Perito Merino Glacier, Argentina by Art David

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Picture Story

We spent almost the entire day walking up and down the wooden walking paths that provided a magnificent view of the majestic Perito Merino Glacier. You can feel the air, cooled as if it were in a refrigerator, not the kind of windy cold that bites, but a cold that feels like you're walking through chilled mercury, the cold breath of the glacier. As such, wearing layered clothing was a given; you never knew what king of weather you might have as you leave quite early in the chilly morning for a two hour ride from the hotel in Calafate to the Perito Merino Glacier. You realize that bringing that extra lens and the backup camera has made your pack just that much heavier, but knowing it's too late to do anything about it, you keep on climbing with a momentary pause every now and then just to catch your breath and re-align your 30 lb pack of cameras, lenses, discarded outer garments and tripod.

The mountain air and altitude attack my lungs as does my lack of stamina, idly attained over the last 15 years in the flatland of Southwest Florida where breathing takes place at one foot above sea level. So the hiking up and down the the boardwalk, whose shape emulated the undulations of the mountainside, takes its toll. You think that you're still going to be able to do the things that you used do so easily. zif there's any advice I can give to someone who is going to go on a rigorous photo tour, it would be to get in good walking and hiking shape. If need be, walk up and down stairs with a heavy backpack in preparation for keeping up with the more athletic and younger photographers on the tour.

The sun, beginning to bounce off the angled peaks of the glacier, almost seems to cause the ice to wake, and monstrous ice wedges, some almost 200 ft tall, start to 'calve' from the mountain of ice. What you hear is the noise of two tractor trailer trucks colliding, Then a mini tsunami surges forth into the channel and is followed by the additional waves and icebergs caused by the force of that gigantic "droplet."

Hopefully, my breathlessness expresses itself as awe of the incredible scope, size and power of the Perito Merino Glacier in this image. I tried to express the dimension of the giganyic moving wall of ice by framing it with the tall trees on my side of the lake and including the mountains and ice fields that can be seen off in the distance many miles away.

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