Rhône Glacier

For the glacier in Antarctica, see Rhone Glacier (Antarctica).
For other uses, see Rhone (disambiguation).
Rhône Glacier

View towards the Tieralplistock
Type Valley glacier
Location Valais, Switzerland
Coordinates 46°34.32′N 8°22.58′E / 46.57200°N 8.37633°E / 46.57200; 8.37633Coordinates: 46°34.32′N 8°22.58′E / 46.57200°N 8.37633°E / 46.57200; 8.37633
Highest elevation 3630
Lowest elevation 2200
Terminus Rotten (Rhone) above Gletsch
Status Retreating

The Rhône Glacier (German: Rhonegletscher, Walliser German: Rottengletscher, French: le glacier du Rhône) is a glacier in the Swiss Alps and the source of the river Rhône and one of the primary contributors to Lake Geneva in the far eastern end of the Swiss canton of Valais. Because the Glacier is located close to the Furka Pass road it is easily accessible.


The Rhône Glacier is the largest glacier in the Urner Alps. It lies on the south side of the range at the source of the Rhône. The Undri Triftlimi (3,081 m) connects it to the Trift Glacier. The glacier is located on the northernmost part of the canton of Valais, between the Grimsel Pass and the Furka Pass and is part of the Oberwald municipality. The Dammastock (3,630 m) is the highest summit above the glacier. During most of the past 11,000 years it was smaller than it is now.[1] It is covered each summer in white blankets to try and slow ice loss.[2]


Evolution of The Rhône Glacier.
Vertical axis: length difference in meters
Horizontal axis: years
In thick green: cumulated length difference starting 1879
In thin red: growth during one year

The Rhône Glacier is easily accessible so its evolution is observed since the 19th century. The glacier lost ~1300 m during the last 120 years leaving behind a track of naked stone.

See also


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