White Blanket

The ‘Rhonegletscher’ is located in the north-east of the canton ‘Vallais’ in the Central Alps of Switzerland, on an altitude of 2200 – 3600 meters above sea level. It’s is about 8 kilometres long & has an average width of around 2 kilometres.

The ‘Rhonegletscher’ is one of the most accessible glaciers of Switzerland and therefore also one of best researched ones. Over the last 150 years its transformation has been well documented. Since 1840 the glacier has seen a decrease in the size of its surface area by around 25%. Since the 1960s, the decline of the eternal ice has been increasingly rapid – scientists predict that the ‘Rhonegletscher’ might completely disappear by the end of this century.

The ‘Rhonegletscher’ is a huge tourist attraction in the area of ‘Obergoms’. Every year, massive amounts of tourists make a pilgrimage to the glacier grotto at the foot of the glacier. To keep the glacier grotto safe from melting, white planes are placed on top of the glacier during the summer months. The whiteness / high Albedo of the planes helps in reflecting the sunlight back into the atmosphere and keeping the surface from melting even faster.

The combination of active tourism and the desperate attempt so save the glacier from melting through white planes creates an eerie & strange scenery that I thoroughly enjoyed documenting.

Switzerland / 2021

Find this series on Behance