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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute


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Also: 'schrund, randkluft, rimaye

A bergschrund is a large crevasse at the head (top) of a glacier where the moving glacier ice separates from the static snow and ice above (typically on a headwall).

Bergschrunds typically extend all the way down to the bedrock below the glacier and are very wide and deep. During winter they may fill in with snow, deposited both by storms and by avalanches off the headwall above. In summer and fall a bergschrund is typically open and presents a challange and a danger to alpinists.

When skiing or climbing above an open or thinly bridged bergschrund it can present a terrain trap - even a small avalanche can have serious consequences here.

Sometimes there is a large crevasse-like gap between a glacier or snowfield and the rock wall above it. This can form when the rock wall heats in the sunshine and melts the ice and/or snow adjacent to to. While this is often colloquially called a bergschund the proper term is a randkluft or rimaye.

This glossary is a work in progress and is made possible by AlpenPro.