Reports on selected huts

Our President, Allan Hartley has written a series of reports on selected huts for our Newsletter, which are reproduced below. Copyright for all photos held by Allan Hartley.

Bonn-Matreier-Hütte

Edelrauthütte

Friesenberghaus

Geraer Hütte

Glorer Hütte

Greizer Hütte

Heinrich-Schwaiger-Haus

Hildesheimer Hütte

Hohenzollernhaus

Innsbrucker Hütte

Landshuter-Europa Hut

Rauhekopfhütte

Richter Hütte

Salmhütte

Siegerlandhütte

Teplitzer Hütte

Tribulaunhütte

Bonn-Matreier-Hütte 2750m

Bonn Matreier Hutwolfgang.heinz@gmx.at

This is a good hut and one of the highest in the Venediger.   It enjoys a commanding view across the Virgental valley and the distant peaks of Slovenia.

This substantial three storey stone building was built in 1932 by the Austrian ÖAV Sektion Matrei and the DAV Sektion Bonn, then enlarged in 1981/84 to its present size. The dining room is particularly pleasant when the light from the setting sun streams through the windows to bathe the room in golden light.

The Bonn Sektion’s other hut, the Bonner Hütte, is located in the Kärnten region of southern Austria in the Goldberg Group not far from Spittal, where a few years ago AAC(UK) held one of the early snowshoe tours.

Excursions from the hut are rather limited as the hut is very much a one stop shop mostly for those undertaking the Venediger Höhenweg.   Crossing the Galten Scharte (2884m), en route to the Badener Hütte is unfortunately a grotty affair due to the unstable nature of the rock on both sides of the Scharte: hence the cautionary note outside the hut, which warns that the route is “Nur für Geübte” – for the experienced only.

SeeTrekking in Austria’s Hohe Tauern’ by Allan Hartley, published by Cicerone Press.

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Edelrauthütte 2545m

Also known as Rifugio Ponte di Ghiaccio and the Eisbruggjochhütte (not to be confused with the Edelrautehütte (ÖAV) in Steiermark

Edelraut hutinfo@edelrauthuette.it (no connection in 2015)

Websitewww.edelrauthuette.it

This splendid little hut reflects everything that one could wish for when staying at a mountain hut. It is warm, friendly and welcoming in the Gemütlichkeit tradition.

Situated on the broad saddle of Eisbruggjoch, the hut occupies a wonderful position with excellent views overlooking the Eisbruggsee alpine tarn to the southwest and the peaks of the Hoher Weißzint to the north. The Nevesjochhütte, better known as the Chemnitzerhütte,can clearly be seen across the valley to the east, perched on a similar broad saddle of the Nevesjoch (from where the hut gets its name) some 4-5h distant.

Built in 1908 by the Vienna Mountaineering Club who named the hut after a local flower and a district of Vienna. During the First World War the hut was closed, then lost to Italy in 1919. Having been transferred to the CAI the hut managed to reopen in 1925 and was renamed Rifugio Ponte di Ghiacci, the German translation of which is Eisbruggjoch. (Sektion Vienna eventually built a new Edelrautehütte in 1926 in the Rottenmanner mountains of Steiermark.)

During the 1920s cross border smuggling became so severe that the Italian authorities issued a warning in 1927: 20-30 years in jail for those caught trafficking wine, schnapps, cigarettes, gold, money. Austria at that time was in financial ruin, having lost two thirds of its land mass including all of the South Tyrol and 72 DuÖAV huts. It was at this time that the Italian military started to occupy the huts along the South Tyrol border.

A short period of peace and quiet followed until the war cries of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy began to stir trouble once more in the South Tyrol. By 1939 the Italian dictator Mussolini declared that all German speaking South Tyrolese should leave Italy for good unless they embraced the Italian language and way of life. As a result many folk were forcibly evicted from their homes including the then lady Hüttenwirtin, Magdelena with her daughter Paula and son Sepp. The photograph in the dining room shows the family at Brixen railway station leaving for Germany, to an unknown fate and the eventual Second World War. During the Second World War, the hut was closed and occupied by the Italian military that plundered the hut and needlessly smashed the place up. Toward the end of the war the hut was strafed several times by the advancing British and American air forces that left what remained of the hut in ruins.

Reconstruction of the hut commenced 1949-51, mostly by the Italian military as recompense for the damage they had caused.

All was fine up to 1964 when the South Tyrol question was again on the political agenda which resulted in the Italian military once again occupying all the huts on the border. The army eventually vacated in 1972. The hut reopened for mountaineers in 1973. The winter room and external Matratzenlager was re-built and opened in 1978. The hut was forced to re-roof in 1985 when the hut was badly damaged during a storm. The little bell tower on the Matratzenlager roof was added to mark the hut’s centenary birthday.

See ’Trekking in the Zillertal Alps’ by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press.

