely. Or other times contaminated and granular. The glacial blue material is definitely a great source of abstract artistic beauty. I have interspersed some of my great memories of Patagonia glaciers with shots that show the grand scale of these glaciers – if only you can get the perspective.
Indeed, nothing like snow and ice.
Views of Perito Moreno Glacier from afar near El Calafate, Argentina.
A city of ice…Perito Moreno is the size of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Craters and crystals.
Coarse ice, brittle ice shelves. Textured castle walls.
Crystal kingdoms #1
Crystal kingdoms #2
Blue Rhapsody at the Viedma Glacier, El Chalten.
Lone explorer ahead on the Viedma Glacier, amidst the blue stillness.
Blue flotation vehicle. A broken piece of glacial ice.
The welcome to the Viedma Glacier, El Chalten, Argentina. Intense and rich colours and broken rock-like surfaces.
Ice formations like brittle ice blocks with crystal growths.
A moonscape full of craters of ice, abstract design.
Overlooking the crevasse…group shot. El Chalten, Argentina.
Pockmarks and textures #1
Pockmarks and textures #2
Glacial tunnels beneath the tower of ice, Viedma Glacier, El Chalten.
The view of Cierro Fitzroy after an 8 hour trek. The view was so spectacular we were left speechless. Surrounded by intense blues and greens, the layer of ice on the lake sat like an ice sheet – white and pure.
Ice floating beneath the clouds, above the lake. Cierro Fitzroy, El Chalten.
Icy reflections in the shadows, Cierro Fitzroy, El Chalten.