Austrian ski resort covers glacier after coronavirus cuts season short

In a normal year, Austrian ski resorts stay open until April, by which time much of their snow has melted in the spring sunshine, making skiing less than ideal.

On glaciers, however, snow survives much longer, so resorts built on them stay open longer, sometimes all year.

The temperature in the eastern Alps is rising even faster than the global average, and its glaciers are shrinking.

It has therefore become a habit at many glacial resorts to cover the part of their ice mass most heavily used for pistes and lifts, to shield it from the intense mountain sun.

At the Stubai Glacier resort at the end of a valley near Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol province, that involves covering 26,000 square meters of glacier - roughly four times the playing area of a soccer pitch - with strips of thick white fabric.

The process also helps preserve a stock of snow, as deposits from elsewhere in the resort are laid on top of the ice first.