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Friesenberghaus 2498m

Friesenberghausfriesenberghaus@sbg.at

Website:  www.friesenberghaus.at

Named after the historic German town of Friesenberg, the Friesenberghaus is a very pleasant, traditional, three storey, stone built hut that has the honour of being the highest hut in the Zillertal at just a tad short of 2500m.   Not surprisingly the hut has a commanding view over the main peaks of the Zillertal and Zamsergrund valley.

The hut has a very interesting if somewhat tragic history. The hut was built in 1921 as a private enterprise by the Jewish Community and subsequently enlarged between 1928 and 1930. Then, as dark clouds passed over Europe, the then Jewish Hüttenwirt had the unenviable position of wardening the hut in 1938 when the hut and its environs were being used to train the very best of the German Army’s Wehrmacht élite mountain troops.   A plaque in the hallway commemorates the assistance of Jewish climbers during this period and states:

In memory of the Jewish climbers and their friends who between 1923 and 1930 built the Friesenberghaus. In 1968 it was handed over by the survivors to the Berlin Sektion of the DAV, as thanks for their resistance against the expulsion of Jewish climbers from the DAV and OeAV in 1933.

In 1980 Sektion Berlin presented the plaque to the surviving 150 members of the Donau Mountaineering club on the fiftieth-year celebrations of the Friesenberghaus.

Unfortunately, after the Second World War, attempts to warden the hut proved so difficult that the hut was abandoned and soon plunged into a state of dereliction. The hut was plundered and vandalised and needlessly smashed up. The hut was then befriended by the Schmitt family from Heidelberg who took possession and rented the hut from around 1964 and, with lots of hard work and care, gradually restored the hut to its present condition. Just outside the hut is a bronze plaque mounted on a natural stone column proclaiming against “Intolerance and Hate” that was presented by the DAV in 2001 celebrating 80 years of the Friesenberghaus.

See ‘Trekking in the Zillerta Alps’ by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press

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Geraer Hütte 2324m

Zillertal Alps

Geraer Hutinfo@geraerhuette.at

Websitewww.geraerhuette.at

The hut is managed by the husband and wife team of Arthur and Karin Lanthaler. Arthur is a professional mountain guide and is very helpful should you need advice about the mountains and the area in general.

The hut is named after the northeast German town of Gera and occupies a position high above the Valsertal valley with commanding views across the Valsertal and Wipptal valleys toward the Stubai Alps, whilst to the rear the hut is hemmed in by the huge rock walls from the dominating peaks of Schrammacher 3364m and Fusstein 3381m.

Built in 1895 and extended 1934, 1956, and recently about 2002, this is architecturally a charming, old, traditional, two storey hut with walls clad with larch shingles, topped off with a bright copper roof. Internally everything is made of wood including timber panelled walls, boarded floors, decorative ceiling, tables, chairs and even the water stand, all collectively providing a warm rustic charm. The creaking of timbers and gentle soft furnishings all add to a very charming cosy atmosphere making the Geraer a brilliant hut.

During World War Two the hut was occupied by German military engineers as the area above the hut was mined for chrome molybdenum, an important mineral for the production of chrome-moly steel that went into the all-important battle tank production. A similar mine existed on the other side of the Wipptal valley. The only reason for the mine is that the German Wehrmacht’s main source of the mineral had previously come from Norway but that had largely been destroyed by bombing by the British RAF. Safe in the Valsertal valley, protected by the mountains, the mineral was mined by a workforce of 143 that comprised 34 Germans, 9 French, 27 Italian and 75 Ostarbeiter slave workers from German-occupied Ukraine and Poland. As the Allies and the American air force advanced in 1944 across the Brenner into Austria, there were several attempts to bomb the difficult to get to mine with little success. The mountain, though, had other ideas and, in the winter of 1944 on 11 November, a huge avalanche swept the barracks and all the staging off the mountain killing 17 Ostarbeiter and seriously injuring 23 others. A second avalanche thundered down off the Schrammacher two days later completing the mine’s destruction, this time without loss of life but effectively ending the mine’s production. Today all that remains of these sad times are a number of steel pylons, general relics of a barracks and a padlocked gate to the mine entrance.

After the war, Gera became part of the DDR of East Germany and Sektion Gera lost ownership of the hut. The hut was then abandoned for several years until 1956 when ownership passed to Sektion Landshut who have been fine custodians of the hut ever since.

The Geraer Hut is a particularly fine hut currently enjoying a new lease of life by having a steady number of visitors undertaking the Olperer Runde tour and the Peter Habeler Runde tour.

See ‘Trekking in the Zillertal Alps’ by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone press.

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Glorer Hütte 2642m

Glockner Group

Glorer Hut

Owner:  DAV Sektion Eichstätt

Location:  Situated on the broad wind-swept saddle of Bergertörl on the old trade route between Kals and the remote villages to the north.

Open:  Mid June to early October.

Facilities:  Category 1, 12 beds / 37 Matratzenlager / 4 Notlager.  Good restaurant and toilet facilities with token operated showers. Drying room.

Valley and Hut Connections:  Nearest railway station Lienz; nearest bus stop Lucknerhaus (from Kals); car park at Lucknerhaus. 2h from Lucknerhaus, 4h from Kals, 5h from Heiligenblut.  Salmhütte 1.5h, Lucknerhütte 2.5h, Studlhütte 2.5h, Glocknerhaus 5hr, Eberfelder Hütte 5hr.

