P. Edronkin

Mount Bolsón (I).



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Mount Bolsón (2.077 m) is one of the most characteristic mountains near El Bolson city, in the Blanco region, located on the Argentinean side of the Patagonian Andes at exactly 42 degrees south of the equator. This is approximately the same latitude, albeit on the inverse hemisphere, as Munich, in Germany.

Mount Bolsón has some interesting features: its glacier, known as Glaciar de las Lagrimas in Spanish, which translates as 'Glacier of Tears' is significant because of its size and the fact that there, global warming has become evident. The glacier has been shrinking in the last twenty years or so. I am a witness of that, and in this text you will be able to see the difference thanks to some pictures.

Mount Bolsón.
A view of Mount Bolsón from the South East.

Anyway, this glacier has formed a couple of small high-altitude lakes on the East-Southeast face of Cerro Bolsón. These lakes spill their load of water into the Southern Blanco River, which goes from West to East a couple of kilometres up North of the mountain's position.

The glacier's location and magnitude is not casual: during the various expeditions that I have led to the area we could check a minimum depth of 40 metres on some of its crevasses. We actually entered some, and some ice caves inside the glacier as well, and the glacier is positioned - like almost all other glaciers in Patagonia - where the sunlight and warmth affect them less. That simply means that Argentineans almost always enjoy better views of the mountains than Chileans.

Mount Bolsón.
Mount Bolsón's glacier during the austral summer, in 1983.

As I was telling you, thanks to this glacier we can - unfortunately - confirm that uor planet is becoming warmer. Even the surface of the main lake formed by its shrinking because its depth level is becoming shallower. From 1983 and 1992, it has become approximately 1 m lower.

Mount Bolsón.
Mount Bolsón's glacier during the summer of the year 2002.



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