The Gorner Glacier is a valley glacier found on the west side of the Monte Rosa massif close to Zermatt in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. It is about 12.4 km long and 1 to 1.5 km wide, the entire glacial area of the glacier related to Gorner Glacier is 57 km2, which makes it the second largest glacial system in the Alps after the Aletsch Glacier system. Numerous smaller glaciers connect with the Gorner Glacier and its tributaries are, Monte Rosa Gletscher, Zwillingsgletscher, Schwärzegletscher, Breithorngletscher and Unterer Theodulgletscher. The Grenzgletscher between the central Monte Rosa massif and the Liskamm to the south is nowadays by far the lower Gorner Glaciers main tributary, the Gorner Glaciers upper part is almost already disconnected from its lower part. Also the former tributaries Breithorngletscher and Unterer Theodulgletscher left their connections to the Gorner Glacier during the last century, the Lower Theodul Glacier in the 1980s. An interesting feature of this glacier is the Gornersee, an ice marginal lake at the area of the Gorner-.
This lake fills every year and drains in summer, usually as a Glacial lake outburst flood and this is one of few glacial lakes in the Alps exhibiting this kind of behaviour. There are several interesting features including crevasses and table top forms where large surface boulders have been left stranded above the glaciers surface. Supported by ice that the boulder has sheltered from melting that has effected the more exposed surrounding ice, due to the immense information about the glacier, it is perfect for a glacier project. It is the source of the river Gornera which flows down through Zermatt itself, most of its water gets captured by a water catchment station of the Grande Dixence hydroelectric power plant. This water ends up in the Lac des Dix, the reservoir of Grande Dixence. The glacier as well as the mountains can be seen from the Gornergrat. Like almost all glaciers in the Alps, and most glaciers on the globe as well. And in a dramatic way. Nowadays, Gorner Glacier retreats with about 30 metres every year, since its last major expansion in 1859 it lost more than 2,500 metres in distance.
However, the upper Gorner Glacier traditionally is to be found on the north side, the reason is that the upper part of the Gorner Glacier is currently losing contact with its lower part and now the Grenzgletscher has become its much larger tributary. So it is easy to mismatch the Border Glacier as the upper Gorner Glacier, but this was not the case in earlier times, as the following comparison impressively shows, List of glaciers in Switzerland Gorner Glacier glaciology. ethz. ch Gorner Glacier swisseduc. ch
The Breithorn is a mountain range of the Pennine Alps with its highest peak of the same name, located on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It lies on the chain of the Alps, approximately halfway between the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa and east of the Theodul Pass. Most of the massif is glaciated and includes several peaks, all located east of the main summit, the Central Breithorn, the western Breithorn Twin, the Gendarm. The main summit is distinguished by the name Western Breithorn. The nearest settlements are Zermatt and St-Jacques, the Breithorn is considered the most easily climbed 4,000 m Alpine peak. This is due to the Klein Matterhorn cable car which takes climbers to over 3,820 m from Zermatt for a starting point. The standard route is from the Italian side of the mountain, inexperienced mountaineers may run into severe difficulty if caution is not taken near cornices or in bad weather. For experienced climbers wanting more of a challenge, the traverse of the Breithorn crest is another option.
The Breithorn was first climbed in 1813 by Henry Maynard, Joseph-Marie Couttet, Jean Gras, Jean-Baptiste Erin, media related to Breithorn at Wikimedia Commons Breithorn on SummitPost Breithorn on Peakware - photos Breithorn on 4000er. de Breithorn on WinterClimb. com - photos, practical info
Castor is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Valais and the Aosta Valley in Italy. It is the higher of a pair of peaks, the other being Pollux. Castors peak is at an elevation of 4,223 m and it is separated from Pollux by a pass at 3,847 m, named Passo di Verra in Italian and Zwillingsjoch in German. Ascents are usually made from the alpine hut Capanna Quintino Sella on the Italian side, by means of the Felikjoch, from the Swiss side, ascents start from Klein Matterhorn and go by way of the Italian glacier Grand Glacier of Verra and the mountains west flank. The first ascent was made on August 23,1861, Castor and Pollux are a pair of summits in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA. Located in the Absaroka Range, Castor is 3,308 m,65 m lower than its twin
The Matter Valley is located in southwestern Switzerland, south of the Rhone valley in the canton of Valais. The village of Zermatt is the most important settlement of the valley, located in the Pennine Alps, the Matter Valley is drained by the Matter Vispa, a tributary of the Rhone. The valley itself ends at Stalden where it meets the Saas Valley, the resulting Visp Valley continues for a few kilometres until it reaches the town of Visp on the young river Rhone. The valley starts between the high summits south of Zermatt on the border with Italy. The upper side is glaciated, the second largest glacier of the Alps, around the village of Randa are located the Weisshorn and the Dom. The difference of height between the talweg and the summits on both side reaches over 3 km, the total length of the valley is about 40 km. 5,600 inhabitants, is the largest and highest town in the valley, St. Niklaus follows with 2,400 inhabitants. Between them are located the villages of Täsch and Randa. The villages of Grächen, Embd and Törbel are located above the valley, located at the end of the valley, is the lowest village.