Excursions from the hut:  Großglockner (3798m), Medlspitze (2678m), Kasteneck (2824m), Böses Weibl (3121m)

Address:  Herr Alfred Graf, Glorer Huette, Bergertorl 1, A-9981 Kals am Gross Glockner, Austria

Telephone:  Hut 43 (0)6643 032200

Websitewww.alpenverein.at/huetten/index.php?huette_nr=0550

Named after the small village of Glor (Kalser Ortsteil Glor) just above Kals, the hut was built in 1887 on an initiative promoted by Prague businessman Johann Studl (Studlhütte) by local guides Veit Oberlohr, Paul Schnell and Thomas Huter who named the hut after their village. Extended in 1924 and 1968, with general renovation taking place in 1982. The dining room and main Gastestube that adjoins the kitchen are particularly fine and occupy the original part of the hut where timber clad walls are darkened with the passage of time. Here you will find a large photo of the “building team” in 1887. Veit Oberlohr’s family remain connected with the valley having close connections with Lucknerhaus, Lucknerhütte and Studlhütte. More history is displayed close-by with a photo of the Klotz brothers during the first ascent of Grssglockner. The adjacent Stube from the 1982 renovation is similarly fitted out to include the traditional pot-belly Austrian tiled Kachelofen.

The hut is a popular destination with day visitors due to the proximity of the bus terminus and car park at Lucknerhaus meaning the hut can be packed to capacity at lunchtime; as evening approaches it is mostly occupied with folk undertaking the Glockner Runde tour or Eberfelder Weg. For weekends it is best to make a reservation to avoid the Notlager or sleeping with the furniture.

Standing at the porch the scenery is generally toward the mountains of the Venediger and mountains of the South Tyrol with Hochgall being most prominent. For those who make the five minute walk up the adjacent hillside they will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Grssglockner and the Adlersruhehütte.

See ‘Trekking in Austria’s Hohe Tauern’ by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press.

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Greizer Hütte 2227m

Greizer hut 2greizerhuette@aon.at

Constructed in 1897, and subsequently enlarged in 1905, 1927 and then again in 1972 and 1974, the hut belongs to DAV Sektion Greiz, formerly in East Germany.

This is quite an old but superb little hut which has all the feelings of Gemütlichkeit as soon as you pass through its front door. The alte Gastestube is adorned with the Greiz coat of arms and portraits of Hüttenwirten throughout the hut’s golden age.

The views from the hut terrace and dining room are as fine as any in the Alps, especially the exceptional view towards the Floitenkees glacier. It goes without saying that the hut was originally built to provide easy access to the glacier and routes across the Schwarzenstein into the then South Tyrol. With the recession of the glacier over the years, individuals may well wonder why the hut was not built higher up! It is worth remembering that in 1900 the Floitenkees glacier was just a short 100m from the hut’s front door.

This is also one of the few remaining huts that partly relies on both a Seilbahn material goods hoist, as well as hauling its supplies and provisions up from Ginzling using Haflinger horses. These fine beasts are renowned for their strength, having been bred over the centuries to cope with steep alpine terrain. The winter room was added in 1926 and, if you are lucky enough to get billeted in this annexe, these wonderful Haflinger horses will keep you company along with the winter room’s other smaller four-pawed creatures, that will enjoy foraging through your rucksack and other belongings if you forget to store your gear off the floor!

See ‘Trekking in the Zillertal Alps’ by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press

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Heinrich-Schwaiger-Haus 2802m

Glocknergruppe

Featured hut by Allan Hartley

info@heinrich-schwaiger-haus.at

Website:  www.heinrich-schwaiger-haus.at

Maps:  ÖAV 40 Glocknergruppe 1:25,000, Kompass 39 Glockner/Hohe Tauern 1:50,000.

The main reason for visiting this hut is to climb the Großes Wiesbachhorn or to make the traverse to or from the Oberwalderhütte. This is a high hut with extensive views in all directions.

The original hut, with just six beds was built in 1872, was named the Albert-Kaindl-Hütte after a prominent member of Sektion Linz. Located at a slightly lower level than the present hut, the old hut was a simple lean-to affair built into the cliff face;  it soon started to disintegrate due to changes in the permafrost and in 1901 it was literally blown off the hill during a Föhn (wind) storm!  By 1895 ownership of what remained of the hut had passed from Sektion Linz to the wealthier Sektion München-Oberland which was committed to building a new hut.

The second hut on the present site was opened on 2 August1902 and is named after Heinrich Schwaiger, a DuÖAV pioneer and committee member who sadly died of pneumonia the day before the hut opened. His portrait is proudly displayed in the main Gaststube along with that of the famous German alpinist Wilo Walzenbach who came to grief during the 1934 German Expedition to Nanga Parbat.

