The Planpincieux glacier, a glacier on the flanks of the Grandes Jorasses not far from the Italian town of Courmayeur is about to collapse. The speed of the glacier on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif has increased considerably in recent times and is now moving about 50-60 centimeters per day. Due to the unusual activity, there is a risk that an ice block with a size of 250,000 cubic meters will come loose, resulting in ice avalanches.
The Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountain Foundation) has been monitoring the glacier for a long time and send out an alert together with the local authorities. Due to the acute danger for residents and travelers lower in the valley, the mayor of Courmayeur has decided to close a number of roads and evacuate residents.
The G. Boccalatte hut that is located at 2,800 meters directly on the Planpincieux glacier has been precautionary closed earlier this month. Glaciers are not only beautiful to look at, but have a vital function in water management in the mountains. The melt water that seeps down in the warm summer months is crucial for flora and fauna, but also for the water supply of residents lower on the mountain.
According to experts, the acute risk is yet another proof that global warming has entered a new phase.