Dwight Peck's personal website
Change I: The Trient Glacier II
quick visit, August 2003
Trient Glacier goes bye-bye
loss of still another Swiss glacier, in large part attributable to US automobile
makers and Dick Cheney. Having recently recorded the retreat of the Trient Glacier
(left, Jane & Marlowe 1986) near the Col de la Forclaz in Switzerland, through
to July 2003 -- here -- we go back for another look in
August 2003 to verify whether our teary eyes had not been playing tricks on us.
was to be, however scenic, essentially a scientific expedition,
chief investigator Prof. L. Durham brought along Dr André (Dante) to apply
the scientific method when necessary, and Swiss-Californian Anne-Elisabeth and
Californian aerospace-fellow Rob as qualified witnesses. And, of course, the rapporteur
(D. Peck) as well.
in full cry! When in this record-breaking 40-degreeC (104F) Swiss summer, there
has been no rainfall from early June through to the end of August, forest fires
all round, nasty brown dry grass, Good Grief, where's all this energetic water
coming from then? Ah, of course, it's the glacier disappearing.
head of the valley, Dr Dante (André) and Anne-Elisabeth strive towards
the glacier -- they're standing now about where the glacier was in 2000, but now
it retreats before them.
there it is, the last of the glacier way up there, a dwarfy twisted little thing
all contorted round about itself. Looks a bit like a Giant Alien Killer Slug from
a Hollywood disaster movie peering down upon its unsuspecting victims
in the valley below. Preparing to slither rapidly down and curl its greenish-slimy
tongue out and lap them all up.
Durham and Mr Rob sneaking up on the rock shelves under the glacier.
Durham and Dr André, or Dante Guillaume, and a ghostly third presence,
reaching the rocky shelf, formerly deep under the Glacier of Trient, that now
represents the Visitors' Gallery.
and friend Rob pause to take a photo of some fellow hikers, who turned out to
be colleagues from WWF International to whom we had
recently recommended this very same hike.
seemingly never-ending cascade of water bursting out from under the glacier. Only
it's not never-ending at all! And THEN what happens, eh, Mr Cheney-Halliburton?
THEN what happens to Switzerland?
Rob, Anne-Elisabeth, Prof. Durham, and Dr André taking air samples. Prof
Durham's political T-shirt shows the European Union surrounding the Swiss flag,
with the legend (in English) "Do Not Disturb".
glacier reconnaissance team assembled just before lunch.
glacier reconnaissance team digging into the lunch. Hummus has been promised.
hummus it is, with "gourmet" Lebanese bread for some of us (good ole
mi-blanc and Gruyères for the plebes amongst us).
last glance at the sad old slug, and back we go to Forclaz.
be back next year! But will the glacier?!
Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 8 September 2003, revised 17 May
2006, 15 May 2013.