The summit of Carè Alto (3463 m) is isolated and imposing, dotted in all cardinal directions by gradually withdrawing glaciers.
The Carè Alto glaciers are part of the Trentino glaciers that today cover an area of about 30 km2. They are found in the main mountain groups, first of all the Adamello-Presanella massif, which alone houses 48 glaciers.
Although at first sight it appears immobilized by frost, the glacial landscape is in constant motion and constant evolution. Even more today, due to climate changes that have triggered the inexorable and very rapid withdrawal of glacial fronts.
The glacial extension is everywhere significantly reduced. Some of the largest glaciers have lost 42% of the surface in just over 40 years. For others the reductions were minor, as for the Adamello Glacier.
Studies on the Adamello glaciers have been made with a certain systematic approach since the 1920s. As early as 1865 some were accurately represented in a detailed map created by Payer, the first conqueror of the Cima Adamello and an attentive glaciologist. Later the glacial landscape was described as follows by W.D. Freshfiled (1875).
“It is a huge block, so big that it provides material for half a dozen beautiful mountains. But it is only one. For a length and width of many miles the land never drops below 9500 feet. The vast central snowfield feeds glaciers that descend from each side. The highest peaks, such as the Carè Alto and the Adamello, are only small elevations on the edge of the plateau. Seen from up close they almost look like icy rocks, but from afar they look like very noble mountains that fall with large walls enclosed between two glaciers on the wild valleys that rise up to their feet. Imagine a large white sheet not evenly spread over a table, and its glittering hanging edges here and there between black and massive buttresses”.
New Italian Glacier Inventory (2015). 2011 Surveys.