The thick layer of ice that has covered Switzerland's mountain passes for centuries will melt completely within weeks, a ski resort says. announced on Thursday.
Following a dry winter, the summer heat wave that hit Europe wreaked havoc on the accelerating melting of Alpine glaciers.
The pass between the Scex Rouge and the Tsanfleuron glacier has been ice-covered since at least Roman times.
However, as both glaciers have retreated, the bare rocks of the ridge between the two glaciers begin to emerge, becoming completely ice-free before the end of summer.
"The path will be fully open-air in the coming weeks," Glacier 3000 Ski Resort said in a statement.
In 2012, the ice was about 15 meters thick, but the ground beneath it "will fully resurface by the end of September."
The ridge lies at 2,800 meters above sea level on the Glacier 3000 ski area and effectively marks the boundary between the cantons of Vaud and Wallis in western Switzerland.
Skiers were able to slide down the summit from one glacier to another. But now a band of rock has emerged between them, leaving only the last remaining ice.
``No one has set foot here for over 2,000 years. I am very impressed,” said Bernhard Tschannen, Glacier 3000 Chief Executive Officer.
The Scex Rouge glacier could turn into a lake within the next 10-15 years. It is about 10 meters deep and has a volume of 250,000 cubic meters.
A shroud was placed on a portion of the Tsangfleuron glacier near the pass to protect it from the melting rays of the sun.
Glaciologist Mauro Fischer, a researcher at the University of Bern, said the decline in glacier thickness in the region this year was on average three times higher than in the summers of the last decade. said it would be.