Tyrol divided over Pitztal and Ötztal link

27th April 2022, by Abi Butcher

The local lift company says the Pitztal Glacier has been unchanged for 30 years

The local lift company says the Pitztal Glacier has been unchanged for 30 years

Thousands of Tyrolean residents in Austria have joined forces to protest against the destruction of a glacier to join two ski resorts.

A petition with more than 168,000 signatures was handed to the Tyrol state government last week to protest against the project to connect the Pitztal Glacier and Ötztal Glacier in the Tyrol, Austria. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of several environmental charities opposing the plans, which have been underway since 2019.

More than 750,000 cubic metres of snow, rock and ice from an area the size of 90 football fields would be removed to make way for a connection between the two resorts, which is claimed would benefit the local ski industry.

But those opposed say it would damage the summer tourism, in particular hiking and climbing in the area, as well as a mountain hut owned by the German Alpine Club since 1892.

The clearance would provide five additional ski slopes which protestors say is not enough to warrant damaging the glacier.

A local newspaper, the Tiroler Tageszeitung, found the majority of its readers — 70 per cent — were against the Pitztal-Ötztal connection project in a 2020 survey.

It is not unusual for ski resort expansions to meet fierce opposition.

For more information on the plans, visit pitztal-oetztal.tirol

To buy a copy of Where to Ski in Austria, visit wheretoskiandsnowboard.com/the-book

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