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Rhone glacier, Gletsch

(4.3/5 based on 90+ reviews on the web)
The Rhône Glacier is a glacier in the Swiss Alps and the source of the river Rhône and one of the primary contributors to Lake Geneva in the far eastern end of the Swiss canton of Valais. Because the Glacier is located close to the Furka Pass road it is easily accessible.GeographyThe Rhône Glacier is the largest glacier in the Urner Alps. It lies on the south side of the range at the source of the Rhône. The Undri Triftlimi (3,081 m) connects it to the Trift Glacier. The glacier is located on the northernmost part of the canton of Valais, between the Grimsel Pass and the Furka Pass and is part of the Oberwald municipality. The Dammastock (3,630 m) is the highest summit above the glacier. During most of the past 11,000 years it was smaller than it is now. It is covered each summer in white blankets to try and slow ice loss.Evolution<gallery perrow=5> File:2010-10-10 Furka 035-by bohdan urbanowicz.jpg|2010 File:Glacier du Rhone.jpg|2008 File:Rhoneglacier.JPG|2005File:Gletch und Rhonegletscher um 1900.jpeg|1900 File:Rhonegletscher1870.jpg|1870 The Rhône Glacier is easily accessible so its evolution is observed since the 19th century. The glacier lost ~1300 m during the last 120 years leaving behind a track of naked stone.
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Reviews
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  • I've been several times over the years to visit the glacier, with classic tourist trips, or hiking a bit more inpegnative, up to the glacier. The proposed route to the entrance of the tunnel leading inside the glacier is accessible to a wide audience, provided you wear comfortable hiking shoes, being a mountain trail. The duration of the descent, aime, increases every year by a few metres, being the ice mass in retreat. A show anyway for anyone, it is not easy to see a glacier up close to 15 minutes from the car!!
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  • Route to the glacier starts on the pass Furka. You can see Lake, from which originates the Rhône and its first "steps". Here it's called Rotten. In the Ice Cave very wet underfoot squelches, better to wear appropriate shoes. In winter, the car does not get to the glacier.
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  • Having driven right past it on a previous holiday we just happened to read about it in a guide book. So pleased we did. As other reviewers have said the walk down to the glacier is stony and possibly ...  more »