At 13.4 kilometres in length, the Gorner glacier is the third-longest glacier of the alps.
It is the main arm of the glacial system southeast of Zermatt, which covers 41.2 square kilometers — the second largest continuous area of ice in the Alps.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, the ice giant was still feared. The tongue at its end pushed out into farming areas, burying the soil, vegetation, and houses beneath it. Since the latest advance phase, however, the glacier has been retreating.