Observation Campaign 2021

Observation Campaign 2021

MountaiNow - Safer Together

Take part in the observation campaign this summer and help research on climate change.
It only takes a few clicks - from the mountain or from home, so don't wait, join us now !

How to participate?

  1. Download MountaiNow on App Store or Google Play
  2. While in the mountains, add observations via the app - it only takes a few seconds, see tuto here
  3. If possible, focus on the following types of observations: Landscape; Rockfall; Glacier melt; Snow depth; Threatening seracs/Ice avalanche; Glacial lake; see details below
  4. If possible, make observations in the target regions of the campaign: Aletsch, Morteratsch/ Diavolezza, Orny/Trient, or Zinal. "Visit me" icons are also placed on the MountaiNow map to indicate the best viewpoints
  5. Get started ! Observations are really useful whatever the region 😉


But... why an observation campaign?

Addressing high-mountain challenges requires the provision of actionable information on Alpine changes. Research bodies such as the Swiss national monitoring networks for glaciers and permafrost, GLAMOS and PERMOS, play a fundamental role in the provision of this information, however they often lack sufficient real-time in-situ information to develop timely monitoring products.

The 2021 observation campaign is about exploring the potential of modern observation methods to fill this information gap, and in particular evaluating the power of crowdsourcing for long-term mountain monitoring.

The idea is to use MountaiNow to collect real-time observations of glaciers and permafrost - thereby gathering a critical mass of observations for climate change research.

The campaign - because of its national and international relevance - is co-financed by MeteoSwiss as part of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Switzerland.

Period and target regions

The observation campaign runs from 1 June to 30 September 2021.

Observations from any region are welcome, however observations from the "target" regions are particularly encouraged:

  • Aletsch Glacier
  • Zinal Glacier
  • Trient/Orny Glaciers
  • Vadret da Morteratsch / Diavolezza

To complement the target regions, some sites are marked on the MountaiNow map with a "Visit me" icon. The idea being to encourage observations from these sites - for example a "Glacier Melt" observation which simply asks for a photo of the stake placed on the glacier (to measure the speed at which it is melting).

Taking a photo - it's as simple as that to help climate change research !

Types of observations sought after

  • Landscape

Take a photo of a landscape partially covered with snow or ice: for instance an entire glacier or a part thereof, or a rock glacier (as in the example below)

  • Rock falls

Take a photo showing the starting zone (yellow), runout zone, or accumulation zone (red) of a rock-fall

  • Glacier melt

Take a picture of the entire pole, from as close as possible

  • Snow depth

Measure the snow height with a simple ski-touring probe. Enter the value in cm under "Comments". Great if you can also measure the snow height on glaciers, very useful for research!

  • Seracs / Ice Avalanches

Taking a picture of hanging seracs (left) or ice avalanches (right) - including their immediate surroundings


  • Glacial lake

Take a photo of a glacial lake and its immediate surroundings

Find corresponding icons on MountaiNow whilst adding an observation:

How to add an observation? Check out the tuto

Questions ? 

Contact us!

Partners for the Campaign