That hut also fell apart due to neglect during the war years as there was simply no business, and no-one to maintain it.  By the early 1950’s it became unusable. Sektion München-Oberland then decided that a more robust hut should be built. Opened in 1956, the third and present hut is a two storey rather elongated affair and, without being unkind, is a metal clad tin shed.  Inside, however, the Gaststube with its timber panelling has a traditional rustic feel, while the first floor has nice sized bedrooms, with the rest of the space given to Matratzenlager. In 1962 a light aircraft crashed into the Materialseilbahn wires, closing the hut for over a year as the legal wrangles were sorted out. In 2010 the hut was closed again when a rock avalanche damaged the back of the hut and the Seilbahn.  Apart from closing the Seilbahn permanently, the positive side was the installation of a modern kitchen and new toilets.

This is a good no frills hut in the mountaineering tradition of providing the basic needs of food and shelter.

Source: Trekking in Austria’s Hohe Tauern by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press Ltd.

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Hildesheimer Hütte 2899m

Hildesheimer Hutinfo@gustl-soelden.com

Website:  www.hildesheimerhuette.at

Tel:  Hut 43 (0)5254 2300; valley 43 (0)5254 2090

A fine hut and one of the highest in the region at 2899m. This very solid, three storey, buttressed stone building was built in 1896 and is ideally placed for adjacent peaks, particularly the Stubai’s highest peak, the Zuckerhütl 3505m.

Not surprisingly, most people staying at the hut will have in mind an ascent of the mountain or its neighbouring peaks, Zuckerhütl and Wilder Pfaff. This means that the hut is always busy and at weekends may be full. Standing at the hut’s front door, visitors are quickly reminded that this is a high hut with a spectacular view of the icefall from the Pfaffenschneide’s Pfaffen Ferner.

The dining room is particularly pleasant and retains much of the original timber panelling from the 1937 refurbishment. The general creaking of timbers is reflected on the first floor where bedrooms are named after the various districts of Hildesheim such as Bockenem, Giesen, Lamspringe, Duigen and Elze. The hut is very well run with a lot of effort being put into maintaining its Gemütlichkeit tradition.

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Hohenzollernhaus 2123m

Ötztal Alps

Hohenzollern Hausinfo@hohenzollernhaus.at

Web Site:  www.hohenzollernhaus.at

Telephone:  0043 (0) 664 531 1915 (hut)

Named after the Imperial House of Hohenzollern of medieval Germany dating back to the time of Frederick the Great, the hut also shares the same name as Hohenzollern Fortresss in Baden-Württemberg, though not quite on such a grand scale.

The hut is situated to the east of the Silvretta and the west of the main Ötztal massif and provides the only link between the two ranges for mountain wanderers as Frank Smythe noted in his book Over Tyrolese Hills, a journey that he undertook with Secord Campbell in 1936.

Like so many huts of the era, the hut has a spotted history that starts in Berlin around 1905 when Sektion Hohenzollern began to think about establishing their own hut, perhaps prompted by competition from Sektion Frankfurt.  Years would pass and the First World War intervened to thwart most hut building plans. The hut was eventually built and opened on the 3 August 1924 with provision for twenty beds. The hut was extended in 1928 to its present size and, apart from building the external winter room and provision of electricity, water and sanitation, the hut remains generally unchanged to make this a very comfortable hut.

During the Second World War the hut was closed as there was simply no business.  After the war all the Berlin based sections, including Sektion Hohenzollern, were merged in the new Sektion Berlin. By 1954 the hut re-opened, but times were hard and questions of hut ownership appeared on Sektion Berlin’s agenda:  perhaps they had too many huts to fund at the time?

More years would pass until the Bavarian Sektion Starnberg had ambitions to own their own high hut, thus entering into transfer of ownership discussions with Sektion Berlin, a long process that was eventually finalised in 1978..

Due to its age the hut has a rustic style with most things being made of wood;  the dining room is particularly charming though it can feel cramped when the hut is full. Here you will find the original DAV Hohenzollern wooden plaque and other mountain memorabilia including a portrait and link to Hohenzollern history of the Bavarian  Königin Marie, Princess of Prussia and mother of the Kaiser Ludwig II of Neuschwanstein fame.

History apart, the hut is an ideal venue families and small groups  looking for something different and off the beaten trail with glacier free excursions to peaks over the magical 3000m and many walks suitable for children.

Because the hut is surrounded by Arolla pine trees, the speciality of the house is the sweet tasting, pine flavoured Zirben Schnapps.  If you visit in July then you may have opportunity to help collect the pine cones from the top of the trees but beware of the territorial instincts of the Nutcracker, a bird that will fiercely defend its rights against anyone taking its cones and nuts: it is not called the Gratschen Ratschen for nothing.

Source:  Allan Hartley,  Across the Tyrol (awaiting publication)

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Innsbrucker Hütte 2369m

Stubai Alps

Owner:  ÖAV Sektion Tourist Club, Innsbruck.

Location:  Situated on the Pinnisjoch at the foot of the Habicht east ridge.

Open:  From mid June to early October

Facilities:  30 beds / 100 Matratzenlager / 12 Notlager:   winter room not locked.

