Bourg St M Town Hall, Dec 2017. Has "Architecture of XX Century" status, alongside cinema & Arc 2000 cable car station. Click on photo for more

Monday, 27 July 2015

ROCKS AND STONES: The Grande Motte Glacier

Picking up on the post below about the retreat of the glaciers, today's Le Dauphiné  describes the increasingly poor conditions facing summer skiers on the glacier at Tignes. Some 20kms of pistes are open this summer - but rocks and stones have replaced snow and ice in many parts of the Grande Motte area.  The skiing is open until 9 August - unless the warm weather continues....

More at www.ledauphiné.com

Tignes is one of only a handful of French resorts still open for summer skiing.  Chamonix is no longer among them.

Diccon Bewes' excellent Slow Train to Switzerland provides us with a then-and-now account of the retreat of the ice at Montveners in Chamonix.  He quotes John Murray, in his 1861 hand-book for travellers in Switzerland and the Alps of Savoy and Piedmont:

The view of this enormous sea of ice is one of the most 
striking scenes of wonder, but its great extent....is not appreciated at first.

Not any more, says Bewes:

And a quick Google search provides more evidence of how it has retreated since its heyday.

The book retraces the steps
of one of the original Thomas Cook
expeditions - more here