The Icy Blues

It's a remote, but incredibly beautiful mountain and has a massive, unclimbed east face - that's more or less all I could find out about Cerro San Lorenzo researching the web. What seemed to qualify this peak as a tempting challenge for top-notch mountaineers also looked promising with landscape photography in mind.

After spending a night at the El Rincón ranger station in Parque Nacional Perito Moreno (where I took my photo El Rincón) we headed north into the valley of the Rio Lacteo. Soon we reached the boundary of the national park and entered private land under the administration of Conservacion Patagonia. We followed the riverbed to the rustic Puesto San Lorenzo, a small wooden hut, which is often used as a basecamp by climbing parties. We immediately fell in love with this place. It had long served as an isolated border post and was filled with an intense atmosphere of adventure. If you ever go there I recommend you reading the visitor's book, full of great stories and emotions.

The next morning we continued our walk into the patagonian wild. Our goal for the day was to reach the Laguna de los Témpanos (lake of the icebergs), a big glacial lake below the east face of Cerro San Lorenzo. Patagonian autumn was already sending it's first greetings in form of a cold wind blowing down from the icy wall. The wind soon turned into a gale and a dark front started rolling in from behind Cerro San Lorenzo. We were expecting a rough night and hurried to find a sheltered spot to set up our tent.

With everything set up for the night and the tent weighed down by what felt like a ton of rocks we finally had time to relax and breathe in the spectacular scenery. As it's name suggested the lake in front of us was filled with icebergs that were calving from the glaciar below San Lorenzo. Some huge (the size of houses) blocks of ice were scattered in the lake and a few smaller pieces had been washed ashore. Like a king of ice and stone, San Lorenzo was throning above it all. The place was spectacular!

a blue-hour shot of cerro san lorenzo
The Icy Blues @ Joerg Bonner

After a chilly night I awoke to a clear blue sky with just a hint ouf clouds building up behind Cerro San Lorenzo's peak. Within a few minutes I was at the lake looking for a nice block of ice serving as a foreground. It had been a windy night and the waves had left a few fresh chunks on the shore. I went for a low angle including a few colorful rocks. The pre-sunrise glow on San Lorenzo's east face was amazing. It's 2500 vertical meters of granite and ice almost acted like a warm light source in the cold blue of the morning.

The image above is the result of a four minute exposure, allowing the wind to smear the growing clouds above the peak and blurring the lakes surface.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ 17mm
ISO 100, f/11, 241 seconds
Gitzo GT1541T

Laguna de los Témpanos, Santa Cruz, Argentina

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