The Crumbling Alps: Now The Bivouac de la Fourche Has Fallen

The latest casualty of soaring temperatures and drought in the European Alps has been the Bivacco Alberico, better known as Bivouac de la Fourche. The precariously perched mountain hut lost its support in a rockslide, sending the entire cabin tumbling to the Brenva Glacier far below.

Details are still scarce, but no deaths or injuries have been reported.

The small wooden cabin sat on a metal frame at Col de la Fourche on the Southwest Face of Mont Maudit, one of the 4,000m peaks leading to Mont Blanc. The refuge was an essential shelter for climbers attempting the classical Kuffner Ridge up Mont Maudit. It was also a useful stopover for those eyeing Mont Blanc from the Brenva Spur, the Aiguille Blanche, and the Aiguilles du Diable.

In the video below, posted by Aosta Sera, a helicopter reveals the remains of the building scattered along the rocky face.

 

Other alpine huts around the world have also felt the effects of climate change. Earlier this summer, Canadian national park officials dismantled the 100-year-old Abbot Hut in the Rockies. Erosion and glacial retreat had left the platform on which it rested beyond repair.

Mountain hut on eroded platform

Abbot Hut, on the border of Banff and Yoho National Parks. One more landslide would have sent it tumbling down. Photo: Gripped

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.