Monte Rosa glaciers
More than two hundred glaciers are nestled in the mountains of Valle d’Aosta. Their overall surface area is currently about 19,000 hectares corresponding to 6% of the entire Valle d’Aosta surface area.
This data proves that Valle d’Aosta is the most ice-covered region in Italy by a long shot.
Monte Rosa is a true glacier museum due to both its variety and characteristic morphological situations. The most spectacular is the “valley” glacier, the one that, overflowing the original circle edge, drives its impressive tongue towards the underlying valley to a very low elevation (which is technically called the “front”): the 1,182 hectare “Lys Glacier” is an example. This glacier is “Himalayan” type since it is made up of several ice falls that flow in a single large valley tongue.
The Lys glacier is one of the largest in Valle d’Aosta and is also one of the largest on the western alp slope.
There are also several glaciers in the Monte Rosa massif fed by avalanche snow that occupy crevices opened in the rock walls, or canyons or steep cliffs, at times with impressive surface areas, like the “Indren glacier” and the “Felik glacier”.
Outside the Gressonaro borders, an important “valley” glacier on the Monte Rosa massif is the “Grande di Verra”, measuring 728 hectares in the Valle d’Ayas. The large and important “outlet glaciers”, extremely rare in the mountain range, are found in Valtournenche: these are ice caps that join through tributaries with other ice caps belonging to other water basins. An example is the Colle del Teodulo tributary (quota 3,330 m.) with the “Unter Theodulgletscher”, that includes the Plateau Rosà glacier (3,900 m.) and descends the Swiss face towards the gigantic “Gornergletscher” system and Zermatt valley.