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Europe, France, Dirt Band Project: Glacier du Géant

Dirt Band Project: Glacier du Géant. In 1947 this journal published an account of the laying out of a row of piles of small, brilliantly colored glass beads on the plateau of the Glacier du Géant.** It is expected that this row of beads, after being buried in the Géant icefall, will emerge on the lower outrun of the Mer de Glace, beneath the séracs of the icefall, in the mid-sixties.

In June 1951, accompanied by Francesco Saluard, of Courmayeur, I revisited the same site on the plateau of the Glacier du Géant and laid out, for good measure, a new row of piles of beads. Each pile contained about a handful of beads about 1/16 of an inch in diameter and was laid down three meters from its neighbor. The piles were alternately of all indigo blue or bright scarlet beads. There were 50 piles in all, extending over a distance of 150 meters and running directly uphill toward the Col de Brenva. The location of this row was as nearly identical with that of the 1946 row as it could be made without surveying instruments.

Joel E. Fisher

** Joel E. Fisher, “American Alpine Club Research Fund, 1946: 2. Studies on Forbes Dirt Bands,” A.A.J., VI (1947), 328-32.