The Slippery Slopes

Ice Avalanches
What Happens: Glaciers are in constant motion, so parts of the ice pack can become unstable because of factors like natural movement and changes in temperature. Glaciers on steep slopes, in particular, tend to break off rather than melt away, causing ice avalanches. In April four skiers in the Mont Blanc range perished when a serac — an ice pinnacle formed where the glacier's surface is torn by cracks-broke away and crushed them. The most catastrophic scenario is when the front of...

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