RS eisloecher eppan sommer
RS eisloecher eppan sommer

Ice Holes, a natural phenomenon

Near Pianizza di Sopra, in the municipal area of Appiano, there’s an interesting natural phenomenon.

At the foot of Mt. Ganda, in a wood scattered by rocks between Appiano (Eppan) and Caldaro (Kaltern), several large boulders rise into the sky. They are located at only 500 m a.s.l., in a 200 metres long and 10 - 50 metres wide hollow, but if you approach the rocks, also in the hottest months of the year you’ll feel cold air pouring out.

This natural phenomenon can be explained by the physical principle of wind tubes: a crack system in the Porphyry stone causes a continuous cold draught. At the head of the boulders, warm air enters and streams to the bottom - from the lower holes, the Ice Holes, it escapes as ice cold air featuring a temperature of 0 - 9 degrees C. This is also shown by the ice-stalactites which are present even in high summer, as well as by the surrounding flora. In this biotope there are plants which normally only grow at 1,200 m a.s.l. in the high mountain regions.

The walk to the Ice Holes - “Eislöcher” in German, “Buche di Ghiaccio” in Italian - starts either from Appiano or from Caldaro: from the latter, the path no. 15 leads to this natural phenomenon. In Appiano, the slightly longer tour starts at the main square and follows the trails no. 7A and 15. Especially in high summer, this beautiful spot of land represents a highly frequented destination.

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