The ÖAV Mountain Huts belong to individual sections. Despite many man-hours of work by volunteers and thousands of Euros from central ÖAV funds and Austrian federal and provincial government grants, the sections themselves must find large sums for hut maintenance and modernisation, and to meet health and safety and environmental requirements. The difficult access and high altitude of many of the huts adds to the cost of the work.
Based so far from the Alps, Sektion Britannia/AAC(UK) does not own any huts, nor does it have a ‘work area’ with responsibility for waymarking and path maintenance. Instead, we have a Hut Fund, to which members have contributed generously over the years, and we hope you will continue the tradition. The donations we make to help individual Sections with a particular project are much appreciated by those sections.
Sektion Britannia/AAC(UK) has been contributing to the huts from its earliest days when members took blankets out to the huts. We know that the first Hut Fund donation was made in 1967. £125 was given to Sektion Landeck for the purchase of a tin crushing machine for the Steinsee Hütte! The Club has good records of the Hut Fund donations made from the mid-1980’s.
- 1986: ATS 250,000 to Sektion Wiener Lehrer to help with the costs of rebuilding the Hochschober Hütte (Schobergruppe), burnt down in 1983.
- 1990: ATS 100,000 to to Sektion Steinnelke to help furnish the Feldnerhütte (Kreuzeckgruppe), rebuilt after being destroyed by fire.
- 1993: ATS 100,000 to Sektion St Pölten towards renovation work at the St Pöltener Hütte (Granatzspitzgruppe).
- 1995: ATS 100,000 to Sektion Lienz to help pay for environmentally friendly waste disposal improvements at the Lienzer Hütte (Schobergruppe).
- 1998: ATS 800,000 to refurbish the Innsbrucker Hütte (Sektion Touristenklub Innsbruck) and the Franz-Senn-Hütte (Zweig Innsbruck) and to restore two footpaths, (Stubaier Alpen). A significant part of this donation was funded from a large bequest from AAC(UK) member Harry Parkes.
- 2000: ATS 100,000 to Sektion Austria to help renovation work at the Oberwalder Hütte (Glocknergruppe).
- 2005, 2006: € 20,000 to Sektion Imst-Oberland to help major remedial work at the Muttekopf Hütte (Lechtaler Alpen).
- 2007: € 10,000 to Sektion Admont for renovation of the kitchen and larder, to meet Health and Safety Regulations, at the Admonter Haus (Ennstaler Alpen).
- 2007: € 10.000 to Sektion Landeck to help install solar heating and two warm showers at the Steinsee Hütte (Lechtaler Alpen).
- 2008: € 19.000 to Sektion Fieberbrunn towards a major renovation and extension of the Wildseeloderhaus (Kitzbühler Alpen).
- 2009: € 10,000 to Sektion Lienz for the renovation of the main Gaststube of the Hochsteinhütte (Villgratner Berge).
- 2011: € 10,000 to Sektion Austria for the refurbishment of the Guttenberghaus’s goods lift (Dachstein).
- 2012: € 10,000 to Sektion Hall-in-Tirol for refurbishment of the Glungezerhütte and its goods lift (Tuxer Alpen).
- 2013: € 80,000 to Sektion Lungau towards the re-building of the Franz-Fischer-Hütte (Radstädter Tauern). A significant part of this very large donation was funded from a £50,000 bequest from AAC(UK) member John Murdock, who died in 2011.
- 2014: € 20,000 to Sektion Sillian towards the repair and avalanche protection of the photovoltaic array, repairs to the winter room, and Health and Safety improvements at the Sillianer Hütte (Karnischer Hauptkamm).
- 2014: € 10,000 to Sektion Reichenberg towards the installation of showers at the Neue Reichenberger Hütte (Venedigergruppe)
- 2015: € 20,000 to Sektion Steinnelke towards the new kitchen at the Salzkofelhütte, the sewage system at the Feldnerhütte, and hydro-electric generator parts for both huts (Kreuzeckgruppe)
- 2015: € 20,000 to Sektion Voisthaler for renovation of the Voisthalerhütte goods lift (Hochschwab).
- 2016: € 25,000 to Alpenverein Gebirgsverein (ÖGV) towards environmentally friendly energy provision at the recently rebuilt Annabergerhaus, including the installation of a rape-seed oil generator and new lithium batteries (Türnitzer Alpen)
- 2016: € 10,000 to Alpenverein (Zweig) Innsbruck towards major renovation of the Bettelwurfhütte (Karwendel)
- 2016: € 10,000 to Sektion Schwaz for refurbishment at the Kellerjochhütte (Tuxer Alpen)
In an article in the ÖAV magazine in 2005, Peter Grauss, President between 1996 and 2007, quoted his predecessor Professor Louis Oberwalder when he said, ‘The Huts are the joy and the burden of the Alpenverein‘, and went on to explain why funding from the Austrian Government is so important. Most sections are fully committed to their huts but the financial burden of meeting modern standards in isolated spots at high altitude can be considerable, particularly for small sections with a few hundred members.
The AAC(UK) Hut Fund is needed more than ever, so please contribute generously. Contributions can be made when you join or renew your membership; or you can send a cheque (payable to Austrian Alpine Club) to the AAC(UK) Office; or telephone the AAC(UK) Office with your debit/credit card details.
Many huts put up plaques thanking donors. Please, keep an eye open when visiting alpine huts for any plaque or notice thanking Sektion England (the Club’s Austrian name until the mid 1980s) or Sektion Britannia. A photo attached to an e-mail to the Office would be much appreciated: head your e-mail ‘Hut Fund Donation to xxxxxxx Hut in 19xx or 20xx’.
[Updated 06 December 2016]