Excellent restaurant and toilet facilities with hot water on tap most of the day. Token operated showers.  Internet facility.

Rucksack delivery service to and from GH Feuerstein.  Klettergarten.

Valley and Hut Connections:  Nearest station Fulpmes, Steinach.  Post bus Innsbruck-Neustift, Steinach-GH Feuerstein with stops at Neder and Gschnitz.  Parking at Neder, Gschnitz and GH Feuerstein.  Taxi from Neustift. Jeep service from Neder to Karalm at 09.00.  By foot from GH Feuerstein 3h, from Neder 3.30h.

Bremer Hütte 5.30h, Elferhütte 4h.

Excursions:  Habicht 3277m 3h, Kalkwand 2564m 1hr, Innere Ilmspitze 2692m 3h (Klettersteig), Glättespitze 3h, Ilmspitze 2609m 2hr.

Address:  Franz und Marlene Egger, Innsbrucker Hütte, Schulweg 12, A6167 Neustift im Stubaital.

Telephone:  Hut +43 (0)5276 295;  Valley (Hotel Stubaierhof)  +43 (0) 5226 2450

Email:  office@innsbrucker-huette.at

Web site:  www.innsbrucker-huette.at

Maps:  ÖAV 31/3 Brennerberge, DAV BL147, F&B BL WK 241

This superbly sited hut has been managed by the Egger family for many years and is one of the principal huts at the start or finish of the Stubaier Runde Tour.  It was first established in 1884, totally destroyed in both World Wars and re-opened in 1949.  Extended in 1982 and modernised in 2000, it now has excellent facilities.

Of interest to Sektion Britannia members is the Britannia Stube, dedicated to member Harry Parkes whose bequest funded the refurbishment of the dining room. Harry was an active member for many years having a great affection for the Tyrol and the Stubai in particular.

Because of the hut’s proximity to Habicht and its relatively easy access from Innsbruck via the Pinnistal and jeep service as far as Karalm, the hut is very popular at weekends when it is often packed to capacity. This pressure on bed space has been somewhat exacerbated with the creation of the Gschnitztal Höhen Weg.

It is a charming hut with an unrivalled view of the Tribulaun mountains and the pinnacles of the Serleskamm. For those with sharp eyes, the Austrian Tribulaun Hütte is clearly visible across the great void of the Gschnitztal valley. Sadly, the original hut was blown to smithereens in 1975 when it was hit by a huge avalanche off the Eisen Spitze.

Source:           Trekking in the Stubai Alps by Allan Hartley,  published by Cicerone Press.

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Landshuter-Europa-Hütte 2693m

Zillertal Alps; also known as Rifugio Venna alla Gerla

Landshuter Europainfo@europahuette.it

Website:  www.europahuette.it

Telephone:  Hut +39 (0)472 646076; valley +39 (0)472 630156; mobile +39 338 2124738

The first hut was established in 1889 with limited success due to money problems. Ten years later, between 1899, 1902 and 1903, greatly aided by the opening of the railway over the Brenner Pass, the solid three storey, buttressed stone building was built with quarters for personnel, a guest room, veranda and beds for 42 people.

The hut actually straddles the border with Italy. Some years ago you knew that you were on the border because the window shutters on the Austrian side were painted red and white, whilst on the Italian South Tyrol side, the shutters were painted green and white. Sadly the colour has now gone; today the border demarcation is noted in the entrance hallway by a large red sign that has a scary looking eagle on it with the word Oesterreich boldly printed on it. Outside on the Italian side you will find a simple white border post mark that you could easily trip over.

After the annexation of the South Tyrol in 1919 at the end of the First World War, the hut was occupied by the Italian military, evidence of which can be seen on the route to the Pfitscherjochhaus with wide paved paths and buttressed walls that the military engineers built for ease of transporting men and materials from the garrison at Pfitscherjoch to aid and secure the Italian side of the border. At the end of the Second World War the hut was abandoned and by the early nineteen fifties was in a very bad condition and semi-derelict. Some effort was put into cleaning the hut up with modest renovation around 1953 but the difficult political situation of the era and questions over South Tyrol with insurgency and smuggling made the situation almost impossible and the hut was closed in 1966.

Many more years would again pass with political wrangling over ownership and responsibility between Italy and Austria going on and on until a resolution of sorts was agreed, and the hut finally re-opened in 1972. Being on the border and with the history of two wars, ownership was always going to be contentious. A mountaineers’ compromise solution came about in 1989: the hut should be jointly owned by the Club Alpino Italiano, Sektion Sterzing (Vipitino) and the Deutscher Alpenverein, Sektion Lanshut, and the hut should be known as the Landshut-Europa Hut. A plaque in the hallway commemorates the event. The hut is administered by Sektion Vitipeno.

Presently the hut is beginning to enjoy a bit of a revival due to the establishment of the Tiroler Höhenweg, the long distance hike from Meran to Mayrhofen, and the more recently established Peter Habeler Runde being an extended version of the Olperer Runde. Because of this, and the general ease of access from Brenner or Schlegeis, it means the hut can be quite busy particularly at weekends when it may be full.

