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Ventisquero Colgante, Cascada de
   Aisén, Chile

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CONFIRMED
This waterfall has been confirmed by the World Waterfall Database, has been mapped and its height has been approximated but exact measurements have not yet been confirmed.
Cascada de Ventisquero Colgante is a waterfall of relatively recent formation. The meltwaters of the Ventisquero Colgante (Hanging Glacier) plunge over a giant headwall formerly was covered by the glacier - which itself now sits at the top of the cliff slowly but steadily retreating backwards. The meltwaters freefall in one of two paths depending on how the ice above is directing its flow, then impacts on a huge slab of angled bedrock and skips the remaining distance to the valley floor, where it flows underneath what appears to be a permanent avalanche cone. The falls are visible and flowing year round but due to the abblation of avalanches at the base of the falls, as much as half of the falls can be covered by snow and ice during the late spring and early summer.

The falls have not been measured (nor do we even know if it has any other name), but based on the limited data we have available to us, we estimate the total drop to be in the vicinity of 1800 feet or more. In fact, it is more than likely that 1800 feet is a very conservative number and the falls may in reality stretch for more than 2000 feet in height. Either way, the height of this waterfall coupled with the high volume of water flowing from the melting glacier makes this a waterfall of global significance and easily one of the top five in all of South America.

HISTORY AND NAMES


  • Also Known as: Hanging Glacier Falls
  • Ventisquero Colgante, Cascada de is the Unofficial name of this waterfall

The falls are named, unofficially, for the glacier at the top of the cliff. The toe of the glacier is right at the brink, hence the name "hanging glacier".

Our thoughts


Because of the relatively isolated nature of this waterfall and the lack of visitation it receives, we don't have a whole lot of information on it. But what we do know is that its a very tall waterfall with a consistently considerable volume and that places it among the worlds best. If that isn't enough, as its namesake glacier melts and retreats it should only increase in height and visibility. Not many waterfalls can make that claim.

Location and directions


The falls are at the head of the valley below Ventisquero Colgante in Parque Nacional Queulat, approximately 10 miles (16.1km) south of Puyuguapi. You can see the falls from miles away, trails lead to viewpoints overlooking the valley and the falls.

Ventisquero Colgante, Cascada de is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.

Photography tips


The falls drop from the tip of a glacier into a deep valley. There will be a strong possibility for hot spots from the white of the ice. Ordinarily, we recommend shooting on overcast days, but in this case, the falls could appear to drop out of the sky. A sunny day, when the sun is overhead and evenly lights the falls, could be better. The falls are very tall and have the potential to move a lot of water. Slow shutter studies wouldn't impart the power of the falls, nor would they be conducive to proper exposures. It's probably best to use a fast exposure and "freeze" the water in order to highlight its power.

Links to Additional Pictures


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queulat_National_Park

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User comments


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