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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Floating Ice

We had so many great iceberg pictures that I needed to break them up into 2 posts (see Part 1). There one one giant iceberg that had a very cool tunnel through.

To give you some perspective on size, there is one of the other tiny boats way on the other side. This thing was GIGANTIC! You can start to see the stress fractures forming that will eventually tear the moulin apart.

And of course it was "raining" melted water on the inside.

The variety of shapes was'd this one get so brilliantly blue & stuck with a big rock hat on top?

I kept trying to orient them in my mind so that they black streaks would parallel the correct direction as the glacier slid down the mountain tens of thousands of years ago.

This iceberg had some serious crevasses carved out of it.

I kept thinking the cloud on Mt. Cook would magically disappear and we'd have an amazing view of such luck.

It still made for a stunning backdrop anyway.

I was hoping H's one and only science class in college, geology, would come in handy and he could tell me why there was so much difference in how the glacier & rocks interacted...that got me nowhere though.

Unfortunately, we weren't actually able to get very close to the glacier from the lake because our guides said it was too dangerous- it could be calving off large chunks (which would create big wakes on the boats) or submerged pieces could suddenly shift and surface near the front. It was very, very rocky though & I don't remember the glaciers in Alaska being this rocky.

This is with my 200mm lens zoomed all the way in & I captured some pretty cool patterns on the face of the Tasman Glacier and of course, lots of rocks.

This glacier was so much different than the one we later hiked on. I don't think the snow builds up on this one like it does Fox Glacier and Franz Josef, so it's slowly melting and leaving all the rocks it had picked up on the top.

The trip is incredibly interesting & it's so freaking cool to be touching an iceberg, but shots like these of the Tasman Valley, with the glacier & lake and side of Mount Cook where what made the trip phenomenal.

The guide was kind enough to take a photo for us & you can see we didn't get very close to the glacier face itself.

On both side of the valley and at the front of the lake were giant rock walls that had been created as the glacier receded and left all it's garbage it was carrying down the mountain.

So very cool...some mountains get greenery and some get rocks!

Walking back to the bus, I could easily see why so much of Lord of the Rings was filmed around the area.

After a while, we played a game, similar to make-things-out-of-cloud-formations, where we'd find shapes and whatnot in the icebergs...see the arrow?

The absolute best shot I got of Mt Cook our entire trip. It only lasted about 5 seconds, but was incredible to finally see the peak.

Back on the bus & across another milky white river with beautiful rocks. After checking out all my river photos, I'm really wishing we'd gone whitewater rafting while we were there (not at Mt Cook, but in NZ in general).

I added these cool Google Earth shots because they give such a great view of the lake. The Hooker lake, which we hiked towards, but didn't make it, is on the left & Tasman Lake is on the right.

The resolution in this area is fantastic and you can see how big the icebergs.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Off to California today- fun trip to Santa Barbara and San Diego.

1 comment:

Dennis the Vizsla said...

That ice tunnel is one of the cooler things I've ever seen!