Amazing photo: Victorians climbing a glacier

A group of men and women mountain climbing on the Mer de Glace, France, circa 1870.
© Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A group of Victorians climb France's Mer de Glace around 1870. This chunk of ice, which means "sea of ice," is part of the Mont Blanc glacier, which is 6,276 feet tall. And, I hate to break it to you, but the glacier doesn't look like this anymore.

“The Mer de Glace shows the effects of global warming,” said said Manuel Valls, the French prime minister. “It's not an intellectual or philosophical subject.”

This glacier has become a symbol for climate change. Over the last 30 years, it's melted so much that tourists visit just for that reason.

“The question is, what can be done to reverse the trend, or at least slow it?” said Benjamin Claret, the Mer de Glace cave manager. His grandfather founded the business after World War II. “Visitors are now coming here to witness climate change. It’s sad, but it’s necessary.”

So the glacier was probably a lot bigger in the 1800s than it is now. Which brings me to my main point: Those dresses. How could those women climb a glacier in giant dresses? Why would they do that?

I mean, I know why. The patriarchy couldn't handle women in pants for a while. Still, this was before iPhones. Who was going to know? Other than us, I guess.

Amazing photo: Victorians climbing a glacier
This glacier was a lot bigger before climate change.

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