The destruction caused by a rime ice mushroom in Patagonia which recently collapsed in almost unreal to watch. From far away, Cerro Torre — the natural fixture in the shape of a mushroom composed of rime ice — looks seemingly harmless. And then a part of it breaks loose, raining frozen hell on anything below. This video was captured by Russian alpinist Dmitry Golovchenko and appeared in an Instagram post by @patagoniavertical. The caption of the post reads:
The factors that influence rime mushrooms to result in break off are not known, but it seems plausible that they behave in part like a snowpack, and that the combination of gravity, heat and moisture can result in events like this one. This summer there is ample rime, which combined with heat, and rain at higher altitudes could have lead to this. Not knowing what factors affect the deeper layers of rime mushrooms, it is difficult to hypothesize a protocol to minimize exposure, but avoiding periods with the freezing-line above the base of the route (2300m) would be a wise first step.