The Perito Moreno Glacier is famous for letting visitors walk on its surface. The good thing about this experience is that it is not only for expert sportsmen but for all those who dare to do it.
Privileged for being one of the few glacial formations in the world to emerge at a height of 1,500 MSL and go down to 200 meters, the Perito Moreno Glacier provides enviable access and observation.
We left the City ofEl Calafate to travel the 80 kilometers that stood between the glacier and us. We had made all the necessary arrangements with the staff from “Hielo y Aventura” to go on the famous mini trekking tour on the Perito Moreno. This excursion consists in sailing across Lake Argentino while appreciating the Perito Moreno, then landing on one of its shores and starting hiking on its surface with the aid of crampons.
We got on board and sailed for approximately 20 minutes. We were astonished by the whimsical forms, folds and hues of the ice walls that reached over 60 meters above the lake surface.
Exploration of this amazing white extension
Sailing across Lake Argentino
We arrived at the southern side of the glacier
When some portion of ice breaks off, the blocks of solid ice fall into Lake Argentino producing a deafening sound heard from several kilometers away, as well as a big wave that many times hits the shore.
We arrived at the southern side of the glacier and quickly joined one of the groups the guides from “Hielo y Aventura” were forming to start this adventure.
Generally, the groups are assembled according the language spoken by their members (either Spanish or English). After a brief chat at the refuge to coordinate the excursion, we started hiking, first across a woodland area covered by lengas and ñires and then along the lake shore to the ice border.
Meters away, the crampons were waiting for us. While the staff authorized by “Hielo y Aventura” helped us put them on, we received careful instructions as to how to walk on the ice without getting hurt.
Now the glacier was under our feet. It was the moment of truth. The soil we were stepping on was white and the feeling of walking on ice was real.
Easily and effortlessly, we set out towards the discovery and exploration of this amazing white extension. Countless cracks, drains, small ponds and fragmented ice blocks known as seracs make up a wild and captivating environment.
A beautiful pond of mineral, natural freezing water invited us for a drink, which we accepted after the guide’s approval, who took advantage of the opportunity to show us how thin the ice that covered its surface was.
It seemed incredible, but the Perito Moreno slides a meter and a half from its center every day and 40 centimeters to its sides. Its physiognomy changes day after day, thus forcing the guides to modify the tour periodically.
However, this movement does not imply advance because the loss of the ice mass in the front is recovered through the source basin, so that the volume remains stable.
As we returned to the camp to leave the crampons and get on board again, we had a pleasant surprise: whisky on the rocks, made with ice chopped right there to make a toast to our glacial crossing. Here’s to the unbeatable Perito Moreno!
Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers
Contact of the excursion or tour
Hielo y Aventura
Av. del Libertador 935 (9405) El Calafate, Santa Cruz
Tel: +54 2902-492205
See more points of interest in El Calafate