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Science And Nature

The Alps magical ice caves risk vanishing inside our warming world

Published September 13, 2022

15 min read

As a kid, Karoline Zanker had a magical playground. From her home in the quaint Austrian village of Sankt Martin bei Lofer, near Salzburg, shed hike past just a little pilgrimage church or more in to the Lofer Mountains, just underneath the tree line where even hardy larches cease to cultivate. At an altitude around 5,200 feet, beneath the lofty peaks, shed slip by way of a narrow portal in the limestone and crawl right in the mountain. Prax ice cave, she says, was as being a story book.

Ice poured down from the cave ceiling like frozen waterfalls, and towers of it rose from the floors of corridors a huge selection of yards long. Ice crystals and icicles glittered like precious gems on the walls.

It had been incredibly marvelous, recalls Zanker, now 48 and working as a cave guide.

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