The hut, as expected is very well run with a lot of effort being put into maintaining its Gemütlichkeit tradition. A fine hut and one of the highest in the region at 2693m. Standing at the hut’s front door, visitors are quickly reminded how high this hut is with splendid views in all directions: to the north is North Tyrol and the peaks of the Inn valley, to the west is Stubai and Ötztal, to the east is Zillertal whilst to the south lie all the lands of the South Tyrol.

See ‘Trekking in the Zillertal Alps’ by Allan Hartley; published by Cicerone Press.

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Rauhekopfhütte 2731m

Rauhekopf Hut 1 (1 of 1)

Owner:  DAV Sektion Frankfurt am Main.

Location:  Located on a rock platform north of the Kleine Rauhekopf overlooking the Gepatschferner glacier.

Open:  End of June to mid-September

Facilities:  21Matratzenlager;  10 places in winter room (no key required).  Modest restaurant and toilet facilities complete with external shower that has to be one of the most scenic showers in the world.  Mobile telephone reception.

Valley and Hut Connections:  Access only by the Gepatschferner glacier, the second largest in Austria.  Train to Landeck, then bus to Gepatschhaus.

Gepatschhaus 3h, Brandenburger Haus 3h, Vernagthütte 5h.

Excursions:  Flucktkogel (3497m) 3h, Weißseespitze (3526m) 2.5h, Großer Rauher Kopf (2989m) 1h, Hochvernagtspitze (3535m) 3.5h

Address:  Rauhekopf hütte, A-6524 Kaunertal, Austria

Telephone:  0043 (0) 664 206 7006

Named after the adjacent peak, the Rauhekopf 2980m, the hut occupies a strategic position between the Gepatschhaus at the head of the Gepatschtal valley and Brandenburger Haus at the head of the Gepatschferner glacier.

Unusually, the hut is wardened by volunteers from Sektion Frankfurt who take turns in managing the hut for two week rotas. Not surprisingly the hut is supplied these days by helicopter, making 10 to 15 flights at the start of the season to provision the hut, and a lesser number at the end of the season to remove rubbish. And do the volunteer wardens make use of these flights to get to and from the hut?  No, they walk from Gepatschhaus over the Gepatschferner glacier like everyone else.

The hut was built in 1888 with an extension in 1939 and renovation in 1978 with a new toilet block being added in 2012. The hut is in every sense of the word a mountain hut with a small dining room of just two tables and bench seats, the Matratzenlager is in the roof, comprising  two small rooms  for 12 and 7 people, and two cosy places on the stair landing.

Situated where it is, there is no easy access to the hut and almost all the hut visitors will be mountain wanderers of some description, no doubt heading for loftier places that makes the Rauhekopf a fine intermediate refuge that is comfortable and friendly.

Source, Allan Hartley,  Across the Tyrol (awaiting publication)

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Richterhütte 2374m

Reichen Group; D/Pic#15; Hut Directory; The Richter Hutrichterhuette@gmx.at

A superb little hut unspoilt with the passing of time. The hut was originally constructed as a private hut by Anton Franz Richter in 1896 and run by members of the Richter family well into the 1960s when management of the hut was transferred to the DAV. Anton Richter is buried on the mountain which bears his name, the Richterspitze. The hut is the third hut to be built with the last two occupying the present site. The original hut was built much higher-up at 2623m but was avalanched during the first winter of opening. The second hut which occupies the present site was much bigger, being around three times the size of the present hut. This too was avalanched in 1917 leaving the hut as we see it today. The hut is the quintessential epitome of what a mountain hut should be, a small two storey building; stone built of stout quality whose interior has the creaking of timber and panelled walls darkened with age with pictures of the hut through the years. The hut has a genuine welcoming feel about it and is highly recommended for the mountain traveller. Expeditions from the hut are limited but strategically it is the shortest way to Mayrhofen and the Zillertal valley via the Plauener Hütte, crossing the Gams Scharte 2991m, a route which should only be undertaken in good weather due to the difficult ground on the Plauener Hütte side of the col. Other hut connections include:

Zittauer Hütte via the Rosskar Scharte 2687m;

Birnlucken Hütte in the South Tyrol via the Krimmler Tauern pass 2634m and the abandoned Neugersdorfer Hütte;

Krimmler Tauern Haus in the Achental valley en route to the Warnsdorfer Hütte and Venediger Group.

See ‘Trekking in the Hohe Tauern’ by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press

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Salmhütte 2644m

Glockner Group

Owner:            ÖAV Alpenverein Wien

Location:        Situated on a grassy plateau below the Hasenpalfen with a good view of the Großglockner and, for those with sharp eyes, the Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte (Adlersruhe).

Open:              Mid-June to the end of September.

Facilities:         22 beds / 27 Matratzenlager /  neighbouring winter room for 6 (unheated, not locked).

Modest restaurant service. Token operated showers available but otherwise cold water only.  Mobile telephone connection. Major refurbishment in 2017 may change these details. 

