Environmental activists are protesting after it emerged that parts of a mountain needed to be blown up in order to create the worlds largest glacial skiing area.
Plans are in place to create the glacier skiing area in the Pitztal and Oetztal ski areas in the Tyrolean region of Austria.
In order to connect Pitztal and Oetztal ski areas, stone, earth and ice would have to be blasted away and removed.
While local tourism chiefs and lift operators are sure this is possible not everyone is happy with the proposed plans.
A further three lifts, 64 hectares of new pistes and a ski tunnel would need to be built to connect the areas located between the Tyrol capital of Innsbruck and popular ski area Ischgl.
The Austrian Alpine Association as well as WWF Austria have formed an alliance against the project which they brand a ‘Mega project to destroy nature’.
Robert Renzler, General Secretary of the Austrian Alpine Association said: “These plans to build in untouched glacial wilderness with energy guzzling infrastructure shows the lack of climate and environmental politics in Austria.”
“These areas need to be protected not enlarged into big ski area,” he added.
So far 46,000 people have signed a petition against the plans which the activists claim would mean that 775,000 cubic metres of stone, earth and ice would need to be blasted away to enable to the project to go ahead.
Local OVP politician Franz Hoerl, who also works as spokesman for the cable way industry in the region, said: “We are not talking about blasting away the summit of the glacier, but rather just rocky crests on the mountain. The project would be great for local tourism and local business is supporting the project.”
If approved the build would take six years.
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