Photographer Stephan Zirwes documents the harrowing practice in a new documentary and photo essay.
In 2012, Stephan Zirwes was skiing at Switzerland’s Saas-Fee glacier ski resort when he noticed something strange. There were people covering parts of the resort’s glaciers with gigantic swathes of white cotton fabric. Puzzled, he asked the workers what was going on. The answer: The textile “prevents melting during summer.”