Second day at the glacier and our mission is to explore the Western side. It’s a rainy, somewhat chilly morning and the 1 1/2 hour approach paddle alone promises to make the day more of a challenging adventure.
For starters, the hot water certainly helps to take the edge off of a wet, ice cold wetsuit…
Coming up around the ‘Big Rock Island’, the sheer presence of the glacier and its size is just impressive.
The forces of Nature can be humbling with a lake temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius / 32.9 Fahrenheit. Gusty winds mixed in with rain and sleet. The camera gear is partially wet and my fingers start getting numb, but our excitement and curiosity keeps us all pushing closer to the glacier, with the occasional amazing window of sparkling sunlight.
Touching the ice is like reaching into another world, somehow there is an energy, it’s hard to describe.
It is the last day of the trip here in Southern Patagonia, hard to believe all the adventures we had … I even got to do a short paddle this morning … what an amazing trip.
We were very excited to be here, no matter the condition or temperature, we wanted to get close to the glacier and explore the icebergs along the way before night fall. Glacier ice is purely magnificent, sublime, and raw.
Experienced guides, like Rodrigo Bahamondez, can tell if an iceberg is unstable, but believing you are safe would be foolish. Proceeding with respect, caution and very open alertness certainly got our adventure juices flowing. Philip Muller from standuplatino.com had brought his board and proved to be almost fearless and certainly immune to the cold.
The distance to the glacier is misleading. The mountains and glaciers are so grand and big, it feels so close, like it’s right there, you keep paddling and it just gets bigger and bigger until when I was close enough in touchable range I was again in pure awe of the immenseness of the glacier wall.
We were humbled very fast and with the outmost respect moved along the ever changing face of the Glacier.
It was so pure. We stayed silent in awe, you just do not want to disrupt the vibe. When focusing in on the shapes, I felt like the glacier was talking to me. Ancient works of nature on display in all it’s beauty … constantly changing.
It’s been 5 years since my last trip to Glacier Grey, and its an adventure in itself just getting up here. Riding up Lago Grey with the tremendous Punta Bariloche and the Cordillera del Paine Mountain Range to the right, the boat captain showed me a postcard from the nineties. He said back then “you could hardly see the Nunatak behind the boat”, which is the sunlit rock formation sticking out of the ice on the left. “The Glacier was one big wall of ice.”
Apparently the ice has been melting faster and faster in the last ten years, and perhaps I’ll get to take some shots to show the differences over time. We were lucky since Hernan from Antares Patagonia Adventures set this trip up and got to show off together with Pedro ‘Red’ on how comfortable wilderness can be made with simple things.
I love coming back to this campsite just at the foot of the glacier, when the Autumn colors are in full peak.