The Mer de Glace in the massif of Western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc, near the meeting point of France, Italy and Switzerland. After a cloudy walk along the 'balcony' path from the Plan de l'Aiguille du Midi, we arrived here at the Signal Forbes (2198 metres) in light rain. Suddenly rents and tears appeared in the clouds, opening windows on this classic view. The viewpoint is named after James Forbes (1809-1868), who first described the bands of alternating light and dark ice on glaciers and after whom these are named. A delightful facsimile of "Travels through the Alps of Savoy and other parts of the Pennine chain : with observations on the phenomena of glaciers" can be found here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hnqpxa;view=1up;seq=16
I wonder what Forbes would have made of the impact of human activity on this great glacier. Shrunken it may be, but its gouging of the landscape is all the more stark, and it remains the centrepiece of an awe-inspiring scene.