Retreat of Glaciers Makes Some Climbs Tougher

The main issue, scientists and climbers say, is that as permafrost, ice and glaciers melt, they leave areas of teetering rock. Some rock formations high in the mountains have essentially been held together by ice, which “acts as a glue,” said Christian Schlüchter, a professor at the University of Bern’s Institute of Geological Sciences . When the glue disappears — something he has seen happening over the past 15 years in the Alps — the formations can collapse, especially if they are initially weak.