The glacier of the Aneto, the most important south of Europe, is in decline. It melts like an azucarillo. The imponentes and robust masses of ice that portrayed pioneering mountaineers of the Centre Excursionista of Catalonia at the beginning of the 20th century has given step to a geography of fine freezing plates, segregadas and in decomposition. A winter and a spring without snow and a summer caluroso in the Pyrenees have done that this September the glacier have achieved the most reduced surface of his history.
Cientos Of mountaineers that have been this summer in the escarpadas slopes of the Aneto have seen the transformation. From the port of the Hammered (in front of the macizo in which conviven the Aneto and the Maladeta) the image is unrecognizable if it compares with the photos of principles of the past century. The ice, that covered in summer with a big mantle the macizo, only appreciates in the upper cornices.
The reduction of the thickness of the ice has done to vary the geography of these peaks. In the landscape no longer see the big cracks of the past century, so high like skyscraper, that surprised to the first visitors. The glacier, a river of ice that advances by his push friccionando the soil and originating brechas in forms of Or, no longer has that strength of rozamiento and drag that it opened throats and fearsome cliffs. It does not remain trace of those cavernas that seemed a shortcut to the hell, the stage for the epics pose photographic of adventurers. «The glacier has gone down so much of thickness that there is not movement of advance, with which do not open cracks; at most, small fissures; or they cause holes, when sinking the soil owing to the gaps that produce between stones in the physical relief of down», says Career.
And they abound the zones in which the glacier does more unsure. Rebasado The Portillón Upper, in some stretches in the rise to the Aneto the soil moves under the feet. The ice cruje with the stepped; it is like a shaving leaf. «If you fall you and you go with short trousers, do you a lifting free», is used to to warn the guide, that goes up of average 20 times to the year to the Aneto and knows it even of morning lit by the full moon.
Thus, the rise to the Aneto is full of new dangers, although it sees compensated with pleasant surprises, like the irruption of the marmot from his madrigueras, the parade of rebecos or the shy partridges nivales.
The Aneto also seems to have mudado his skin. The ice given off of his crests leaves to the air a white and clear rock, recently washed, while in the top has a dark colour, that mark the zones that were sepultadas does centuries and carry time discovered. Those who approach here inside 100 years maybe see these crests already totally blackened (by the intemperie). Now, to measure that the glacier thins , goes discovering layers of dirty ice, grisáceo, as they arise rests of stones and earth, or the dust that dragged the snowfalls that brought sand of the Sahara does decenios or hundreds of years. When going the ice, appears his sustrato more black.