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Nieve Penitentes | Chile / Argentina

Location

Argentina
30° 11' 33.1008" S, 69° 49' 33.6432" W
AR
Nieve Penitentes

Agua Negra Pass - Photo: zerega

Penitentes, or nieves penitentes (Spanish for "penitent-shaped snows"), are a snow formation found at high altitudes. They take the form of tall thin blades of hardened snow, or ice, closely spaced with the blades oriented towards the general direction of the sun. The name comes from the resemblance of a field of penitentes to a crowd of people kneeling, as when doing penance.

These pinnacles of snow or ice grow over all glaciated and snow-covered areas in the Dry Andes above 13120 ft (4000 m). They range in size from half-inch (a few centimetres) to over 16 ft (5 m)Penitentes were first described in scientific literature by Charles Darwin in 1839. On March 22, 1835, he had to squeeze his way through snowfields covered in penitentes near the Piuquenes Pass, on the way from Santiago de Chile to the Argentinian city of Mendoza, and reported the local belief (continuing to the present day) that they were formed by the strong winds of the Andes.

More infos: Wikipedia

Nieve Penitentes

Nieve Penitentes - Photo: CFlaviu

Nieve Penitentes

Nieve Penitentes - Photo: Vincent Loh

Nieve Penitentes

Nieve Penitentes - Photo: Vincent Loh

Nieve Penitentes

Agua Negra Pass - Photo: richard desomme

SUBMITTED ON 10.02.2013.