Glacier Grande

Adela Glacier

I just returned from a trip to photograph on and in front of Glacier Grande, this is the glacier visible from the east shoreline of Laguna Torre. Back in 2010, it was possible to take guided treks on the ice, since then glacial retreat has made access far more difficult. Accessing the ice requires scrambling down a steep bank of very loose rock which often breaks free sending anything from loose stones to car sized boulders hurtling down to the ice. It’s certainly no place to linger any longer than necessary. Despite its difficulties, it’s a seriously rewarding place to photograph. It’s essential to get permission from the Rangers before heading out. They used to give me a month long access permits; nowadays these are being restricted to weeklong stints. I never spend a week on the ice; it’s just nice not to have to keep bothering the Rangers.

Late April and so far all of May has been still, the strong winds for which Patagonia is so well known have been kept at bay. These unusually still conditions make for pleasant hiking, but at the back of your mind, you have to remember a glacier is a dangerous place of course just like any mountainous region weather conditions can change rapidly.


This was a super quick shot I took whilst balanced on a very sharply angled crevasse ridge. Trying to stop my backpack from falling into the crevasse and using a tripod with ‘floppy leg syndrome’ was not easy.





The Condor would have been flying over the glacier just six years ago!






This one was criticized because the mountain looks slanted, it’s not, it’s just an illusion caused by the foreground ice. I’m definitely not going to rotate the image to make it look right, it either works or it doesn’t. As it probably doesn’t I’ll move on to other compositions and keep trying for a more interesting sky.








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