January 10, 2022

What is a Bergschrund? Some Less-Known Facts

by Kevin

Bergschrunds are large crevasses that form when a glacier splits apart. Bergschrunds are formed when the ice in a glacier breaks apart and creates a deep gully. The process of bergschrund formation takes time, sometimes centuries. Bergschrunds can be found in mountainous regions where glaciers are present.


Table of Contents

What Does the Word Bergschrund Mean?

The term Bergschrund is often translated as “shatter-boundaries” but can be understood better when you think of it in the form of the German word “schrunde,” which means a crevasse or fissure. A schrund is an ice formation that forms at the head of a glacier, sort of like a crack in the ice.

How is a Bergschrund Formed?

A bergschrund is formed when an ice sheet moves over another body of ice or snow. This movement may be due to gravity, wind, or other processes. When this happens, an area of snow or ice that was once at the bottom of the glacier may become exposed and will thaw much more quickly because it’s now at the top.

Bergschrund Glacier

In the mountains, a bergschrund (German) or rimaye (French) is a crevasse made by moving glacier ice breaking away from stagnant ice or firn above. It is a severe obstacle to mountaineers, who often abbreviate “bergschrund” to “schrund.”

What is Bergschrund in Geography?

In geography, bergschrund is a crack that appears between the moving ice of a glacier and the non-moving ice of a cliff or a mountain.

Where on a Glacier Would You Expect to Find Bergschrund?

Bergschrund is a crevasse often found near the head of a mountain glacier.

Related Article: Can You Melt a Snowball with a Lighter?

Question: Bergschrund Topographical Feature is?

Bergschrund is a topograhical feature in glaciated region.

Why is the Depth of a Bergschrund Important?

The depth of a bergschrund is an important factor in the safety and stability of a mountain. A deep bergschrund can pose a threat to climbers, who may fall into it if they are not careful.

A bergschrund is often found at the beginning or end of an icefall, where snow slides down steep slopes, breaking off into giant blocks that tumble far below. The top of the snowpack will be supported by these blocks, creating a bergschrund at the base.

How Do You Cross a Bergschrund?

There is no universal answer to this question because each bergschrund is different and should be treated as such. They can range from a few meters wide to over ten meters wide.

Many mountaineers use a solution to cross a bergschrund to climb over it on the other side and then rappel back down onto the snowfield on the other side. This method does not work for all cases because it can be unsafe if there are too many obstacles in the way, such as large rocks, crevasses, or deep snow.

What is Bergschrund and Crevasse?

A bergschrund is a large, deep, and narrow crevasse that forms when a glacier moves from one side of a mountain to the other. A bergschrund is a dangerous place for mountaineers because it often occurs near the summit of a mountain. If caught in this area, they will have to either climb up or down the steep slope.

A crevasse is an opening formed when ice or snow breaks away from the surface of a glacier and falls into the glacier below it.

What is the Difference Between Bergschrund and Crevasse?

Bergschrund is a crevasse that forms at the head of a glacier. It is often wider than the crevasse. Crevasse forms in glaciers, ice sheets, and ice shelves. Bergschrunds are often wider than crevasses and deeper because they form at the end of a glacier or at the beginning of a glacier, for that matter, as well as due to the snow accumulating on top of it.

What is the Difference between Bergschrund and Randkluft?

Randkluft separates rock and ice, whereas bergschrund is a gap between shallow and deep ice—often separating steep ice walls from flat parts of a glacier. Bergschrund is a prominent feature in a glacier’s upper reaches.

When is it Safe to Cross a Bergschrund and What Signs Should You Look For

The two most common signs you should look for before crossing a bergschrund are slope stability and whether or not it is snowing or raining.

What’s the Relation between Bergschrund and an Avalanche?

In winter, a bergschrund is often filled with snow from avalanches from the mountain above it. Due to melting, it lies open in later summer and can present a challenging obstacle to alpinists.

What is the Threat of Avalanches for Climbers?

Avalanches are common in mountainous regions. They are made of snow and ice falling down the mountain. They are most often triggered by human activities, snowfall, or changes in snowpack. Avalanches can be dangerous for climbers. They can cause them injury, death, and loss of equipment. To reduce the risk of accidents caused by avalanches, it is important to know about avalanches and how they are triggered.

Avalanches can happen when snow becomes unstable, which is usually when there is a lot of snowfall. When the snow becomes unstable, it can start to slide down the mountain and take anything in its path with it. The most common cause of avalanches is the weight of the snow. The weight of the snow will make the snow unstable and cause an avalanche to happen.

How Do You Recognize an Avalanche if You Are in One?

Avalanche can happen anytime without any warning. The snow below you can move and create a deep hole. If you are unlucky, the avalanche will happen under your feet, and you will not be able to escape. This is why we need to know how to recognize an avalanche if we are in one. First and foremost, we should look for danger signs such as cracking noises, shaking the ground, and rapid changes in terrain.

Next, it is important that we don’t panic because this will make it difficult to react properly if an avalanche happens. Instead of panicking, it is best that we stay calm while assessing the situation so that we know what to do next. One of the most important things during an avalanche is not lying down on the ground but rather trying to find shelter.

