National Geographic : 1918 Feb
14U THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE c ing away continuously into the clouds far above. Down its sides tumble three mag " nificent glaciers broken to fragments by the steep descent. The tongues of all S three come down to the level of the val d ley, where they stop abruptly without S moraines, as though melted back by the heat. - Near the foot of these glaciers occurs o the most conspicuous fissure to be found w a anywhere in the valley. It is 200 to 400 i feet wide, with perpendicular walls, one S^ of which stands about 35 feet higher than .z - the other. The depth could not be ascer z tained because it is filled by a beautiful S~'~ lake of clear, green water. Standing just ! ^." at the foot of the glaciers, this fissure is one of the most picturesque spots in the :. : whole valley (see page 146). Along the ;T. sides are numerous snow-drifts, from zT which miniature bergs break off and float AE away in the clear water. aJ WARM WATER FROM SNOW-DRIFTS *. Fed by the glaciers and melting snows, o. Fissure Lake would be expected to be icy . cold, but on the contrary it is decidedly . tepid in spots, where heat evidently is re Z. ceived from below. One of the most . amusing incidents of the whole trip oc S rcurred when our chemist, poking his x thermometer into everything, discovered z 3' this fact. ^- I was coming along a little behind, and o he, pretending to need my assistance, , asked me to tell him the temperature of . the water coming out from under the Sedge of a snow-field. Willing to answer >"- even a foolish question, I had the words S "ice cold" on the tip of my tongue when .. my fingers touched the water. The speak S ing expression froze on my face and I u carefully dipped my hand in again. It .aZ was actually warm! How he did laugh 1 "0 at my discomfiture ! z- The snow-fields which surround the S valley send trickling rills down the slopes, but these dry up and disappear long be Sfore the floor of the basin is reached. . From the glaciers, however, comes a con Si c siderable stream, which runs, in spite of all obstacles, clear through the valley, dwindling to almost nothing before pass ing out of the hot area. These waters 0 thus so nearly forget to run that we christened the stream the River Lethe.