Since the end of the century the upper end of the valley is connected by rail from Visp. If the main road connect Zermatt from Visp, it cannot be used between Täsch and Zermatt, the latter being completely car-free, since 1930 the valley is directly connected to St. Moritz by the Glacier Express panoramic train
Retreat of glaciers since 1850
Studied by glaciologists, the temporal coincidence of glacier retreat with the measured increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases is often cited as an evidentiary underpinning of global warming. Glacier mass balance is the key determinant of the health of a glacier, Glaciers in retreat will have negative mass balances, and if they do not find an equilibrium between accumulation and ablation, will eventually disappear. The Little Ice Age was a period from about 1550 to 1850 when the world experienced relatively cooler temperatures compared to the present, until about 1940, glaciers around the world retreated as the climate warmed substantially. Glacial retreat slowed and even reversed temporarily, in many cases, in locations such as the Andes of South America and Himalayas in Asia, the demise of glaciers in these regions has the potential to affect water supplies in those areas. The acceleration of the rate of retreat since 1995 of key outlet glaciers of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets may foreshadow a rise in sea level, the mass balance, or difference between accumulation and ablation, of a glacier is crucial to its survival.
Climate change may cause variations in temperature and snowfall, resulting in changes in mass balance. A glacier with a negative balance loses equilibrium and retreats. A sustained positive balance is out of equilibrium and will advance to reestablish equilibrium. Currently, nearly all glaciers have a mass balance and are retreating. Glacier retreat results in the loss of the region of the glacier. Since higher elevations are cooler, the disappearance of the lowest portion decreases overall ablation, thereby increasing mass balance, methods for measuring retreat include staking terminus location, global positioning mapping, aerial mapping and laser altimetry. The key symptom of disequilibrium is thinning along the length of the glacier. This indicates a diminishment of the accumulation zone, the result is marginal recession of the accumulation zone margin, not just of the terminus. In effect, the no longer has a consistent accumulation zone. However, the Grinnell Glacier in Montana, U. S. will shrink at an increasing rate until it disappears.
The difference is that the section of Easton Glacier remains healthy and snow-covered. Small glaciers with minimal altitude range are most likely to fall into disequilibrium with the climate, middle latitude glaciers are located either between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle, or between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle. Both areas support glacier ice from glaciers, valley glaciers and even smaller icecaps
The Dom is a mountain of the Pennine Alps, located between Randa and Saas-Fee in the canton of Valais. With its 4,545 m summit it is the third highest mountain in the Alps, the Dom is the main summit of the Mischabel group, which is the highest massif lying entirely in Switzerland. Although Dom is a German cognate for dome, it can mean cathedral and the mountain is named after Canon Berchtold of Sitten cathedral, the first person to survey the vicinity. The former name Mischabel comes from an ancient German dialect term for pitchfork, the chain lies entirely in the district of Visp. The two valleys separated by the range are the Mattertal on the west and the Saastal on the east, the towns of Randa and Saas-Fee lie both six kilometres from the summit. The elevation difference between the summit and the floor is 3,150 metres on the west side and 3,000 metres on the east side. On the Mattertal side, the Dom faces the almost equally high Weisshorn and, on the Saastal side, the Dom is the highest point of the Saastal and the second highest mountain of the Mattertal after Monte Rosa.
