How Israeli Snowmakers Are Saving Alpine Skiing

How a company from Tel Aviv keeps the Alps skiable—and may keep the world in fresh water
A 2009 event in Pitztal launching IDE-made snow Courtesy IDE

The most famous disappearing glacier in the Alps, if not the world, sits 3,600 feet above the Pitztal, or Pitz valley, itself 30 miles west of Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian state of Tyrol. One measure of the Pitztal Glacier’s decline is that one of the ski lifts built atop it has had to be moved three times in three decades. Another is the giant insulated blanket the resort cloaks over the glacier every summer, hoping to slow the melt. Europe’s Alps have lost half their ice over the last century, one-fifth of it since the 1980s. By 2007 the 925 named glaciers in Austria were receding at an average of 30 feet to 50 feet a year, twice the rate recorded a decade earlier.

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