The Fee Gletscher (Fee Glacier) is a massive Glacier that flows down from most of the peaks that form the horseshoe-shaped backdrop to the village of Saas Fee.
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Langfluh (also spelt Langflue) is a superb viewpoint that sits atop a major spur of land that divides the glacier into a northern half and a southern half. Langfluh is normally accessible by cable car from Saas Fee but this summer the top section above Spielboden is out of action pending improvements – although I have to say that when I walked up to Langfluh today there was absolutely no evidence of work having started. The place was deserted. Worrying, as in winter this is a vital hub for uplifts to the glacier skiing area above Saas Fee.
We tend to think of Glaciers, romantically, as blindingly white and slashed by an unseen knife-wielding maniac creating crevasses that add interest. This may be the case where snow cover is permanent and where the glacier flows in an orderly fashion. But the majority in the Alps shed their surface snow in summer and are then termed ‘dry’. To the climber this is a huge benefit as hidden crevasses become visible. But with the loss of snow, the underlying ice is revealed in its weathered and often chaotic state. The glacier is a travelator that has ground its way down the mountain over many years accruing dust, dirt, grit and boulders. Where its downward path is subject to sudden changes in gradient and particularly near its terminal tongue, the glacier becomes contorted and chaotic as it breaks up.
Finally just above Langfluh, an area of the glacier is covered with white fabric (to reflect sunlight) in an attempt to reduce glacial retreat. Those of you who saw my Post about the Britannia Hut noted a small area of white fabric close to the hut. The area covered with Langfluh is on a vast scale.