Hut to hut hiking in the Alps

#1
Right folks. Planning my annual trip to the Bavarian, Austrian alps For a bit if hiking. Normally go may/June time & stay in B&B's for a week. this time I fancy alpine hut to hut.

First research makes it look quite difficult to arrange booking wise. Anyone have experience of doing this? Anyone have any leads, tips, experience of doing this?

Thanks in advance

SA


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Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#2
Right folks. Planning my annual trip to the Bavarian, Austrian alps For a bit if hiking. Normally go may/June time & stay in B&B's for a week. this time I fancy alpine hut to hut.

First research makes it look quite difficult to arrange booking wise. Anyone have experience of doing this? Anyone have any leads, tips, experience of doing this?

Thanks in advance

SA


Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
I have always done a lot of that both hiking and base to base for climbing, drop me a PM with what you are thinking of, I also have some recent reference books (in German).
 
#3
A local tourist office will be able to give you a list of numbers and guide to locations. Maybe even call a few in the areas you are interested in. Some of the staff can be really helpful so put your best smile on and be cheerful with them and you'll probably get what you want/need. If you just expect them to sort you out you may be disappointed. Once you have the lists just choose your route and then select the appropriate hutte or whatever they are called. (I call them all Refuge or Refugio in the Dolomites.) Call and see if rooms/bunks are available. Sorted! Should be available at that time of year. Keep some extra numbers/plan Bs in case you choose a different route one day. Keep the numbers/details safe as you would your maps etc. Fantastically rewarding holiday. Gutte reisen (sp?)

Edited to add:
I would recommend this area: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karwendel
http://www.karwendelgebirge.com/

Very good film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps5PbzyXuJc

Mittenwald might be a good place to start. Can go town to town there or hut to hut. Very pleasant Alpine scenery and a varied landscape.

Train goes direct from Munich to Mittenwald. Nice route and is only about 2 hours. (Beware work on the line sometimes... Deutsche Bahn rail website will tell you (if you read fine print) if you need to get a bus at any point. If you do is well-run. May add on 10/20 mins to journey. It is a very nice journey even if you need to do a few miles by replacement bus. Probably wont have to though.)
There is accommodation in the nice little town or I hiked out for several hours and got to this place.

http://www.jugendherberge.de/en/hostels/search/portrait/jh.jsp?IDJH=246

it was very suitable for the needs. amazing views and you can eat well there plus drink well. grab beers from the relax-room and just note down what you had and pay the next day. yes there may be children there too but is worth that for the location and views.



The German Alpine troops train there in that area. Quite a few targets set up and we found a lot of very fresh (used) 5.56 blank.
 
#8
Good ideas Orgasmic. Going from Innsbruck is a possible next plan of mine. Alsacien had some good info about the horseshoe. Think he even knew of a good hut or two there and gave details. I start a thread about something similar many moons ago along the basis of getting into proper mountains within just one hour of touching down in a European airport.

I would also recommend doing the Via Ferrata walks. Start off in Bolzano in Italy. Easy to get there from Innsbruck. Very good local tourismo offices who are very helpful and will give you maps and books with addresses/telephone numbers of the refugios.
Personally I'd do that route as it is probably the finest. Well worth any bits of extra travel you may have to do. Go for it. The Dolomites was by far the best walking trip I have done. I wore out a pair of boots in a week but the work was worth it! Dream-like and unlike the German/Austrian alps you wont see anything man made for many hours unless you choose to. Total peace. Dont fuggin fall off though! Although some bits are steep and narrow we got some serious adrenalin going as well...but then again I always like surfing on scree myself!
The Italian huts are really fantastic.
I'm not gushing like a teenager. It really is cool as fook there and well wort the effort.
If the German/Austrian alps are the only option then they are not 'second best' just a bit different. Still fantastic.
 
#10
Hut booking on your toddsome is a proper nightmare in season and out of season many of them are closed, bivvy bagging through the Italian dolomites is not something I would wish to repeat with increasing mileage on my bones.

I found it is much easier, and safer, to become the round peg in a square hole and join the local hitler youth smug alpine old bastards club.
 
