The very start of the route from near the hut. The debris from the recent rockfall (July 2003) can be seen as the smear of gray on the snow to the left.
...Researchers from the University of Zurich, (click here) who have been studying the mountain closely since 2007, say melting water is permeating exposed cracks and crevices on the 4,478m (14,690ft) mountain, which straddles the Swiss-Italian boarder. Subsequent cycles of freezing and thawing in these gaps are creating subtle movements under the rock surface, causing ever-widening fissures with the result that lumps of rock are falling off, the researchers say.
The view from the summit. You can see how dry the upper slope is. Normally this is nearly all snow. (click here)
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH
Kinematics of steep bedrock permafrost (click title to entry - thank you)
The mechanisms that control climate-dependent rockfall from permafrost mountain slopes are currently poorly understood. In this study, we present the results of an extensive rock slope monitoring campaign at the Matterhorn (Switzerland) with a wireless sensor network. A negative dependency of cleft expansion relative to temperature was observed at all clefts for the dominant part of the year....