Definition of serac in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsɛrak//sɛˈrak/


  • A pinnacle or ridge of ice on the surface of a glacier.

    • ‘This has the destabilising effect of re-enacting the movements of a huge rockface, when shattered stone is unlocked by thawing, rivulets of snow-melt, the collapse of seracs, or the downrush of avalanches.’
    • ‘I listened intently, taking mental notes on their descriptions of the seracs, the crevasses, the hanging glaciers.’
    • ‘On the way, a serac falls and the waist of a glacier - a series of accumulation crevasses - crumbles.’
    • ‘When a serac unexpectedly falls and instantly kills a climber, we are not fascinated, only touched by grief.’
    • ‘We alternate for what seems like hours until we pass the seracs and the angle of the glacier is close to flat.’
    • ‘A team of rescue Sherpa evacuated the two men down through the towering seracs and debris to Base Camp where they were quickly flown to Kathmandu by helicopter.’
    • ‘Icicles broke from seracs, pummeling him; cold water flowed down cracks, soaking him; avalanches forced him to squeeze against the face.’
    • ‘There's a passage to the right, but it's under a huge serac that teeters at the end of a glacier, waiting for the next slight shift of ice to send it tumbling.’
    • ‘And the ice fall was exciting - massive crevasses and seracs - and they're falling down the whole time.’
    • ‘Above Muir, you'll wend past yawning crevasses along the Cowlitz Glacier, tiptoe over snow bridges on the Ingraham Glacier, and duck past the giant seracs of the Ingraham Icefall.’
    • ‘While we were descending the icefall, there were two very large collapses of seracs (luckily not near us), and many places in the icefall which have looked the same all season but were not recognizable upon descent.’
    • ‘Halfway up we became lost in a labyrinth of widemouthed crevasses and leaning seracs, and had to rope up and slow down.’
    • ‘In a clearing between clouds we could see just ahead an area of large seracs where the shifting glacier had cleaved into blocks.’
    • ‘They can't always hear each other if they are down in a gully or behind big ice seracs.’
    • ‘After a scenic tour down to Zermatt, past towering seracs and gaping crevasses, we got another helicopter ride up to the ridge.’
    • ‘For the next four days, they'll hammer their toes into the face, scaling 55-to 60-degree ice before reaching a large serac at approximately 22,000 feet.’
    mountain, hill, height, alp, aiguille, puy, crag, tor, inselberg
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Mid 19th century: from Swiss French sérac, originally the name of a compact white cheese.