Free shipping for all UK orders - Free shipping for all EU/Worldwide orders over £250

Rhône Glacier - 1900

Then and now comparison

Top picture - 2022

This picture - 1900

Now tell me climate change isn't real.

Grimsel and Furka Pass

The Grimsel and Furka pass make a dramatic sight deep in the heart of the Alps. The abandoned Hotel Belvédère sitting high up on what looks like the world's edge adds a poignant focus to the overwhelming sense of something lost.

Initially opened in 1882 to accommodate visitors to the Rhône Glacier, the hotel closed in 2016 as the adjacent glacier shrank drastically affecting the hotels foundations.

The Rhône river rises from the Rhône Glacier, which, due to climate change, can no longer be seen to the left of the picture. The Rhône glacier is losing from 5 to 7 metres in thickness yearly. Experts predict a further 50% reduction by 2030 and its complete disappearance by 2100. As the source of the River Rhône, one of Europe's largest rivers, this is expected to have unavoidable catastrophic consequences. Originally the glacier covered over half of what now is Switzerland and is still today a primary contributor to Lake Geneva, which is also expected to disappear.

Glaciers account for approximately 70% of all the freshwater stored on the planet. During the last ice age, the Rhône Glacier was the dominant glacier in the Alps. But European glaciers, especially Alpine glaciers, are disappearing fast. Glaciologists estimate half of the small glaciers in Switzerland and the glacier-fed streams will be gone in less than 30 years.

Only 20 to 30% of the current glacier volume is expected to remain by 2100. The effect on the availability of fresh drinking water is likely to be significant.

©davidt 2022

Outside is free

Today is a good day. Today is a day that counts.

Grimsel and Furka