Valley and Hut Connections:

Bus stops at Glocknerhaus 3h, Heiligenblut 5h and Lucknerhaus 3h.

Parking at Lucknerhaus and Glocknerhaus.

Glorer Hütte 1h, Stüdlhütte 3h, Lucknerhütte 2h, Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte 3.5h, Franz-Josefs-Haus 3h.

On the route of the Wiener Höhenweg and Glocknerrunde.

Excursions:    

Großglockner (3798m) 5h, high alpine UIAA II

Schwerteck (3247m) 2h, high alpine UIAA I, unmarked

Kellersberg (3267m) 3h, high alpine climbing UIAA III

Hohenwartscharte (3181m) 1.5h, high alkpine UIAA I

Maps:             AV 40 and 41, BEV BL 153, Freytag & Berndt WK 122

Address:          Frau Helga Pratl, Salmhütte, Am Hasenpalfen, A-9981 Kals

Telephone:     0043 (0) 4824 2089 (hut)

Email:              salmhuette@aon.at

Website:         http://www.alpenverein.at/salmhuette/

The Salm Hut has the distinction of being the oldest hut in the Eastern Alps, built long before the formation of Alpine Clubs, and having occupied four locations. The first hut was built in 1799 from funds provided by Franz Xaver von Salm-Rifferscheide, Bishop of Gurk. Hence the hut’s name. That hut had a commanding view of the Großglockner, being located at the foot of the Leitenkees glacier tucked into the moraines on the 2640m contour. There was a small entrance for cooking and three small bedrooms. Built of timber and constantly exposed to the weather the hut fell apart and, by 1828, was unfit for use. A second similar hut was built lower down by the stream on the 2600m contour. Some thirty years would pass before local mountaineers from Klagenfurt commenced construction of a third hut in 1855 at the foot of Schwerteck at 2730m. This hut, with two small rooms and a covered terrace, lasted some 60 years before being abandoned in 1914.

After WWI ownership passed to the ÖAV Sektion Wien and, in 1923, a more favourable site for the fourth hut was found at the present location, the Hasenpalfen, at a lower altitude. Since the hut was opened in 1929, it has remained virtually unchanged apart from the addition of electricity and flushing toilets.  The four storey stone hut has a shingle roof and red and white shutters;  inside there is a rustic dining room, several small bedrooms take up the first floor while the Matratzenlager occupies the attic.

More recently (2017) the hut has undergone a major refurbishment with Sektion Britannia contributing to the project costs. This will cater for the increased number of visitors passing through on the Glocknerrunde Tour, the Wiener Höhenweg and those heading for the Großglockner.

Source: Trekking in Austria’s Hohe Tauern by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press

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Siegerlandhütte 2710m

Ötztaler Alpen

Owner:  DAV Sektion Siegerland

Location:  Situated at the foot to the Sonklarspitze southwest spur on a rocky platform overlooking the long Windachtal valley.

Open:  Early July to end September.

Facilities:  28 beds / 21 Matratzenlager / 6 beds in winter room

Good restaurant and toilet facilities.  Boot room. Token operated showers.

Valley and Hut Connections:  From Ötztal Bahnhof  by bus to Sölden then 5h + to hut.  Bus from Sölden to Fiegl’s Gasthaus, then 3h on foot.  Hildesheimer Hütte 3hr, Müllerhütte 5h,  Becherhaus 6h, Schneeburgerhütte 4h, Brunnenkogelhaus 5h, Sulzenauhütte 5h, Hochstubaihütte 4h

Excursions:   Zuckerhütl (3507) 4h, Sonklarspitze (3463) 3h, Schrakogel (3135) 4h,
Schwarzwandspitze (3353) 2.5h, Geißkogel (3129) 3h, Sonklarspitze (3463) 3h, Schwarzwandspitze (3353) 2.5h

Address:  Hr Raimund Gritsch, Siegerlandhütte 203, A6450 Sölden, Ötztal, Austria

Telephone:  0043 (0) 664 241 4040 (mobile or text) 00 43 (0) 664  866  7935 (summer only)

Email:  office@siegerlandhuette.com

Web Site:  www.siegerlandhuette.com

Maps:  ÖAV 31/1 Stubaier Alpen, Hochstubai, Freytag & Berndt BL WKS 8, BEV map BL 173

Named after the north German town of Siegen in Westphalia, this is a fine robust stone building whose gable end is emphasised by large circular buttresses and brightly coloured window shutters.  It occupies a commanding position, looking down the 15km long Windachtal valley and the peaks of the Ötztal.

The hut was built in 1928-29 to replace the original hut in the Südtirol, the Marburg-Siegener Hut, which was annexed to Italy along with 72 other D&OeAV huts at the Treaty of St Germain in 1919, as war reparations to Italy at the end of WW1. Since that time [1930] the hut has remained virtually unchanged apart from the addition of modern plumbing and electricity and general refurbishment of the kitchen, bedrooms and toilet facilities. The Winter Room complex was added in 2012 and is particularly spacious

The dining room is delightful, being warm and pleasant in the Gemütlichkeit tradition. Most visitors will relish sitting in its bay windows enjoying a meal and the superb view to the Ötztal.  If there was a competition among huts, the Siegerland would be a worthy competitor as one of the most charming and colourful huts in the whole of the Stubai Alps.

