A unique natural phenomenon, a real attraction for youn and old.
The snowcave is lcoated at the foot of Cima Dieci (Piza dales Diesc). Starting from the church La Crusc, you can reached it in about 45 minutes, along the path no. 15B. It’s an easy walk, within everyone’s reach, flat and with a view that, under the majestics rocks of Sasso Santa Croce, leaves you speechless. Arrived at the cave, it’s possible to admire it from the outside.
You can continue the excursion to the Armentara Meadows, knows for their particular alpine flora. After you can reach the villages of Badia or La Val.
Brief scientific description of the formation of the snow cave
During very cold and snowy winters accumulations of snow are preserved, especially in shady spots. These consolidate and turn into ice-like compacted snow sometimes reaching several meters thick. Deposits of debris and soil can form an insulating layer on the ice surface, preventing melt. A cavern under the ice continues to widen due to the water from thawing snow passing under the ice mass. Even if the water temperature is only just above the freezing point, splashing water slowly forms a narrow cavern within
the ice sheet. These natural phenomena can create bizarre and beautiful ice formations. In the summer, a process begins that strengthens and increases expansion of the cave: At first a narrow cave carved by the river is filled with cold air, which is denser and therefore heavier than the hot summer air outside, which triggers the so-called “reverse chimney effect.” The heavy, cold air of the cave sinks down to the bottom, causing a strong wind to form in the cave from the top down as hot summer air is simultaneously
drawn from an upper opening of the cavern into the interior, which melts the ice inside the cave. The air cools upon contact with the ice walls and joins the heavier cold air, continuing the effect. This “reverse chimney effect” may continue for months, constantly expanding the inside of the ice cave.
Text: Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Nature Parks Office