Retreat of the Miage Glacier

September 17, 2012

Miage Glacier (3)
Photographer: Piero Armando
Summary Author: Piero Armando

During summer holidays, I often visit the Miage Glacier in the Italian Alps. The Miage Glacier flows from the south side of Mont Blanc and is one of the longest in the entire massif (about 6.2 mi or 10 km in length). My first trip to this scenic alpine area was in July 1966. There's been an obvious retreat of the Miage Glacier since then. The left photo shows how the landscape appeared during my initial visit. The right photo was snapped from roughly the same position but some 46 years later. Note that the glacial lake in the foreground of the left photo is now five small shallow lakes -- each with levels at least 30 ft (about 10 m) lower than in 1966. The sharp peak visible in the background is the famous Aiguille Noire (12,379 ft or 3,773 m in height). Behind Aiguille Noire is the Peuterey Crest, which leads to the summit of Mont Blanc. Right photo taken on August 22, 2012.

Photo details: Canon EOS 30D camera; 17mm focal length; f/11.0 aperture; 1/250 sec. exposure; ISO equivalent 100; sRGB color space; four separate exposures stitched together.