Glacial

Todays Friday Photo is still from New Zealand South Island – and like last week, this is just around the corner from the eastern side of Mount Cook.

When you make the drive in to the eastern side of Mount Cook, there is a small, unmade (gravel) road. Not especially well sign posted, narrow, and somewhat hair-raising, this eventually leads to a glacial lake.

The day we were there, it was hot – about 35 degrees, dry, very sunny and slightly windy. All in all, not that pleasant. There was about a 1/2 to 3/4 hour walk from the car park to the lake; of course this meant the same duration to get back again. The landscape on the way varies between a strange low wilderness of prickly acacia-like bushes, to a barren lunar landscape. The difference between summer and winter is obviously stark, with only the toughest of plants surviving. The movement over the years of the glacier, and the flowing waters from the lake also take their toll, which is why as you get closer to the lake it looks like some giant god has come along in a fit of anger and thrown handfuls of rock around – some as giant boulders, and a great deal of it crushed to powder.

The lake provides a welcome relief from the heat – the water is full of tiny particles of ground rock; a moving glacier grinds everything in its path, until eventually the particles drop out in the melt water. Of course, the lake is also cold. Perhaps something to do with the lumps of ice floating around in it.

Glacial Lake near Mount Cook

(Click for full size)

One Comment

Stunning – and to think that it was 35C when you travelled there..

….. snow is forecast here tomorrow

Comment by Kath Lockett | January 28th, 2012 2:17 am | Permalink

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