top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Mont Blanc has shrunk

Experts find Europe’s highest mountain a little less impressive than when it was last surveyed in 2013

EUROPE’S highest mountain, Mont Blanc, has shrunk since it was last measured – and for the first time in 10 years the official height has fallen below 4,810m.

Never exactly the same from one year to the next, French schoolchildren have to learn a different height depending on the effects of the wind and snow. Heavy snowfall and weak winds increase the height of the ice cap that covers the peak but it decreases in the opposite conditions.

The survey has been done every two years since 2001 and found Mont Blanc to be 4,808.73m, 1.29m down from 4,810.02m. The rocky top of the mountain, of course, is much less liable to change, and measures 4,792m.

This year, for the first time, the survey was done in both May and September – and surprisingly the mountain is higher after the summer. The measurement made at the end of the spring in May is nearly a metre lower than this week’s one.

The team also made measurements all over the ice cap to calculate its volume and found that despite the hot summer it was 18,120m3 in September compared to 13,395m3 at the end of May.

Gathering the figures involved an expedition of 23 climbers and it was organised by surveyors from Haute-Savoie.

Over the years of the survey the peak has previously varied from 4,808m in 2003 to 4,811m in 2007. It had not dropped under 4,810m since 2005.

Photo: in2white

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now