Ecological madness in the mountains



Bare rock: a snow depot on the Rettenbachferner in the Ötztal.
Image: Christoph Schrahe

The alpine ski circus wants to start the winter as if everything is the same as always: on the glacier, while the meadows in the valley are green. Those responsible for the world association have understood nothing.

Dhe leaves of the trees down in the valley shimmer in the most beautiful colors, many meadows are still lush green, 16 degrees Celsius are forecast for this Sunday in Sölden in Tyrol. There is no trace of snow in the village. And yet this weekend is supposed to be the start of winter for alpine ski racers. High up on the Rettenbachferner, 3350 meters above sea level.

On a mixture of ice, snow from last winter, a bit of fresh snow and a lot of artificial snow. If it doesn’t rain. But it did on the night of this Saturday. Also up on the mountain. The women’s giant slalom has already been canceled. The original plan was: two races, four runs, plus après-ski and a glacier party. It could be cause for celebration, but it shouldn’t be. Because such an event is nothing more than ecological madness. Not only because of the numerous snow cannons that make the event possible with the help of a lot of energy. In a year in which nobody knows whether the energy in Europe will even last into spring.



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