A week or more ago I wrote about how it can be difficult to find something new to say about a place that has been re-visited several times and well documented photographically.
Looking steeply down onto the Gorner glacier from Gornergrat earlier today I spotted the familiar hollows in the glacier’s surface that I have photographed before and written about – click here, and also here – but there was something new. Spidery fingers of blackness were extending out onto the glacier’s surface. A strange phenomenon, but I think I understand what has been happening.
We are looking vertically down about 1,000ft to the glacier, maybe more, and at the foot of the image you can see a fraction of this near-vertical cliff. The high temperatures are causing snow to melt and with the melt, grit is also trickling out of this cliff (actually a colossal lateral moraine) and out onto the glacier. And it is that dark watery grit that is causing this weird appearance (I think).