P.N. Los Glaciares Part 2

My last post Parque Nacional los Glaciares started with a quite spectacular sunrise image of the Fitz Roy Range. It was taken from a lookout called Mirador de los Condores. We had spent the previous evening scouting for locations and watched the sunset from said lookout.
While the sunrise behind Fitz Roy was mostly hidden by clouds there was a light show going on behind us. I turned my camera and tripod to capture the mountain range behind me catching the last light. The shadow in front and the dark clouds behind created a very moody image.
What's interesting for me is, that despite having some of the most spectacular mountains of the world in front of me I turned around to take a picture of a far less impressive mountain range. I guess it's all about the quality of the light.

Shadow & Light © Joerg Bonner

Now back to were we last stopped. After our visit of Fitz Roy and the Laguna de los Tres we spent a few hours trekking to our last stop in Parque Nacional los Glaciares. It was windy and rather cold. The sun didn't come out too many times and the peaks were hidden in clouds. When we reached our final destination it seemed to become a bit better and after having set up our tent it was sunny. We sat at the shore of Laguna Torre cooling our sore feet in the freezing water and watching the clouds spin around Cerro Torre.
After dinner almost all the clouds had disappeared and I started developing hopes for a nice sunset-shoot. I had scouted a nice rock that would work as an anchor in the foreground and returned there to await sunset.

Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre © Joerg Bonner

Unfortunately the cloud hovering above Fitz Roy and opposing Cerro Torre wasn't there to stay. It disappeared within a few minutes after I took this picture. During sunset I was facing clear skies.
We had read a lot about patagonian weather before our trip and had been expecting anything but clear skies. Our backpacks were full of rain-gear. We were equipped for winterly conditions. But now we were facing a cloudless sky. Not even a single cloud was left to reflect that famous patagonian sunset light!
It's moments like these that remind me not to expect to much but instead make the best of any situation.
I had pictures of Cerro Torre and the milky way in my mind. I decided to get ready for a cold night outside. Two hours after sunset it was almost dark and I was in position. It was then, that I saw the enemy of all night-photography: a nice and bright full moon. Remember: make the best of it! With the sky getting brighter and brighter again I decided to go for startrails. Short startrails in this case.

Cerro Torre Startrails © Joerg Bonner

Man, did I curse the moon that night. But on the other hand I was happy to catch up on some sleep.
We had set an early alarm for the next morning to watch the sun rise. Again, we woke up to cloudless skies. At first I was a bit disappointed, but then I spotted the full moon. Unlike the night before I liked what I saw. The moon was about to set behind Cerro Torre. I went back to the rock where I had been before and arrived just in time.
Cerro Torre itself is a breathtaking sight, but combined with some intense alpenglow it's really unbelievable. The moon was just the icing on the cake. I could have sat there forever just watching the scenery.

Cerro Torre with Full Moon at Sunrise © Joerg Bonner

For more information about Parque Nacional los Glaciares visit it's website, or the official website of El Chaltén. Here you can find all kinds of information about the village El Chaltén itself and its surroundings. I especially recommend the activities section where you can find a list of trails, treks and campgrounds in the park.
We already have scheduled a trip back to Patagonia for 2012 and I can't wait to go back there!

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