| When I started putting together my thoughts to create this video, I couldn’t have foreseen the beauty that was about to unfold in front of my eyes.The images and photographs that were sourced and generously shared with me were out of this world, as is the whole of Patagonia. Many of the images are in original HDR format, others I treated in post to create a pseudo HDR look and feel.
The elements used in this project are:
Watch the video at http://www.vimeo.com/8633312
Background and History
Glaciers National Park
(Spanish: Parque Nacional Los Glaciares) is located in the Santa Cruz Province, in Argentine Patagonia. It comprises an area of 4459 km². In 1981 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The national park, created in 1937, is the second largest in Argentina.. Its name refers to the giant ice cap in the Andes range that feeds 47 large glaciers, of which only 13 flow towards the Atlantic Ocean. The ice cap is the largest outside of Antarctica and Greenland. In other parts of the world, glaciers start at a height of at least 2,500 meters above mean sea level, but due to the size of the ice cap, these glaciers begin at only 1,500m, sliding down to 200m AMSL, eroding the surface of the mountains that support them.
Los Glaciares, of which 30% is covered by ice, can be divided in two parts, each corresponding with one of the two elongated big lakes partially contained by the Park. Lake Argentino, 1,466 km² and the largest in Argentina, is in the south, while Lake Viedma, 1,100 km², is in the north. Both lakes feed the Santa Cruz River that flows down to Puerto Santa Cruz on the Atlantic.
The northern half consists of part of Viedma Lake, the Viedma Glacier and a few minor glaciers, and a number of mountains very popular among climbing fans, including Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.
The southern part has, as well as a number of smaller ones, the major glaciers which flow into Lake Argentino: Perito Moreno Glacier, Upsala Glacier, and Spegazzini Glacier.
It is a place where steppes, mountains, lakes, woods and glaciers coexist with rich native flora and fauna.
Inhabited by 5,000 people, El Calafate is located on the southern bank of Lake Argentino, at the foot of the mountain under the same name. El Calafate is the main access to the renowned Los Glaciares National Park, one of the most amazing parks in Argentina with blocks of thousand-year-old ice floating in the lakes.
El Calafate is named after a small bush typical of southern Patagonia, whose fruit (a kind of berry) is very much used in local confectionery, especially for jams. It tastes similar to blackberries although it is less sour. It’s usually the main ingredient of cakes, pies, drinks and desserts, which are very difficult to resist.
The settlement dates from 1913, when a Spanish immigrant (José Pantín) and his family set up a bar, a grocery store and accommodations near the mouth of El Calafate stream.
These facilities became a staging post in the journey between the Cordillera region and Río Gallegos. A few years later, other families followed the example and in 1927 El Calafate was officially founded.
At the northern tip of Los Glaciares National Park, at the foot of the Mt Fitz Roy granite massif (3.405 m above sea level) and the Mt Torre massif (3.128 m), may be found the small village of El Chaltén, Argentina’s youngest town, founded on October 12, 1985.
There are some 220 kilometers of roads that offer magical views of glaciers, hidden lakes, livestock farms, Lake Viedma and the overpowering presence of Mt Fitz Roy.
This mountain’s unmistakable profile is always capped with a cloud, mistaken for volcanic fumes by the tehuelche Indians, whence they called it Chaltén (meaning “volcano).
El Chaltén is one of Argentina’s prime climbing spots. It is also an ideal place for horseback and foot trekking, as well as sailing, and for communing with nature in all its beauty.
The granite spikes of Torre and Fitz Roy peaks offer an imposing and spectacular panorama when combined with the Viedma, Upsala and Moyano glaciers that empty into Lake Viedma, 106,000 hectares in area.
Pix In Motion