11th March: Patagonia (Perito Merino Glacier)

Perito Merino Glacier at Dawn

We got up at dawn for photographs of the Perito Merino Glacier (our main reason for staying at Los Notros).

Google Maps reference (green arrow).


Later that morning we crossed the lake in a boat, then walked on the glacier in a guided tour, wearing crampons. This was a view as we went across the lake, glacier mountains and stormy clouds.


Down low on the glacier, looking past the peaks on the ice to the mountain peak.


A small crevasse. You don’t want to put your foot down one of those (let alone a large hidden one).

Google maps location (green arrow/ contours on the glacier change daily).



Above you see how jagged the surface of the glacier can be. There are parts of the glacier you can walk on but you wouldn’t want to try to walk across it.

To the right, this is the edge of the glacier with a calving event due (it’s all going to come down soon).

Google maps location (green arrow).

There are two more images at the front of this glacier, taken from the other side, at the end of the previous post.

Then after this tour, we returned to El Calafate for a relatively early night.

10th March: Patagonia (Lago Argentina )

Today we embarked on a full-day boat cruise of the huge glacial lake Lago Argentina. We saw several of its arms, several glaciers and some interesting rock formations, mountains and shoreline forest.

A majestic mountain rearing up beside the lake

Google maps location (green arrow).

We left from Punta Bandera along Brazo Norte, heading towards Glacier Upsala. I can know where I took the image but not be completely sure what direction I was facing. I think this is Co. de les Fosiles.

Upsala Glacier from Lago Argentina

Google Maps link

We have now gone on into Brazo Upsala and this is the end of Glaciar Upsala, from some distance away.

Ice is nice, that's what they say

Trees against a mountain

The scale of the mountains and the landscape is impressive, as you can see from the trees on the near skyline against the more distant mountain.

Antarctic Beech forest on the shores of Lago Argentina

Here is some antarctic beech forest at the edge of Brazo Spegazzini (one of the glacial arms of the lake).

Glacier Spegazzini (Norte) from Lago Argentina

Google maps reference (green arrow)

Glacier Spegazzini.

Floating ice

Here is one of the many pieces of floating ice that can sometimes achieve dramatic shapes. This one came from Glacier Spegazzini and we are near the antarctic beech, image above, though now travelling in the other direction.

Another mountain peak from Brazo Spegazzini and the name is not given on the map (it would be just north of Glacier del Totalizador). Note that this is a colour image, not a black and white conversion.

Google maps location (green arrow).

Another view from Brazo Spegazzini but I’m not sure what direction we are looking here and therefore what mountain this is.

Ice, wind and spray

Here we were returning and passing through Boca del Diablo o del Inferno(Mouth of the Devil or the Inferno), a narrow passage where the wind was funnelling through.

Striated mountain

Google maps location (green arrow).

This I think is Co. Puesto Alla La Diana. Observe the fantastic contortions in the rock formations (click the image if you like for a larger size).

Perito Merino Glacier calving - a large hunk of ice crashing into the water.

Finally we retraced our path to be able to view the Perito Merino glacier. This is moving at an incredible two metres a day, fed by a huge ice basin. Large chunks are constantly falling off, so it stays in roughly the same place. Here is a large piece calving at the side.

Perito Merino Glacier from a viewpoint very close by on land

After our boat cruise we came back around to view the Perito Merino Glacier from land, as you see above. Notice how close the edge of it is to the near side of the lake. Every few years the glacier fills up this gap with ice and creates a huge dam of the part of the lake further off to the left. Then after some time, the water pressure builds up so that the water breaks through in spectacular fashion. There are lots of good vantage points on land if you happened to be there at that precise time.

At night we moved to the remote hotel of Los Notros, in the national park beside the Perito Merino Glacier. We had a wonderful view of the glacier from the window of our room and the food at the hotel was also very impressive.