Since the Dom is not on the main Alpine chain, the rivers flowing on both the west and east side of the end up in the same major river, the Rhone, through the Mattervispa. The Dom is the highest mountain in the Alps with this peculiarity, the Mischabel group includes many subsidiary summits above 4,000 metres. To the north lies the Nadelgrat, composed of the Lenzspitze, the Nadelhorn, the Stecknadelhorn, the Hohberghorn, the Nadelgrat is easily visible from the north and gives the massif its characteristic pitchfork appearance. The second highest peak of the massif, the Täschhorn to the south, culminates at 4,491 metres, in total, eight summits above 4,000 metres make up the Mischabel massif. Other important peaks of the massif are the Ulrichshorn and the Balfrin, the Dom has a western shoulder and an eastern shoulder. The massif is almost entirely composed of gneiss from the Siviez-Mischabel nappe, the latter is part of the Briançonnais microcontinent and is located in the Penninic nappes.
The Dom is a depositional mountain, the first ascent was made from the Festigrat by the Reverend John Llewelyn-Davies with guides Johann Zumtaugwald, Johann Krönig and Hieronymous Brantschen on 11 September 1858. They traversed the west face to reach the Festigrat before arriving to the summit, the first complete ascent on the western ridge was made in 1882 by Paul Güssfeldt and guides Alexander Burgener and B. The direct route on the west face was first ascended in 1962, the 1000-metre-high east face above Saas-Fee was climbed in 1875 by J. Petrus, A. and W. Puckle and L. Noti. A route on the face was first made in August 1906 by Geoffrey Winthrop Young and R. G. Major. According to Young it was more dangerous than the south-west face of the nearby Täschhorn, which they had climbed two weeks earlier
Zmutt is a small village in the municipality of Zermatt, Switzerland, situated at 1936 m in the Zmutt Valley west of Zermatt. The village chapel is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, patroness of the Valais, the valley passes the northern slope of the Matterhorn and terminates in the Zmutt Glacier on the border to Italys Aosta Valley. The Zmutt dam at 46°0′28″N 7°42′34″E, constructed in 1964, has a height of 74 m and this dam is fed by waters from the Bis and Gorner Glacier
The Swiss Alps extend over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, encompassing an area sometimes called Central Alps. The Swiss Alps comprise almost all the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Dufourspitze, the Dom, the Liskamm, the Weisshorn, the other following major summits can be found in this list of mountains of Switzerland. Since the Middle Ages, transit across the Alps played an important role in history, the region north of St Gotthard Pass became the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. The Alps cover 65% of Switzerlands total 41,285 square kilometres surface area, making it one of the most alpine countries. The glaciers of the Swiss Alps cover an area of 1,220 square kilometres — 3% of the Swiss territory, the Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss Plateau and north of the national border. The limit between the Alps and the runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun.
The not well defined regions in Switzerland that lie on the margin of the Alps, the Swiss Prealps are mainly made of limestone and they generally do not exceed 2,500 metres. The Alpine cantons are Valais, Graubünden, Glarus, Ticino, St. Gallen, Obwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg and Zug. The countries with which Switzerland shares mountain ranges of the Alps are, Italy, the Alps are usually divided into two main parts, the Western Alps and Eastern Alps, whose division is along the Rhine from Lake Constance to the Splügen Pass. The western ranges occupy the greatest part of Switzerland while the more numerous eastern ranges are smaller and are all situated in the canton of Graubünden. The latter are part of the Central Eastern Alps, except the Ortler Alps which belong to the Southern Limestone Alps, the Pennine and Bernina Range are the highest ranges of the country, they contain respectively 38,9 and 1 summit over 4000 metres. The lowest range is the Appenzell Alps culminating at 2,500 metres, Western Alps Eastern Alps The north side of the Swiss Alps is drained by the Rhône, Rhine and Inn while the south side is mainly drained by the Ticino.
