Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ventisquero Colgante (Hanging Glacier) of Chile

Ventisquero Colgante, or the Hanging Glacier, is found in the Queulat National Park, in Chile. It is the biggest attraction of Queulat National Park. This is hanging above a ravine of bare rock; and it dominates a valley formed by mountains covered in valdivian temperate rainforest, and feeds a river at the bottom of the valley as it melts. The water melting from the glacier makes two towering waterfalls which drops around 600 meters on top of a massive slab of angled bedrock, and then flows beneath what appears to be a perpetual avalanche cone. When the stream leaves this underground section, it creates a beautiful small lake called “Laguna Témpanos” and then after around six kilometers it enters the Canal de Puyuhuapi. Well, the falls are noticeable and flowing all-round the year but due to the ablation of avalanches at the base of the falls, as much as half of the falls can be covered by snow and ice during the late spring and early summer.

The lovely Ventisquero Colgante falls was discovered in 1875, when an exploration led by Captain Enrique Simpson. The Captain Enrique reported that the snow of the glacier was fair 100 meters from the bank of Canal de Puyuhuapi, where Captain used to moor his boat. It is not completely clear whether he saw the waterfall or this waterfall was visible at all. In all probability, it wasn’t. The waterfall was formed much later, as the glacier retreated and the cliff wall became visible. If Captain Enrique observation is factual, then the glacier has retreated 8 kilometers during the last 140 years.