Observation Deck Built on Top of Glacier

Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. overlook / ˌoʊ vərˈlʊk / (v) – to be above something and have a view of it

    My hotel room’s balcony overlooks the beach.

  2. unobstructed / ˌʌnəbˈstrʌktɪd / (adj) – not blocked by any object

    We were lucky to have an unobstructed view of the mountain because it wasn’t cloudy when we got there.

  3. enclosed / ɪnˈkloʊzd / (adj) – surrounded or blocked off on all sides

    My little brother is scared of tight, enclosed spaces.

  4. jut / dʒʌt / (v) – to extend out of something

    The book was too big, so it jutted out of her bag.

  5. a stone’s throw / ə stoʊnz θroʊ / (idiom) – describing a place that is close to another place

    His dormitory is only a stone’s throw away from the university.


Read the text below.

An observation deck that sits 3,251 meters above sea level was built on top of the Schnals [shnals] Valley Glacier in South Tyrol, Italy.

Called Ötzi Peak, the deck was named after Ötzi the Iceman, the world’s oldest glacier mummy, who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE.  Ötzi Peak, which overlooks the area where the mummy was found in 1991, was designed and built by local architectural group noa* (network of architecture).

The observation deck is a light structure made out of steel. It is supported by only a few beams beneath it, making it seem to be floating in the air. Visitors can go close to the edge of the deck to see an unobstructed view of the surroundings. One of the deck’s best features is a glass-enclosed area that juts out of one of its sides, directly above the site where Ötzi the Iceman was discovered.

Currently, entrance to Ötzi Peak is free. The site is within a stone’s throw of the Glacier Hotel Grawand, which is one of the highest hotels in Europe. To get to the observation deck, visitors can ride a cable car from the town of Maso Corto to the Glacier Hotel Grawand. From there, Ötzi Peak is just a 10-minute walk.

The creators of the observation deck said that their goal in building it was to give visitors a sense of freedom and being one with the mountains. They explained that the rugged views and windy weather let visitors experience nature at its fullest.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you had the opportunity, would you like to visit Ötzi Peak? Why or why not?
• For safety reasons, do you think there should be an age limit for Ötzi Peak visitors (e.g. no children under 10)? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s a good idea to build tourist attractions in high areas (e.g. mountains, glaciers)? Why or why not?
• Do you think people should keep on looking for new places that can be developed into tourist spots? Why or why not?

Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment