large persistent body of ice

Some ten percent of the land on Earth is covered by year-round ice, but most of that is in remote Antarctica, a next-to-impossible destination for most people. Most of the rest is in Greenland, which while not impossible is certainly off the beaten path. That leaves only a few other places, either at high latitudes, high elevations, or both, where you can see remnants of the massive ice sheets that covered much of the earth just a few thousand years ago. As climate change advances, glaciers around the world are in retreat, and many of them could disappear in the lifetime of anyone reading this.

Understand edit

Where to see glaciers edit

This is not a list of all the glaciers in the world, for a longer list see Wikipedia. This is instead a list of the best places to access glaciers for the average (non-mountaineering) tourist. They are organized by continent and natural region (e.g. mountain range) rather than by tourism region, since many mountain ranges cross multiple political and cultural borders.

Asia edit

Himalayas edit

Europe edit

  • Alps
  • Norway has many glaciers in easy reach, if not from cities, at least from villages by the roads; Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier on the European mainland.
  • Iceland has many glaciers, including the largest glacier in Europe overall: Vatnajökull, which also is quite easily reached.

Oceania edit

North America edit

Rocky and Columbia Mountains edit

Coast and Cascade Mountains edit

South America edit

Andes edit

Stay safe edit

See also: Cold weather, Snow safety, Mountaineering

The glaciers are not stable, but flow down the mountain. This will cause cracks ("crevasses"), which may be obscured by snow bridges. The walls and roofs of ice caves can collapse and cracks can get closed. At the edge of glaciers huge blocks break loose, fall down and perhaps jump or roll farther from the edge. If they fall into water, they can cause huge waves (think tsunami).

There are regularities, so the glacier's behaviour can be predicted to some degree, especially with local knowledge.

Never go near the front of a glacier, but instead approach from higher ground on the sides. Unless you are an expert, just watch it at a secure distance or go on a tour with local guides.

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