The melting waters of the Aletsch Glacier are a national treasure in Switzerland. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features 27 billion tons of ice, a massive mountain of frozen water. In the summer the Aletsch Glacier thaws, and the melting waters carve narrow channels through the thick glacial ice. Adventure photographer David Carlier joined a pair of expert mountain guides to explore this icy world. Using lightweight luge boards, the trio descended the Aletsch Glacier on the rapid meltwater of the thawing ice.
In a sense, the ice channels of the Aletsch Glacier are mother nature’s luge track. These meltwater veins cut meters into the ice to form smooth pathways down the glacier. With the expertise of his guides, David Carlier was able to ride the meltwater to photograph this unique winter sports experience. From high above and deep within these channels of ice, Carlier has captured a dream of many outdoor adventure enthusiasts.
The expertise of Carlier’s guides is important to mention. Both Claude-Alain Gailland and Gilles Janin have plenty of experience scaling the Aletsch Glacier. They outfitted their expedition with solid headgear, lightweight luge boards and finned footwear to help navigate the ice channels. These channels often fork off in different directions, and there are occasional hurdles to overcome. This gear keeps the trio safe and allows them to navigate the meltwater as they descend the glacier.
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David Carlier is an award-winning adventure photographer based in Switzerland. More photos from this and other expeditions are available on his website, and prints can be purchased there and his profile on 500px. Hat-tip to our friends at KNSTRCT.
As an action sports and adventure specialist, David Carlier has been involved in outdoor activities all over the world, working closely with the best athletes in freeskiing, mountaineering, BASE jumping, kayaking, sailing, moutainbiking and much more. By accumulating a vast experience in these challenging and natural environments, David has learned techniques to shoot, store and distribute high definition content from the most remote locations.