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 Post subject: Glaciers
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:07 pm 
Paddler
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:24 pm
Posts: 1147
A point about glaciers.

I took a tour on the boat Heilo Sur on Lago O'Higgins to the face of Glaciar O'Higgins. The trip from El Chalten Argentina to Villa O'Higgins Chile included a bus, two boat rides, two border checkpoints, and an 8 hour hike. The choice was to sit on the beach at Candelaria Mansilla or pay an extra $20000 CHP for the famous three hour tour.

Glaciar O'Higgins is a finger of ice from the Heilo Sur icefield that dominates the region.

We spent quite some time cruising along the face of the glacier watching pieces of glacier fall into the lake. Oooh and Aaah.

The festive atmosphere was fueled by whiskey cooled in ice pulled up from the lake.

At one point, which I took to be the end of the tour, the boat turned away from the ice and accelerated. I don't know if it was coincidental or if the pilot had gotten a warning from his depth finder. Suddenly the water began to boil as ice calved and rose from the depths along the entire two kilometer wide face of the glacier. Certainly if the skipper had not moved when he did the boat would have been struck and we would have capsized.

The only visual warning, which I did not understand, was the waterline on the ice face slowly rising up some 6 feet, probably a result of the ice breaking free of the bottom.

A kayak wouldn't have stood a chance.
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'Higgins.jpg
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