Source: Trekking in the Stubai Alps by Allan Hartley published by Cicerone Press Ltd

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Teplitzer Hütte 2586m

Rifugio Vedretta Pendente, Stubai Alps, Südtirol, Italy

Teplitzer hutinfo@teplitzerhuette.com

Website:  www.teplitzerhuette.com

Built in 1880 with extensions in 1898 when the second floor was constructed, it was almost a century before the new dining room was added in 1992. This two storey shingle-clad hut enjoys a relaxed atmosphere since it is not on any of the main hut-to-hut routes. It has stunning views toward the Ubeltalferner glacier and the more distant peaks of the Dolomites.

The hut was originally owned by the DuOeAV Sektion Teplitz-Schoenau and is named after the old Bohemian town of Teplitz (Teplice) on the northern Czech border with East Prussia south of Dresden. It was one of the 72 DuOe AV huts forfeited to Italy in 1919 during the Treaty of St Germain at the end of the First World War. Thereafter the hut had a chequered history, but mostly it was closed to visitors as it was used as a border control and, like the other newly acquired huts along the Austrian Südtirol border, it was occupied by the Italian military for almost sixty years.

During the Second War the hut came under attack from the American Air Force more than once as the Allied Armies advanced through Italy. On one occasion an American Liberator bomber crashed on to the Ubeltalferner scattering wreckage far and wide, including a 50 calibre machine gun, the rusting relic on display at the hut. After the war, the hut was closed and then, with smuggling and the political shenanigans of the 1960s, the hut was once again occupied by the Italian military which trashed the hut.

The hut was eventually re-opened in 1979 by Karl Markart with the help of the local mountain rescue team who helped to clean the place up. Since that time the hut has been associated with the Haller family, first by Grandfather Karl Markart, and then by Grandmother Margareth who managed the hut more or less single-handed for thirty years. During those early difficult years all provisions had to be man-handled to the hut including the 100kg stove. The warden since 2001 is the fourth generation of the family, Davis Haller and his wife Mary. Today the hut is provisioned by helicopter, ferrying anything between 20 and 25 loads during the short season of twelve weeks.

This hut is in the top drawer of huts having maintained the Gemütlichkeit tradition over many years. It is a brilliant hut for all the right reasons: location, food, beds and friendliness. Members on the Stubai Südtirol Bergtour 2013 were unanimous in voting the Teplitzer as the BEST HUT of the tour.

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Tribulaunhütte 2369m

Tribulaun Hutinfo@tribulaunhuette.com

Website:  www.tribulaunhuette.com

The DuOeAV Sektion Magdeburg first proposed a hut in the area as early as 1873; another twenty years would pass before a small single storey hut was built and opened in 1892 with bed spaces for eighteen people. Major extension of the hut took place in 1907 with a two storey extension with several bedrooms. During this period routes were established to the Magdeburgerhütte across the Hohen Zahn and Weißwandspitze, and across the Schneetal Scharte 2657m (on what is now the border with Austria) to Gschnitztal and the TVN Tribulaunhütte established in 1935.

All was fine up to the First World War during which time the hut was mostly closed. At the close of the war the hut was transferred to Italy along with 72 other DuOeAV huts as part of Austria’s war reparations. The history between the war years is patchy and little seems to be recorded. During the Second World War the hut was attacked and strafed by the American Air Force as the Allied armies advanced through Italy, not surprisingly as the hut is close to the Brenner Pass. At the close of the war the hut was a ruined shell without a roof or windows.

In 1949 ownership of the hut passed from CAI Cremona to CAI Sterzing with construction of the new hut starting in 1953. The biggest problem at the time was getting material to the hut with mule trains a hundred strong taking place. Many years would pass before the re-built hut could open in 1960. But difficulties continued with tension on the border because of the long standing Südtirol question; the Italian military occupied the hut from 1963 to 1972. Then the hut re-opened with Paul Eisendle as Hüttenwirt. He retired in 2000 when his daughter Daniela and Fabrizio Ballerini took over the management.

The scenery around the hut is simply stunning, dominated by the sheer rock faces of the Gschnitzer Tribulaun (2946m) and Pflerscher Tribulaun (3097m) that provide aspirant rock climbers with many challenging routes. This is a brilliant hut for all the right reasons, location, scenery, food, beds, friendliness and Gemütlichkeit. The members on the Exploring the Peaks and Passes of the Serleskamm and Tribulaun Bergtour 2013 were unanimous in voting the CAI Tribulaunhütte as the BEST HUT of the tour!

The photo shows the front of the hut looking to the Sandesjoch and the normal way across the border to Austria, to the TVN Tribulaun Hut and the Gschnitztal valley. The single storey, shingle clad building attached to the main hut is what remains of the original hut from 1892.

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[Updated 23 January 2018]

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