In the summer of 2011 while on holiday in Zermatt I crossed the Gorner Glacier on a trip to see the new Monte Rosa Hut. Click here to see my post on the ‘Monte Rosa Hut Trail’. During that same holiday I also took some semi-abstract images looking directly down onto the Gorner Glacier from the vantage point of Gornergrat. Those images were also published on this blog in ‘The Gorner Glacier’. Click the link to see that post.
One of the images I took of the glacier in July 2011 is shown below. In summer the glacier is ‘dry’; meaning that surface lying snow has melted away exposing the hard ice of the underlying glacier. Under these conditions all the crevasses become clearly visible, making glacier travel a lot safer. Melt water carves deep meandering channels into the surface of the ice, pursuing a course not unlike a lazy river.
Earlier this year, 18 months later, I was back in Zermatt for 10 days skiing and once again went back up to Gornergrat. Looking down onto the Gorner Glacier – in winter fully snow covered – I was astonished to spot the unmistakable outline of what I had photographed 18 months earlier. See the second image below.
I am certain that I am not mistaken. There are striking similarities between the features in these two images that I am sure are not chance occurrences. This has to be the same stretch of the glacier. It provides striking evidence of the slow movement of this glacier. This glacier cannot have moved more than 100-200 metres over the 18 months between the taking of these two images.