Monday, January 10, 2011

Yosemite Valley Formation

 Everyone knows the beauty of Yosemite Valley, the shear granite rock, the open meadows, and the amazing waterfalls.  All the park signs explain how the Valley was sculpted by glaciers...Over 250,000 years ago, the Valley was full of a glacier. A glacier so big that only 900 feet of Half Dome emerged from the giant flow of ice. I always had a really difficult time comprehending this explanation.  No way a glacier could be that big!

That is, until I saw Glacier Perito Moreno. Instantly, I understood the formation of Yosemite Valley. Reaching 60 meters out of the water, and 440 more meters underneath, over 1 mile wide and 15 miles long, Perito Moreno is the biggest chunk of ice I've ever seen and could never have imagined. Seeing is believing, and now I have the utmost respect for the formation of Yosemite Valley.

Perhaps in another 250,000 years, it will be the Perito Moreno Valley that everyone visits...The next Yosemite, carved from a glacier. That's all I could think about as I traversed the slopes of the glacier, learned about the glacial rivers, pools, crevices. How this inspiring block of moving ice is shaping the earth, the climate and the world around it. I used to lack respect for glaciers, (its just ice right?), but after this experience, without hesitation I think that glaciers are one of the most awesome features of our planet.

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