#12
A local tourist office will be able to give you a list of numbers and guide to locations. Maybe even call a few in the areas you are interested in. Some of the staff can be really helpful so put your best smile on and be cheerful with them and you'll probably get what you want/need. If you just expect them to sort you out you may be disappointed. Once you have the lists just choose your route and then select the appropriate hutte or whatever they are called. (I call them all Refuge or Refugio in the Dolomites.) Call and see if rooms/bunks are available. Sorted! Should be available at that time of year. Keep some extra numbers/plan Bs in case you choose a different route one day. Keep the numbers/details safe as you would your maps etc. Fantastically rewarding holiday. Gutte reisen (sp?)

Edited to add:
I would recommend this area: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karwendel
http://www.karwendelgebirge.com/

Very good film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps5PbzyXuJc

Mittenwald might be a good place to start. Can go town to town there or hut to hut. Very pleasant Alpine scenery and a varied landscape.

Train goes direct from Munich to Mittenwald. Nice route and is only about 2 hours. (Beware work on the line sometimes... Deutsche Bahn rail website will tell you (if you read fine print) if you need to get a bus at any point. If you do is well-run. May add on 10/20 mins to journey. It is a very nice journey even if you need to do a few miles by replacement bus. Probably wont have to though.)
There is accommodation in the nice little town or I hiked out for several hours and got to this place.

http://www.jugendherberge.de/en/hostels/search/portrait/jh.jsp?IDJH=246

it was very suitable for the needs. amazing views and you can eat well there plus drink well. grab beers from the relax-room and just note down what you had and pay the next day. yes there may be children there too but is worth that for the location and views.



The German Alpine troops train there in that area. Quite a few targets set up and we found a lot of very fresh (used) 5.56 blank.
ImageUploadedByARRSE1360674505.510415.jpg ImageUploadedByARRSE1360674530.765054.jpg

As you can see, stayed in Mittenwald a couple of years back. Did the Karwendel, that's us on top. i can also confirm the laid on bus service between train stns is first rate. Train stops busses waiting. Buses stop. Train waiting. Proper german efficiency. Not like our shower.

Thanks for all the info going to go with the first reply. Looks like just the job.

SA


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#14
I second Jumping Jack's suggestion about the Karwendelgebirge and Mittenwald being a good place to start. My mum is from southern Bavaria, and I spent a lot of time there as a child, and still have aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. spread out from Munich to Füssen to Mittenwald. However, the greatest number of huts can be found in the Allgäuer Alpen, thus it might be easiest to find accommodation there. Some of the huts listed under Allgäuer Alpen will be located in Austria due to the nature of the border.
This is one of my personal favourites: DAV Httensuche - Bayern - Allguer Alpen - Bad Kissinger Htte
it's called Bad Kissinger Hütte and is at roughly 1,800 metres.


The German Alpine Organisation (Deutscher Alpenverein) has a Website about routes and huts. I think it is only available in German, but if you need help translating anything feel free to send me a message. The site can be found here: DAV Httensuche
Many of these can be booked online, but most have very limited capacity. The one I mentioned above only has room for 8 people.

Good luck and pfiad di (Southern Bavarian/Austrian way of saying good bye)
 
#16
Very nice pictures. The water in that lake is so clear, I bet it is perfectly drinkable. Did you start your tour from South Tyrol or Trentino?
 
#17
Very nice pictures. The water in that lake is so clear, I bet it is perfectly drinkable. Did you start your tour from South Tyrol or Trentino?
Vielen dank! Water very clear. (Edit: there were 'gopher' type ground dwelling mammals around that lake. Forget the correct name. Was very funny. Could have played 'whack-a-mole' with them!) I filtered water through a Milbank bag while there if needed. Some Refugios, up on the peaks, just have a lake to draw from. Only took water as high up a slope as possible for health reason. Am still alive. (Northern Norway the lakes are 100% potable and tastes sweet! Life as it should be in a perfect world.)

Trentino.
My route was something like:
Bolzano, Rosengarten, Puez, Fanes, Tures, Laveredo, Cortina then back to Bolzano.

