Having already experienced Antarctica - the largest ice field in the world, and then this past summer the second largest, Greenland, I was eager to visit the third largest: the Southern Patagonian ice field (which is shared by Chile and Argentina) on this 2015 adventure. While my BLOG is titled “Polar Investigations” the actual location the at the 53rd latitude is not – but the glaciers visited certainly qualify experientially.
Perito Moreno glacier - whose front is 3 miles long, was my initial destination. We also added Upsala Glacier to our itinerary, located on the northern channel of the same Lake Argentino (the largest in Argentina).
However, because of a tragic helicopter accident in late December, we had to cancel a day of flying and instead booked an all day excursion to Viedma Glacier. This change in plans was fortuitous for two reasons: 1) I was unaware of this amazing glacier and 2) I was allowed to climb on it – unlike Perito Moreno where I was restricted on account of my ”advanced” age… Ironically Viedma was by far the more risky and amazing climb. I was told it also hosted fewer people with more attentive guides….
All three glaciers are located in Los Glaciares National park in Argentina. The park's name refers to the giant ice cap in the Andes range shared by both Chile and Argentina. There are actually more glaciers on the Chilean side but every Argentinian guide assured us they had the best ones…
(All our arrangements in Patagonia were made with a great Chilean agency, Santiago Adventures: http://www.santiagoadventures.com).