CIPRA representatives:

Personal tools

  Search filter  

Further Information


No glacier marriage in Tyrol

Nov 28, 2022 / Michael Gams, CIPRA International
Finally it’s official: the plans for the world’s largest glacier ski area are history. In November 2022, the Tyrolean federal state government rejected the planned merger of the glacier ski areas in Austria’s Ötztal and Pitztal valleys.
Image caption:
No mega-project in Tyrol: the Pitztal Glacier remains unhitched. © Michael Brand unsplash

The “ski lift kaisers” from the Pitztal and Ötztal valleys had described their mega-project as a “glacier marriage”. Now the marriage has broken down before the knot was even tied. The project applicants would have had to submit additional documents for the ski area merger by the deadline set for the end of October 2022. Because this did not happen, the office of the Tyrolean federal state government closed the environmental impact assessment procedure with a negative decision. A citizens’ survey conducted in the Pitztal in the summer was also narrowly negative, after which the project applicants announced that they would no longer pursue the merger.

The project had been submitted in 2015. The German and Austrian Alpine Clubs took a public stand against it and launched a counter-campaign, “Our Alps”. The retreat of the glaciers caused by climate change had already altered the terrain so much over the 2015-19 planning period that the originally planned ski pistes and trails could no longer be realised. Among other things, 64 hectares of new slopes were planned, roughly equivalent to the area of 90 football pitches. In addition, three new gondola lifts with a cable car centre and restaurant would have been built, as well as a ski tunnel of more than half a kilometre in length, plus garages, access roads and a storage lake for the production of artificial snow. The planned removal of a peak of the Fernerkogel for a cable car station also caused uproar – the sensitive glacier landscape of the Ötztal Alps will now be spared all this.


Sources and further information: (de), (de), (de)