This summer’s almost unprecedented high temperatures has brought to the fore the effects of climate change. Glaciers have shrunk at alarming rates. The Glacier Blanc in the Ecrins has lost a quarter of its surface area in the past 30 years. Those monitoring the glacier fear that this year will be one of the worst. To maintain itself the glacier needs to be ?fed? by snowfall higher in the mountains and this has not been sufficient.
Everywhere in the Alps the ?permafrost? that acts as the glue holding shattered mountain rocks in place has melted. This has given rise to much more substantial and regular rock falls. The ?normal? route up Mont Blanc by the Gouter refuge was particularly in the news and the decision by the Maire of St Gervais, in whose commune the refuge resides took the decision to close the refuge for almost a month.