Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Power And The Glory

Lake Tasman with Mt Cook towering behind itIt would have been quite a sight to see: 30-50 million tonnes of ice breaking off the Tasman Glacier in the central South Island, forming around 20 icebergs now floating in Lake Tasman.
The process began earlier this month after heavy rain, when the terminal face rose 20-40m, lifting millions of tonnes of ice from the water across the entire 600m width of the face.
Last Wednesday (18th.), a small section of ice calved (broke off), resulting in a massive spectacular iceberg separating from the face. Then this past weekend, the rest of the uplifted ice broke away in the biggest-ever calving of the lake's 35 year history.
At 27km., the Tasman Glacier (in Mt Cook National Park) is NZ's longest glacier. If you're holidaying there Glacier Explorers - which takes cruises on the lake - resumes operations on 3rd.September, a month ahead of schedule to take advantage of the opportunity to see these magnificent new icebergs. Their scale is enormous: the biggest one is about 300m x 200m and 40m high (that's 13 stories high and the size of dozens of football fields!) - and that's literally only the tip of the iceberg. And they flip, turn and move as natural forces take action.
This video will give you some idea of the view awaiting visitors...
it will certainly be a stunning iceberg and glacier cruising season. Before...and after

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