The 10 most important glaciers in the world

Glaciers, beautiful natural and gigantic ice formations that are scattered in different parts of the planet and cover 10% of it. But at the same time, they account for 75% of the planet’s freshwater. It is said that there are about 200,000 glaciers, excluding the poles and those located along the Andes Mountains. 

They range from huge mountains of ice in the most remote and coldest places, to those that form masses of ice, due to the lava that has petrified, and that descend the different slopes, white in color. In addition to their size, they also impress with their beautiful landscapes and shades of blue, gray and white, creating great wonders.

Next, we are going to take a short tour starting in Alaska in North America, going down to South America until we reach Patagonia, then we continue to Europe passing through Iceland, France and we end up in the African continent, we hope you like it!!!!

The most important glaciers located in North America

  • Chugach State Park in Alaska: this park was created in 1970 and covers some 2004 square kilometers of forests, mountains and, of course, spectacular glaciers. In addition, it is located near the largest city in Alaska, called Anchorage.

In this park you can observe many glaciers, some glacial lakes, as well as ice caves that have formed over time, in addition to the spectacular and beautiful scenery. 

You can go hiking to see the glaciers, there are tours with guides and it is recommended that it is done between May and September, because it has the best weather. Among the glaciers are the Raven Glacier, Spencer Glacier, Portage Glacier, McBride Glacier, among others.

  • Athabasca Glacier, in the Canadian Rockies: the incredible Athabasca Glacier, in Canada, is located in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, located between the peaks and at an altitude of more than 3000 m. It is also part of Jasper National Park and the Columbia Icefield. It is also part of Jasper National Park and the Columbia Icefield. 

To visit the glacier, you leave from the city of Vancouver and when you arrive there are vehicles called snow coaches, which are conditioned to travel around the glacier. It is recommended to visit at any time of the year except in the winter, because of the complicated climate.

The most important glaciers, located in South America, are the following

  • The Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina: this country has several glaciers to the west, and they are distributed throughout the Andes Mountains, along about 3500 km, being present in 12 of its provinces and in 39 water basins. 

But perhaps the most famous is the Perito Moreno, which is located in the Glacier National Park, in Patagonia, in front of the Magellan Peninsula and very close to El Calafate, about 78 km away. It has an altitude of 60 m and its name is due to the Argentine naturalist Francisco Moreno. Its blue tones are striking and its reflections can be seen in El Lago Argentino.

To visit it, you must start the excursion from El Calafate or you can also go by car, either your own or rented, following road number 11, which will take you directly to the Perito’s parking lot; by the way, the road is in good condition and paved. 

  • Vinciguerra Glacier, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina: this glacier is located in the Tierra del Fuego province of Argentina, its capital is Ushuaia. It is said to be one of the most important glaciers in the region, but it is not the largest. Its name is in memory of the zoologist who attended in 1882, together with an Italian, the joint Italian-Argentine expedition to Tierra del Fuego.

You start touring the glacier at the level of a gate that is located towards the bottom of the Andorra Valley, that is, about 8 km from the famous center of Ushuaia, its capital. The recommendation is to visit it with warm clothes, trekking boots and raincoat; for all the seasons of the year. 

  • The Vespignani Glacier, in the Patagonian Andes: this glacier is located near El Chalten, a town located in the west of the province of Santa Cruz, in Argentina; to the south of the Andes Mountains and southwest of Patagonia. This glacier has a circular shape, covering about 3.2 km and its route in recent times has increased by hiking. 

The area has several trails with different difficulties, one without ascent to visit the coastal and wooded area, another intermediate with a slight slope and another with about 150 m to access the upper part of the glacier and beautiful views to the north of Mount Fitz Roy.

  • The Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers in Chile: both glaciers are part of the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, located about 50 km northwest of Puerto Natales; also part of the mountainous Andes. The Balmaceda glacier is located to the west of Mount Balmaceda and its characteristic feature is that it is hanging; with about 2030 m.

Both glaciers can only be visited by sea, thanks to the cruises that are made from the city of Puerto Natales. In this way you can better observe the falls of the huge icebergs, a real spectacle! 

The most important glaciers located in Northern Europe

  • Sólheimajökull Glacier in Iceland: Iceland, located between the Norwegian Sea, Greenland and the North Atlantic, is considered the “land of glaciers”. It is also the island-like country located towards the northernmost part of the North Atlantic. This glacier is located towards the south of Iceland, between the Eyjafjallajökull and Katla volcanoes. This is one of the glaciers with the best access. 

To reach it, if you travel the circular road or Ring Road of the island, there is a paved detour to reach the glacier parking lot, less than 5 km away. However, if you want to walk on this glacier, it is recommended that you do it with a qualified guide, as it is a bit dangerous to climb without safety equipment, such as crampons, helmet, harness, ice ax, among others.

By 1995 the glacier reached this parking lot that has been enabled for visitors, but due to climate change has been retreating by melting to a maximum of 70 m per year.

  • The Vatnajökull Glacier, also in Iceland: this is the largest glacier in Iceland and also the 2nd largest in the European continent, located towards the southeast of the country, in a Natural Park with beautiful waterfalls and covers an area of about 8300 square kilometers. It can be said that in this area fits the city of Madrid; and the thickness of the ice is estimated at 1 kilometer. 

To visit it, trekking is usually done, walking on the ice with crampons and ice axes. It also has a beautiful cave called the Blue Cave, but to visit it is recommended only in the winter season, because otherwise, due to the weather, it becomes a little more inaccessible. Like all glaciers, it is losing meters annually due to climate change. 

  • The Mer de Glace Glacier in France: this glacier is located to the north of the famous Mont Blanc massif, at the level of the French Alps. It is about 7 km long, being the longest in France, and is about 200 m deep and 2400 m high. From the city of Chamonix and its beautiful Alps you can contemplate this Glacier, surrounded by alpine landscapes.

In addition to its beautiful views, it has an ice cave in the heart of the glacier, which can be accessed from Montenvers, especially in summer; either walking, taking about 20 minutes on the route, or taking the gondola lift; therefore, if you want to know the Mer de Glace glacier, join the Chamonix excursion.

One of the most important glaciers on the African continent:

  • The Furstwängler Glacier on Mount Kilimanjaro: although it seems incredible, Africa also has its glacier and is among the list of the 10 most important glaciers on the planet. It is located on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, at 5,892 m high, the highest peak on the continent. 

However, scientists in a recent study mention that in about 20 years the glacier will be gone, due to melting ice. But in the meantime, you can enjoy the excursions from Moshi to Kilimanjaro and its beautiful views.

Posted in Worldwide.