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[′īs ‚fȯl]
That portion of a glacier where a sudden steepening of descent causes a chaotic breaking up of the ice. Also known as ice cascade.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the section of a glacier that is broken by deep fissures into separate blocks of varying shape and size. Icefalls form on the site of steep declivities in the longitudinal profile of the glacier bed, where there is an increase in the rate of the ice’s movement, resulting in crevasses.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Several veteran climbers and well-respected Western climbing companies have moved their expeditions to the northern side of the mountain in Tibet in recent years, saying rising temperatures and inexperienced climbers have made the icefall more vulnerable.
This year, the "icefall doctors" -- as the Sherpa are called -- say that they've constructed a safe passageway.
Mollie said: "As soon as you step out of base camp, you're at the Icefall. There are huge blocks of ice the size of houses.
On Mount Everest, we get to follow Sherpas as they rope a route through the notorious Khumbu Icefall, while two nine-year-old boys from the Amazon rainforest face a terrifying and painful rite-of-passage, and conservationists battle to save condors in America's Grand Canyon.
Every year, in time for the climbing season, eight Sherpas have to rope a route through the lethal maze of the treacherous Khumbu Icefall on the mountain.
Icefall adds to the 'Rebel Angels' series titles and pairs fantasy with a fine story as it presents another world of the Sithe, a beautiful people who live a mortal life in the blink of an eye.
Damaged ladders in an area of the mountain known as the Khumbu icefall would be repaired within the next few days, according to the chief of Nepal's tourism department, Tulsi Gautam.
Survivors reached over Internet messaging services, however, described a scene of terror as the snow and ice roared through the nearby Khumbu Icefall and into base camp.
The avalanche struck between the Khumbu Icefall, a notoriously treacherous rugged area of collapsed ice and snow, and the base camp where most climbing expeditions are, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said the avalanche occurred between the Khumbu Icefall, a rugged area of collapsed ice and snow, and the base camp where most climbing expeditions have their main camps.