Patagonia’s Laguna Torre and Glaciar Grande – A Seven Image Gallery

Laguna Torre, Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Wrapping up this three-post series on a pair of day hikes from El Chalten, Argentina, is this mini-gallery of the Glaciar Grande and the lake it overlooks, Laguna Torre.

Even shrouded in clouds the scene does an admirable job advertising this corner of Los Glaciares National Park as the hiker attraction that it is. It’s also, like the majority of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (wiki|map) that it sits in, a “kind of poster child for rapidly changing glacier systems”.

That’s according to “Ice loss from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, South America, between 2000 and 2012”, a late 2012 study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Laguna Torre 6

From an abstract on

Ice fields in southern South America are rapidly losing volume and in most cases thinning at even the highest elevations, contributing to sea-level rise at “substantially higher” rates than observed from the 1970s through the 1990s


The rapid melting, based on satellite observations, suggests the ice field’s contribution to global sea-level rise has increased by half since the end of the 20th century, jumping from 0.04 millimeters per year to about .07 mm, and accounting for 2 percent of annual sea-level rise since 1998.


Warming air temperatures contributed to the thinning throughout the mountain range, [the report ] noted. And the warmer temperatures increased the chances that rain – as opposed to snow – would fall on and around the glaciers. That double threat increases the amount of water under the glaciers, decreasing friction and moving more ice to the oceans.

This ice field, along with its northern neighbor, comprise the largest mass of ice in the southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica.

According to the study, which compared satellite imagery over a 12-year period beginning in 2000, found that glaciers in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field thinned by an average of six feet per year.

I left this rocky lake shore with the same contentedly queasy feeling I had after leaving other glaciers, before and since, behind: happy that I made the opportunity to see them while they were still around.

Laguna Torre 9 Laguna Torre 8 Laguna Torre 7 Laguna Torre 2 Laguna Torre 4

Here’s a 45-second timelapse of the lake I shot over the span of about 25 minutes with my GoPro. The cool soundtrack is Broken Music Boxes by Ilya Monosov. I chose it because the description for his album Vinyl Document #1 –a record that focuses on sounds derived from broken or otherwise mistreated machines– fits well. Please check out more of his excellent work.

For posterity’s sake, here’s the GoPro at work and below that me, who is always at work. 🙂

Laguna Torre 5

On the way to Laguna Torre.
On the way to Laguna Torre.

Check out the previous two posts from this series:
~ Hiking Patagonia’s Fitz Roy Trail: El Chalten Day Hike 1
~ Patagonia’s Laguna Torre Trail – El Chalten Day Hike 2

And finally, this post is linked up with Travel Photo Monday #34 on Travel Photo Discovery. The direct link is here. Check it out!


Can’t stop by every day but want to keep in touch?

Then subscribe to The Piran Café READER, my website’s companion newsletter. Dispatched three or four times a month, the newsletter presents a brief and convenient digest to help you catch up with posts you may have missed. There are also occasional giveaway drawings and exclusive news and updates available and open to subscribers only. So why not subscribe right now?




Enhanced by Zemanta
  • 6
You might also like
  1. Samantha @mytanfeet says

    Gorgeous photos – I’m always fascinated by glaciers but it’s sad and crazy how fast they are melting and changing.

    1. Bob R says

      Indeed – I want to see as many as I can before they disappear. Many will be gone in our lifetimes.

  2. Muza-chan says

    Great photos 🙂

  3. Sam @ Travelling King says

    WOW! Spectacular photos! Although im sure like most images, it doesn’t capture what it is really like to be there or how big it really is.
    I have always been fascinated my glacier, im hoping to go over to NZ next year and go walking one on of the glaciers there!
    Thanks for Sharing

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks! The glacier itself is fairly large, although nothing like it used to be.

  4. noelmorata says

    Wow, i would also love to visit this place while it is still around…I saw a film on the disappearing glaciers of the world and the producer did a time lapse segment of years on this particular glacier, it was stunning and sad at the same time to see….The movie is called Chasing Ice

    1. Bob R says

      I saw it too, Noel. Yes, an EXCELLENT film.

  5. Jess @UsedYorkCity says

    Amazing photos! This is the closest I’ve ever been to a glacier, thank you for the tour!:-)

    1. Bob R says

      My pleasure, glad you enjoyed and thanks for coming by! 🙂 I’ve got a few more glaciers in my collection here:

  6. Lindsay says

    I’ve always wanted to go here. Love these shots!

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks, glad you like!

  7. Hitch-Hikers Handbook says

    We’ve never been to Patagonia but it’s high on our list!
    Lovely photos, Bob! We would be honoured if you participated in our weekly Travel Photography competition. Every week we publish 3 winning shots on our website and write a nice bio with a link to the photographers’ websites/FB/Flickr pages.
    Find more details here:
    Have a nice weekend!

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about the contest. I’ll definitely check it out.

  8. Angela Travels says

    I am sad that this series is coming to an end. I just loved your photos of El Chalten.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.