Eternal ice? ……….observations of a bystander.

Around this time in summer, about 24 years ago, `Glacier du Borgne’ high up in the Méribel valley looked so inviting to me that I stuffed my telemark boots into a rucksack, tied the teles to my MTB and cycled up.

After hiking the last half kilometer I hit snow just below `Petit Valdez’, a couloir some of you might know. Later on I was doing nice free-heel turns in half a foot of summer powder.

Glacier du Borgne hasn’t looked like that during summer since. On the contrary, this summer of 2019 there is hardly any ice left! Pretty soon `Glacier du Borgne’ won’t be anymore……! On top of the Borgne, looking down the backside, you got a great view onto the `Gebroulaz’, another Glacier, fed from the Polset range. According to the World Glacier Monitoring Service WGMS, in 20 out of a 22 year observation period (1994 – 2016) the Gebroulaz has lost massively each year. The loss is so substantial that you can see the change with your own eyes if you are a ski instructor or a guide or another regular in the area!

In Tignes, just over an hour drive from Méribel, popular summer skiing on La Grand Motte glacier was shut down on July 25th. The closing during the height of the summer isn’t unusual, but it has never happened as early as this year. Nobody can deny that these obvious changes we see and feel in our environment, happen more and more frequent.

There is no need to be a scientist to understand the consequences and predict what it means! A possibility could be that one day your grand-grandchildren will say: `Hey, my grandparents used to ski on snow all the time and they were really good at it. Just see in these old photos how wonderful the landscape was with all the white snow. How sad that it’s not possible anymore!’

Maybe that grim future could be (have been) avoided but it looks unlikely. For the majority of mankind, a fulfilled life seems to be defined and measured primarily by looking at the wealth and the possessions one can acquire and achieve in a single lifetime. Expansion and growth is the widely believed panacea. Greed and personal gain, ignorance and stupidity seems to be the common `Zeitgeist’ and worryingly the intellectual limit of more and more world leaders!

🔊Ooooh, it’s too complicated ….. Maybe it’s not…… `Less is More’!

Ski Thomas


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