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Retreat of Glaciers Makes Some Climbs Tougher
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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Retreat of Glaciers Makes Some Climbs Tougher on 12/27/2011 01:12:44 MST Print View

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Three decades ago, when Mick Fowler climbed the north face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps, he used crampons and ice axes to haul himself up sheer walls of snow and ice.

Nowadays, during a hot summer, “you’ll find virtually no snow and ice on its face — none,” he said. “It’s a huge change over the last 20 to 30 years.”

Like Mr. Fowler, mountaineers around the world find themselves forced to adjust to a warming world. Routes that were icy or glaciated in the middle part of the past century, when the world’s highest peaks were being conquered for the first time, are turning into unstable and unappetizing rock.

“Almost every area and route in every range have been affected,” said Jeff Jackson, editor of Rock and Ice , a climbing magazine.