Perito Moreno:
the great necklace of Patagonia

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Following the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in Argentine Patagonia, an ice cloak, or glacial cap, made up of 356 individual glaciers stretches across a protected area of over 600,000 hectares. 

The most dramatic and arrestingly beautiful of these constantly changing natural structures is Perito Moreno, which blocks the swift running waters of the Brazo River as it approaches the coast. This natural dam of ice and snow measures 5 km long and looms 60 meters or more above the water.  The impression is that of a vast ivory and emerald abstract sculpture garden stretching like millions of giant gnarled sharks teeth towards the horizon. From another perspective it shimmers like a massive necklace of precious stones snaking through the mountain passes.  Every few minutes gargantuan chunks of glacial ice crack off from the body of Perito Moreno and crash dramatically into the cold green water below. Slowly, relentlessly, this splendidly beautiful wonder of nature is crumbling and melting into its surroundings, creeping ever eastward until it disappears.


©Brian Damude / 2008