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Pasterzee Glacier - Global Warming

Pasterzee Glacier - Global Warming
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-25
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): High Altitude [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-08-31 9:08
Viewed: 7621
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I first visited the Grossglockner and Pasterzee Glacier in 1970 and then again in 1980. In those days the glacier extended much further down the valley and the active glacier (white with the stripes of medial moraines) filled the valley from side to side and to a much greater depth. Also where the glacier flows out of the ice field was completely white with snow and ice. Actually I was relieved it was still this big - I was worried it might have completely melted!

A common misconception in that Alpine glaciers date from the last ice age - they do not. There have been periods when the Alps have been almost ice-free. Most of the present day Alpine glaciers date from the 'Little Ice-Age'. The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling occurring after a warmer era known as the Medieval climate optimum. Climatologists and historians find it difficult to agree on either the start or end dates of this period. Some confine the Little Ice Age to approximately the 16th to the mid-19th centuries. It is generally agreed that there were three minima, beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, each separated by slight warming intervals

The Großglockner is, at 3,798 m above sea level, Austria's highest mountain and the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass. This makes it, after Mont Blanc, the second most prominent mountain in the Alps, when measured by relative height. See the list of Alpine peaks by prominence. Its name means roughly "big (bell) ringer" in German.

The Großglockner lies on the border between Carinthia and East Tyrol and is the highest peak in the Glockner group, a group of mountains along the main ridge of the Hohe Tauern. The summit itself lies on the Glockner ridge, which branches to the south off the main ridge. The Pasterze, Austria's biggest glacier lies at the Großglockner's foot.

The characteristic pyramid-shaped peak actually consists of two pinnacles, the Großglockner and Kleinglockner (3,700 m) (klein means "small" in German), separated by a saddle-like formation known as the Glocknerscharte.

The first assault on the Großglockner in 1799 failed. In the summer of 1800 a second expedition was organized by Franz-Xaver Salm-Raifferscheid, Prince-Bishop of Gurk: 62 persons, among them 47 guides, took part. The old Salmhütte, at 2750 m, was specially built to furnish shelter for this undertaking. On 28 July 1800, brothers Martin and Sepp Klotz, along with two other carpenters, and even a clergyman from Dölsach named Horasch, challenged themselves to reach the summit by way of the Hohenwartscharte.

There is also a direct climbing route from the Pasterze glacier to the Glocknerscharte: the Pallavicini Trough. Alfred Markgraf Pallavicini undertook the first climb on this route in 1876 with three guides from Heiligenblut.

The scenic highway Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße between Heiligenblut and Fusch was built between 1930 and 1935 and reaches a height of 2572 m.

The Pasterze is the longest glacier in Austria and in the Eastern Alps, at approximately 9 km in length (much less now), reaching from 3,463 m to 2,100 m above sea level. It lies in the Hohe Tauern mountain range.

gracious, Evelynn, SunToucher, uleko, nglen, Necipp, fartash, parthasarathi, mlines, anel, Kathleen, ramthakur, jcoowanitwong, SelenE, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: Not a flightJamesp 2 09-02 08:48
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Critiques [Translate]

Une belle langue de glace et une bonne explication.
Bonne journée.

Hello James,
Oh, great piece of landscape photo for sharing with us!
Perfect pov to show the glacier with sharpness, vivid colour and so much details involved!
well composed and well seen
thanks for sharing

I also have witnessed the retreat of so many glaciers in my own lifetime. We always think of geologic events as being so slow. We even use the expression "... glacially slow".

It is a nice illustrative image, James. How many plane flights do you estimate you have taken? I hope you keep a log. My dad kept a log when he worked in Alaska for a few years... over 600 flights!

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-08-31 10:36]

Interesting note and very good photo.

Hi James,
I really have to think hard when I was at this area. I am not even sure if I visited the glacier. Eventhough the real beauty of the glacier is gone, it still shows it massive size. I like the FG part of this photo a lot. It has so much details and the colors and shape of it is very beautiful. It also gives a good idea of how it was. I do feel that I am missing the top of the mountain on the left.

Just saw that the 1Ds Mark III will be out soon.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-08-31 12:16]

Hi James. It Must be very nice to visit all the fantastic places you have seen, so thanks for showing to us. This must be a beautiful place. all looks so clean and clear. you have captured good detail and colours. well done TFS. interesting notes to read thanks
Have a good weekend.

Hello James amazing detail and a beautifull composition is there anywhere you haven't been? lovely colour and I like the cool blue in the sky works well. tfs rgds Necip.

Hello James
Very intersting scene you captured,
Perfect lighting and cmposition,Superb shot.


Good informative story and picture. Also a great landscape.

Yor capture is very well with all this light and colour. A nice perspective with an excellent contrast and sharpness.Well done.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-08-31 20:12]

Hello James

A wonderful shot of this glacier field.I have been watching with interest on our west coast where some of the glaciers are almost totally melted and is creating problems with some communities drinking water supplies.TFS


Hi James, A most timely, interesting and slightly worrying note along with this excellent alpine photo. Good cropping and presentation. TFS. Murray.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-09-01 1:20]

Hi James,
a great shot.
Perfect composition with the subject (glacier) diagonally across the image.
Very sharp.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-09-01 1:31]

Hi James,
Just marking the post for now and will come back with a proper critique.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-09-01 2:15]

Hello james,
really great and interesting picture with an excellent note. You have chosen the best point of view possible to show what is happening. I'm verry sensible to this subject living in the alpine area.
Thanks a lot and best regards

Hi James.
Amazing detail and clarity of the landscape. You can see the huge width that once the glacier carved out. Great composition showing depth of that path once travelled.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-09-01 3:56]

Hello James,
Very beautiful capture of this disappearing glacier. I like the DOF and the colours are beautiful. Excellent composition. Interesting note too!
Many thanks, Ulla

The shrinking glaciers are causing a great deal of worry about global warming in India too, James. In fact, I want to visit Bara Shigri glacier in Lahul-Spiti before the onset of winters this year and take some pictures of its present status.
Your picture of this glacier in Austrian Alps is very impressive documentation of the alarming developments. The shot is very well composed.
TFS and regards.

Hello James,
Beautiful landscape. Sharp and well exposed. Like the way you composed this picture. TFS this fantastic place.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-09-03 15:36]

Hi James,
Nice composed and exposed photo of the "truth"...
Best wishes,

Hello James,
This is what Ladakh looks like in India. Great shot with details of glacier. TFS.
Regards-Subhash Ranjan

Dear James,
I added your interesting, but sad image to my theme "High Altitude"

This phenomena of retreating (melting) glaciers is everywhere visible in Europe. We used to go to the Europenan Alps ever year and were amazed about the visible decline within 12 months...
Thanks for sharing.
Warm Greetings from the Tzaneen Dam in Limpopo, South Africa

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