Swiss mountain pass will lose all glacial ice ‘in a matter of weeks’ for first time in centuries | glacier

The thick layer of ice that has covered a Swiss mountain pass for centuries will have melted completely within a few weeks, according to a local ski resort.

After a dry winter, the summer heatwaves that hit Europe were catastrophic for Alpine glaciers, which are melting at an accelerated rate.

The pass between Scex Rouge and Tsanfleuron has been icy since at least Roman times.

But as both glaciers have retreated, the bare rock of the ridge is beginning to emerge between the two — and will be completely ice-free before the end of summer.

“The pass will be fully open air in a few weeks,” the Glacier 3000 ski resort said in a statement.

While the ice was about 15 meters thick in 2012, the ground underneath “will have fully resurfaced by the end of September.”

Located at 2800 meters in the Glacier 3000 ski area, the ridge practically marks the border between the cantons of Vaud and Valais in western Switzerland.

Skiers could slide across the peak from one glacier to another. But now a strip of rock has appeared between them, with only the last piece of ice left on it.

Glaciologist Mauro Fischer, a researcher at the University of Bern, said that the loss in thickness of glaciers in the region this year will be, on average, three times what it has been over the past 10 summers.