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Glacier Climbing on the Mer de Glace

Listed under Frozen Landscapes in Chamonix, France.

  • Photo of Glacier Climbing on the Mer de Glace
  • Photo of Glacier Climbing on the Mer de Glace
  • Photo of Glacier Climbing on the Mer de Glace
Photo of Glacier Climbing on the Mer de Glace
Photo by flickr user mer de glace
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With the impressive massif Mount Blanc hovering over you and hard perilous ice all around, ice climbing on the Mer de Glace is an exhilarating and challenging experience. The glacier’s rocky surface with it’s deep blue crevasses and white cracks can be reached by descending 300 foot ladders from a cliff face, which can be slippery and difficult while carrying crampons and ice axes.

Once on the glacier the first part of your journey is on foot across the crenulated plain of the receding flow. As you walk higher the going gets more difficult and there are plummeting icy rifts and channels (some more than 15 metres deep) to cross or scale - this is where you need to get your ice axe out and start dragging yourself up the bright freezing face of the glacier. This is what it feels like to be an adventurer.

Some routes are more difficult than others but if you’re inexperienced there are guides in Chamonix who will show you the ropes (literally) and direct you to a route that is most suitable for your standard.  

After all that excitement check out this list of great places to lay your head!

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Mer de Glace

When I climbed the glacier I did not have crampons, I just had an ice ax. This is all you need if you plan on staying on the dirt and rock that covers the glacier. If you plan on going further up the glacier to the solid ice and deep crevasses you certainly will need previous ice/glacier climbing experience as well as good crampons and an ice ax. You can walk about a 1/4 mile up the glacier and still be walking on glacial till (dirt and rocks). The end of the glacial till will depend on what time of year you are visiting the area. There are crevasses and deep holes so watch where you are walking.

If you do visit this area, either from the top of the cliff or from the glacier itself, bring a camera. There are some spectacular pictures just waiting for you.

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