Bad news from the environment means bad news for skiiers who hoped to visit Austria's popular Dachstein Glacier ski resorts this year, due to high melt rates and other damage, including Sahara sand.
Georg Bliem, who directs the operations of lifts and trails in the area announced last week that “There will be no autumn or winter skiing on the Dachstein this year.” He said that to operate, the support towers of the lifts would need to be relocated and re-anchored. “That’s a huge effort, and we have no guarantee that it won’t need to be done again next year,” Bliem said.
Dachstein has been the only part of Austria's Styria region where snow cannons allowed skiing as early as September and October; it has been a go-to training run for professional skiiers.
The ice melt has also caused issues for summer hikers in the area, with the damage to ice structures by extreme heat, heavy rains and sand blown north from the Sahara making many trails dangerous for all but the most experienced hikers.