What are the Different Types of Deep Snow Avalanche Activity?

The definition of deep snow avalanche activity is the risk of an avalanche in a given area. The different types are debris slides, slab avalanches, and sluffs.

What are Some of the Hazards Associated with Snow Avalanches?

Snow avalanches are a type of mass movement that occurs in snow-covered mountainous areas. They may occur in any season, but they are most common from December to March. Hazards from snow avalanches can range from minor inconveniences to life-threatening situations.

One common effect is the loss of visibility caused by an avalanche. In some cases, avalanches create a cloud of snow dust that can linger for hours or even days after the event. Another consequence is the destruction of infrastructure running through the avalanche route, such as roads and bridges.

What are Some Ways to Avoid Snow Avalanche Hazards?

Some of the most common and easiest ways to avoid snow avalanche hazards are:

  • Stay on marked ski slopes and trails.
  • Avalanches usually happen at the bottom of steep slopes, so stay off those areas.
  • Keep your group close together, as this increases your chances of being spotted by other skiers or snowboarders in case you get caught in an avalanche.
  • If you see a slope that looks like it is about to avalanche, move away from it as quickly as possible.
  • Be prepared by carring avalanche transceiver and avalanche shovel.

Does Gannett Peak has a Bergschrund?

Among Gannett Peak’s many obstacles is one big bergschrund that you must rope up to cross. A bergschrund is a crevasse created when glacier ice separates from stagnant ice. It is often a significant and challenging obstacle for mountaineers.

What is a cirque in a glacier?

In high elevations, glaciers create cirques, bowl-shaped depressions that resemble amphitheaters. The glaciers flow up and over the cirque’s lip as gravity drives them downslope. Once the glaciers retreat, these depressions become lakes (called tarns). In a corrie or cirque, the bergschrund is located at the rear, parallel to the back wall of the cirque. A longitudinal glacier has a bergschrund at its top end. In a rotational glacier, the bergschrund is at a right angle to the glacier’s flow. The downward movement of the glacier causes the bergschrund.

Is there a Bergschrund on Mt. Hood?

The bergschrund on Mt. Hood is open, and with the Hogsback, in a direct line with the Pearly Gates, it poses a dangerous obstacle for a climb of that route. We strongly encourage climbers to abandon the Pearly Gates route to favor the Old Chute.

Is there a Bergschrund at the bottom of Lhotse’s face on Mt. Everest?

The South Col route leads to Everest’s summit via a deep bergschrund at the foot of Lhotse face, which separates Camp II from Camp III. Read more about when is Everest climbing season.

Bergschrund on the Liberty Ridge

Liberty Ridge’s bergschrund is the last and generally most challenging crux. Depending on the year, it’s as simple as crossing a crack and ascending a snow ramp to Liberty Cap. It can also be a sizeable gaping offset crack with a thin, awkwardly angled snow bridge on one side and a near-vertical pitch on the other. Anchor the belayer and pitch out this part of the route if it’s dicey. Furthermore, because of extreme cold and windy conditions, any icy portions can be rotten and cause big “dinner plate” chunks to fall off; belay from a safe position.

Bergschrund on Mt. Garibaldi

There is a bergschrund on Mt. Garibaldi that can be crossed on both the right and left at the moment. The low snowline can make those approaches difficult with lots of post-holing unless they’re done early in the morning after an overnight refreeze.

Bergschrund on Emmons Glacier

Most of the year, Emmons-Winthrop is a viable route. Beyond 13,000 feet, the bergschrund becomes more of a limiting factor. Adding icy pitches to the slopes in late summer intensifies the challenge. By early fall, the ice glacier’s skeleton and crevasses are visible, making the climb even more difficult. They cover the crevasses with weak, unconsolidated snow bridges when the snows fall, making the glacier extremely dangerous. During this period, one should avoid climbing the mountain.

Gooseneck Bergschrund

To ascend the couloir, you must cross a bergschrund. In the winter months, there is a snow bridge over the schrund, but in summer, the bridge melts and becomes a hazard. After crossing the schrund, the climbing is excellent. Continue up the Couloir to a rock band with easy Class 3 climbing. Ascend the snow-covered face of Gannett by climbing the rock band northward. Follow the ridgeline to the summit!

Bergschrund on Mt. Baker

A strenuous approach leads to a moderate glacier climb of 5,200 feet with crevasses to negotiate and a bergschrund to cross this east-side route. This climb is exceptional because of the remoteness, the spectacular views of Mount Shuksan, and the overall beauty.

Bergschrund on Khumbu Glacier

Khumbu glacier forms the bergschrund below Nuptse peak. Within the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal, the Khumbu Glacier lies between Mount Everest and the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge.

Bergschrund on Mont Blanc

Bergschrunds and Seracs on Mont Blanc du Tacul’s 4000m peak permafrost that holds many alpine peaks together is thawing, making high altitude mountaineering more dangerous.

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About the author 

Kevin

Kevin loves bouldering. Mainly because he can practice it alone without considering other people. Although he rediscovered this hobby in the last three years, the boulders turned out to be his most visited landmarks.

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