A Melting Glacier is Moving the Switzerland/Italy Border

A Melting Glacier is Moving the Switzerland/Italy Border

Ski News

A Melting Glacier is Moving the Switzerland/Italy Border


“So, are we in Switzerland or in Italy?”- Frederic, 59-year-old tourist.

One of the world’s largest ski resorts features runs in both Switzerland and Italy. In Italy, the Breuil-Cervinia ski resort connects to the Zermatt ski resort in Switzerland, which is situated around the Theodul Glacier. Nestled on the two borders is a mountain lodge that has continued to move since its opening in the 1980s.

Euronews.com reports that this melting glacier puts the Rifugio Guide del Cervino in a unique position. When it opened in 1984, the entire building, which features forty beds and a restaurant, was situated in Italy. As of today, two-thirds of the building, which include most of the bedrooms and the restaurant, is now located in Switzerland. The obvious reason for this is climate change, with the receding glaciers leading to the movement of the chalet. The Theodul Glacier lost a quarter of its mass from 1973 to 2010. With rising temperatures continuing to be an issue in Europe, especially this summer, this is likely a diplomatic issue that won’t go away for Switzerland and Italy.

In 2018, diplomatic negotiations started between Italy and Switzerland to figure out what country the mountain lodge was situated in. In 2021, they reached an agreement, but the official details won’t be announced until the Swiss government rubber stamps the deal in 2023. Alain Wicht, chief border official at Switzerland’s national mapping agency Swisstopo said that the two sides agreed to split the difference.

Earlier this year, VOX covered the melting border in a fascinating video that details the perils of climate change in Europe. That video is below.

Image/Video Credits: Rifugio Guide del Cervino, VOX


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