I debated whether or not I wanted to skip seeing Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina. After all, I’d just returned from Antarctica, where I’d seen dozens of glaciers. However, I hadn’t see any glaciers calving, and I desperately wanted to see a giant chunk of ice fall off the face of a glacier.
This year, Perito Moreno had advanced across the lake to the opposite shore, blocking off water that would normally feed into the downstream river. Between the immense pressure of the ice pushing from behind, and the higher water pushing from the side, I was almost assured of seeing some calving. I followed wooden walkways that paralleled the glacier, allowing astonishing close-up views of its face. The ice popped and crackled as it shifted and moved. On several occasions, mini explosions rent the air. Each time, I scanned the face of the glacier excitedly, hoping to witness the glacier calving. Each time, I spotted only small pieces of ice plunging into the water below. Nothing to rave about.
I paused at one platform and looked back at the “nose” of the Perito Moreno Glacier, where a pointed spire of ice was leaning away from the body of the glacier. As I watched, a few small pieces broke away and splashed into the lake. But wait! Were my eyes playing tricks on me? I could have sworn that pinnacle of ice moved just a fraction. I thought maybe it was my imagination, so I watched it for a while. There was no doubt about it, that enormous spear of ice was tilting forward in tiny increments.
What to do? If I retraced my steps to the front, where I would have a head-on view of the glacier, I might miss it falling. I decided it was worth the risk. I ran up and down endless stairways until I was back on the main viewing platform. I made it just in time. With a mighty roar, the nose calved off the glacier and toppled into the water, sending torrents of water spouting into the air.
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14 thoughts on “VIDEO: Giant Chunk of Ice Calves Off Face of the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina”
Fabulous! You captured the sound as well!
It was like the roar of a freight train, Irene.
Fantastic video and awesome commentary, Barbara! So glad you decided to go back to catch that amazing phenomenon for the rest of us to see!
Thanks Cris. It was a lucky catch, to say the least. 🙂
Gorgeous, thank you! (I wish you had a “like” button so I could acknowledge your posts without having to write my name and email to comment but just so you know I am reading a lot of your posts!)
Thank you Kim! It’s always wonderful to hear that there are readers in the background, reading and appreciating what I do.
Barbs, it’s always great to read your experience. We didn’t have the energy, physically, we didn’t want to push ourselves. Instead enjoy the view above, instead of going down the wooden stairs. Still, we heard the sound of ice falling. Am grateful that we experienced it.
Wow! That must have been a huge chunk that calved off if you could hear the roar from above!
Barbara, What perfect timing and what a grand sight! The risk you took certainly was worth it! It seems like around every turn, something else great happens on your Antarctic and South American adventure!
Hi Sylvia: I often marvel at the things that happen to me, mostly without the least bit of planning. Shaking hands with the Dalai Lama, being given a gift of blessed fruit by monks at a temple in northern Thailand, walking with a national park ranger in Tanzania and coming upon the rare sight of giraffes mating. And so much more. I don’t know if I’m just a lucky person or I’m somehow spiritually connected in a way that creates an opening for these experiences. The calving glacier was just another example, and I am always so grateful that the universe has seen fit to allow me to have them.
I think you see these wonderful things because you can share them and let others travel through your posts.
Thank you for what you do.
That’s such a sweet thing to say Mary. Thanks so much!
Hi Barbara, whatever the reason for you having such great travel experiences, good karma or otherwise, your readers are also beneficiaries! I like to think that good people deserve to have good life experiences! And, if that is true, you must be a very good person!!
Thank you Sylvia! That’s such a sweet thing to say. I try to be the best person I can be.