The rugged terrain of the Alps shaped local culture for centuries, but today, man is affecting the mountains. Parading in costumes of moss, men follow ancient Pagan traditions in part of the Tyrol in present-day Austria—in dramatic contrast to the glitzy scene where alpine skiers in St. Moritz use the mountains as Europe’s playground.
The Alps formed millions of years ago when the classic granite was squeezed upward into mountains by the African landmass colliding with Eurasia. Though upper reaches of the Alps are pristine, global warming impacts the lower elevations. Ski resorts use a quick fix by covering the snow pack with high tech fleece blankets to keep it from melting.
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