Portuguese migrant workers clear away outside tables as a hut overlooking the Great Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps, prepares to close for winter. The hut, near the top of the Eggishorn cable car station, is at an elevation of 2926m and has spectacular views of the 23km long glacier. Like the hut, the cable car will also close down for winter at the end of the day.
According to the Swiss Academy of Science, between 1850 and 2005, the total glacier surface area in Switzerland shrank by 40% and the volume reduced by 60%. Currently the glaciers are retreating at an average rate of 3% a year. The Great Aletsch Glacier has shrunk by more than 1.3 km in length since 1980.