Story Behind The Image: The Dirty Quarrel
I performed copious amounts of research, pouring over topo maps and google earth in order to familiarize myself as much as I could before my trip to Patagonia last April. My hope was to find my own way, and during the process hopefully find some interesting and unique vantage points. This was not one of them, but I had to visit this spot. I just had to see it because I had previously been enamored by the ground-breaking work that Marc Adamus did in Patagonia a couple years ago, and I have always loved his image from this vantage point. So I will not take any credit for this area or composition, because that belongs to him, as far as I know. Regardless, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity that I happened upon on this first morning of mine in the wilderness of Los Glaciares National Park.
The wall of lenga trees stood before me like a fortress, my headlamp not strong enough to pierce through and show me what possibility I had of reaching the other side. My initial attempt of getting through was a failure and now I sat on a large rock sulking in surrender. Darkness was all around me, sunrise was fast approaching, and I had lost my motivation after the 2 mile slog up the river bed and the battle with other lenga trees I had just finished an exhausting battle with. Whatever. What I could see of the sky through the early morning darkness showed little hope for anything interesting happening anyway. I’ll just sit here and wait till there is enough light so i can make my way around the grove of trees that was ruining my first morning in the wilderness. I’d get to see the lake with mountains towering above, at least… that was enough for me. At least I was trying to convince myself it was.
5 minutes came and went as I sat in silence before a mix of boredom, stubbornness, and determination had me back up on my feet again, stomping up towards that damn grove and diving back in. Surprisingly, it was not as substantial as I had thought, and with a little sweat, I had pushed through to the other side into a much welcomed clearing. This was the spot I had wanted. A clear view down to the lake, and a crowd of dwarf trees spread out before me.
Pack off, Camera out, and the scouting for a composition began. With dawn almost on top of me, it didn’t take long before I noticed something while my back was turned to the mountain. Everything seemed have a bit of a pink glow to it. I spun around and my gaze fell on Fitz Roy and it’s siblings being lit up in the most spectacularly selective beam of sunrise light I could have ever asked for. I set to work fast and began firing the trigger when I heard something. It was a crackling rumble that began echoing through bowl, sounding exactly like what I had heard the night prior, which at that time I had passed off as distant thunder. Except this was no thunder. This was a huge chunk of ice breaking off of the glacier below Fitz Roy and tumbling down the mountain, breaking apart and being pulverized into a fine powder. Well, a ‘fine’ powder as far as I could tell. I imagine if I were standing under it, I’d be singing a different tune. Anyhow, this flow of ice eventually found it’s way down into Lago Sucia forming an impressive ‘waterfall’ of ice. Perhaps not obvious at first, so look close! I was able to capture it just at the same time the light was at it’s best. It made for quite a morning, quite a shot, and quite the beginning to my month long excursion to this dream land.