At a height of 4,003 meters on a rocky ridge of the Matterhorn, Switzerland’s iconic, triangular peak, is the Solvay hut, managed by the Swiss Alpine Club. It has room for only ten daredevils who will have to venture uphill through the must inhospitable terrain. The steep, icy paths and frozen breath and sweat will improve your appetite considerably
If you don’t feel like staying at the Solvay Hut, Matterhorn can offer you a roof at the Hornli Hut. There is a happening “launching pad” situated at 3,260m on the base of Matterhorn. When you get weary of the stunning views, rest majestically on a two-tiered bunk bed made for twenty dreaming about the delicious Swiss rosti (potatoes and cheese) and homemade fruitcake that they have devoured.
The Swiss news outlet that entitled the Monte Rosa hut, as a “futuristic Eco-hut” could never have spoken more truthfully. Completely reconstructed in 2009, 2,883m on the base of the highest peak in Switzerland. It is a beautiful building, blending in with its splendid environment. Stainless steel, aluminum, and wood, satisfy 90 percent of its energy needs through solar power; very Eco-friendly.
The Refuge de Tete Rousse, situated at 3,167m, was rebuilt by the French Alpine Club in 2005 to accommodate 74 nature lovers wishing for a nice refuge in the staggering inclines of the Chamonix region. (tete rousse for “red heads” is, perhaps a suggestion of the exertion required to reach the hut by foot)
|Refuge de Tete Rousse|
Trekkers, skiers and climbers will be relieved to find Refuge des Cosmiques (3,613m), on the incline in France, positioned a bit carelessly amidst the fascinating ski village of Chamonix. The cosmos’ hospitality is up-to-date and enjoyable, just what a tired hiker longs for.
|Refuge des Cosmiques|
2,135m above the rest of the world, Rifugio Coldai is another reminder of modern civilization on the Alta via 1. The bold ones who venture into the rugged terrain of Dolomite will not be disappointed by the lit and dry dining room, with a serving of homemade gnocchi drizzled with olive oil, fresh minestrone soup, and a towering tiramisu, exploding with rich mascarpone cream. It will be enough to forget the 175 miles of trekking with your nerves on hold.
Here is a place, the French, Swiss and Italians can all enjoy. Situated at an outcropping 3,647m in the North West Mountains of Italy, the Rifugio Gnifetti is a highly equipped place providing warmth and free showers. It is a bit of a discomfort getting there, sharp rocks and sliding trails, but well, it is definitely worth the trouble.
The Rifugio Lagazuoi, is less a hut than a mountainous haven. Alma and Guido, the beaming keepers of the Italy’s Alta via 1 paradise point will exceed your expectations of hospitality; offering private accommodations, a lively bar, and a pleasant restaurant to eat in. The path to the hut has obstacles of course, but what follows will make every step of the way, worth it. Don’t forget to order the apple strudel, a local specialty.