The rivers on the empty into the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The major triple watersheds in the Alps are located within the country, they are, Piz Lunghin, Witenwasserenstock, between the Witenwasserenstock and Piz Lunghin runs the European Watershed separating the basin of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. The European watershed lies in fact only partially on the main chain, Switzerland possesses 6% of Europes fresh water, and is sometimes referred to as the water tower of Europe. Since the highest dams are located in Alpine regions, many mountain lakes are artificial and are used as hydroelectric reservoirs. Some large artificial lakes can be found above 2,300 m, the melting of low-altitude glaciers can generate new lakes, such as the 0.25 km² large Triftsee which formed between 2002–2003. The following table gives the area above 2000 m and 3000 m
The Strahlhorn is a mountain of the Swiss Pennine Alps, located south of Saas-Fee and east of Zermatt in the canton of Valais. It lies on the range separates the Mattertal from the Saastal and is located approximately halfway between the Rimpfischhorn and the Schwarzberghorn. Dumler and Willi P. Burkhardt, The High Mountains of the Alps, Diadem,1994 Strahlhorn
St. Niklaus, Switzerland
St. Niklaus is a village and a municipality in the Mattertal, part of the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. St. Niklaus is first mentioned in 1233 as chousun, in 1272 it was mentioned as ecclesia Sancti Nicholai de Chouson, Gebreitun de Gazun,1388 in villa sti nicolai de chosun, niu a fr Saint-Nicolas. Josef Marie Lochmatter, his best friend Peter Knubel, his brother-in-law Alois Pollinger, and Josef Imboden and they had a monopoly on Matterhorn ascents. Moreover, as the first Swiss guide, Peter Knubel climbed a mountain outside the Alps in 1874, Alois Pollinger invented the double-rope system of descent with. He used this technique with success at the Ridge of Ferpècle, Josef Imboden was the first Swiss to ascend a 6,000 meter-high in the Himalayas in 1883, where we find the highest mountains in the world. The fathers trained the sons early in their expeditions. The initiators of the new school came out of their ranks for the time, a fact that gave a new input to alpinism.
They werent satisfied to climb a mountain, but they always chose more and more difficult routes. They were the first ski-guides and were pioneers overseas, the mountain guides of St. Niklaus have effected about 300 first ascents a little bit everywhere in the world. In 1995 a monument for all guides of St. Niklaus was built, moreover, in 2000 a museum of the mountain guides was opened in St. Niklaus. St. Niklaus has an area, as of 2011, of 89.3 square kilometers, of this area,9. 8% is used for agricultural purposes, while 21. 5% is forested. Of the rest of the land,1. 5% is settled and 67. 2% is unproductive land, the municipality is located in the Visp district. It is the settlement in the Matter valley. It consists of the settlements of Riedmatten, Stalu, Ze Schwidernu, Herbriggen, Breitmatten on the valley floor and the alpine settlement of Gasenried on the eastern slope. St Niklaus sits in the Mattertal, the valley that runs from Stalden to Zermatt. There are several footpath nets for Alpine hikers leading up on the mountains, the closest hut is the Topali hut at the west side of the village.
The Bordier hut at the east side can be accessed easily from St Niklaus, the highest mountain close to St Niklaus is Brunegghorn, reaching almost 4,000 m. In 1866 the municipality was created through the merger of St. Niklaus Dorf, the municipality is a stop on section of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn between Visp railway station and Zermatt railway station
Randa is a municipality in the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is located between the Weisshorn and the Dom in the Matter Valley, Randa is first mentioned in 1305 as Randa. In 1819, the village was almost totally destroyed by the blast from an avalanche that fell nearby. In 1991, a portion of the village was flooded following a rockslide from a cliff above the town. The village is popular for tourists wishing to visit the area, as it is reachable by car and rail, and has a campsite which offers a service to Zermatt. The train-line, known as the Glacier Express connects to Zermatt offering visitors many ways to access the town, Randa has an area, as of 2011, of 54.5 square kilometers. Of this area,8. 0% is used for agricultural purposes, of the rest of the land,0. 6% is settled and 81. 5% is unproductive land. The municipality is located in the Visp district, in the Matter valley and it consists of the village of Randa and the hamlets of Lerch and Attermänze. The blazon of the coat of arms is Divided by a Bend Argent, Gules a Mullet of the First.
Randa has a population of 446, as of 2008,22. 7% of the population are resident foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has changed at a rate of -9. 7% and it has changed at a rate of -3. 5% due to migration and at a rate of -2. 8% due to births and deaths. Most of the population speaks German as their first language, Albanian is the second most common, there is 1 person who speaks French,1 person who speaks Italian. As of 2008, the population was 46. 7% male and 53. 3% female, the population was made up of 133 Swiss men and 50 non-Swiss men. There were 160 Swiss women and 49 non-Swiss women, of the population in the municipality,240 or about 59. 4% were born in Randa and lived there in 2000. There were 51 or 12. 6% who were born in the canton, while 26 or 6. 4% were born somewhere else in Switzerland. As of 2000, children and teenagers make up 27. 7% of the population, while adults make up 59. 7%, as of 2000, there were 195 people who were single and never married in the municipality.
There were 188 married individuals,16 widows or widowers and 5 individuals who are divorced, as of 2000, there were 146 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.8 persons per household. There were 40 households that consist of one person and 22 households with five or more people