Most of it on foot but a few buses to jump off and only one cable car, down. Some days we would push on to climb up into a new range at end of long day to get to a refugio ready for next day. Think one day we must've done about 30km and up to 3km altitude. Very tired but boy...what lovely beer/lemonade/anything at the end of the day! We even had some nights out in Cortina after to meet the locals!
Fanes was probably my favourite area. Big area. It is a natural 'bowl' and so hard to get into so you appreciate being there, meet interesting people. Very peaceful. Very beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfMczK8JGO4
 
#18
Vielen dank! Water very clear. (Edit: there were 'gopher' type ground dwelling mammals around that lake. Forget the correct name. Was very funny. Could have played 'whack-a-mole' with them!) I filtered water through a Milbank bag while there if needed. Some Refugios, up on the peaks, just have a lake to draw from. Only took water as high up a slope as possible for health reason. Am still alive. (Northern Norway the lakes are 100% potable and tastes sweet! Life as it should be in a perfect world.)
The animal was probably an Alpine marmot. They can be found at heights well over 3km, and are amazing diggers.
Many of the Alpine streams are 100% potable, but it is always safer to take the water from higher up the slope. Several years ago, I hiked in the Grossglockner region in Austria, and walked up to and down from the highest hut, Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte, which is the starting point for serious mountain climbing expeditions to the peak, to climb back down to Franz-Josefs-Höhe. Each tour took roughly six hours and requires glacier equipment as it takes you right through the longest glacier in the Austrian Alps. It is beautiful, but exhausting although the height difference is only 900 metres or so.
Right before we reached Franz-Josefs-Höhe, there was a meadow with grazing cows and a wooden trough (water came from glacier-fed stream) that looked very much like this (cows included):
https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/...2ekRkbN-VOUfhuyU3dZ6gT7C7wD423i4v1Zt--R8ZuGD5

I drank from the spout, but I swear that it was the best-tasting water in the world. I am still alive, too, despite certain exposure to cow saliva. I never even got sick.

Trentino.
My route was something like:
Bolzano, Rosengarten, Puez, Fanes, Tures, Laveredo, Cortina then back to Bolzano.

Most of it on foot but a few buses to jump off and only one cable car, down. Some days we would push on to climb up into a new range at end of long day to get to a refugio ready for next day. Think one day we must've done about 30km and up to 3km altitude. Very tired but boy...what lovely beer/lemonade/anything at the end of the day! We even had some nights out in Cortina after to meet the locals!
Fanes was probably my favourite area. Big area. It is a natural 'bowl' and so hard to get into so you appreciate being there, meet interesting people. Very peaceful. Very beautiful.

Stone Roses - Sawmills Footage - Recording of Fools Gold - YouTube
Beautiful. I know the feeling: at the end of the day just sitting down with any beverage is the most wonderful thing. I am very fond of Radler (basically a shandy, mix of beer and lemonade) and Almdudler, an Austrian fizzy drink made with herbal extracts.
 
#19
I second Jumping Jack's suggestion about the Karwendelgebirge and Mittenwald being a good place to start. My mum is from southern Bavaria, and I spent a lot of time there as a child, and still have aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. spread out from Munich to Füssen to Mittenwald. However, the greatest number of huts can be found in the Allgäuer Alpen, thus it might be easiest to find accommodation there. Some of the huts listed under Allgäuer Alpen will be located in Austria due to the nature of the border.
Allgäuer Alpen are beautiful, however, there is only one tiny glacier there. If glaciers (called Ferner in Bavaria and Tyrol) are what you're after, the Stubaier Alpen are a great place. I can recommend the Westfalenhaus, a large hut at 2300 meters, reached by bus (takes one hour) from Innsbruck to Praxmar (tiny village, 1600 meters) and then a 3 hour easy walk. From there you can walk right up to and even unto a glacier, go up the Zischgelesspitze (3004 meters, one of the easiest 3000 meter peaks in the Alps, no climbing equipment required) and reach several huts within a few hours, with spectacular views on the way. All in all, an easily accessible area with great opportunities!
 
#20
Allgäuer Alpen are beautiful, however, there is only one tiny glacier there. If glaciers (called Ferner in Bavaria and Tyrol) are what you're after, the Stubaier Alpen are a great place. I can recommend the Westfalenhaus, a large hut at 2300 meters, reached by bus (takes one hour) from Innsbruck to Praxmar (tiny village, 1600 meters) and then a 3 hour easy walk. From there you can walk right up to and even unto a glacier, go up the Zischgelesspitze (3004 meters, one of the easiest 3000 meter peaks in the Alps, no climbing equipment required) and reach several huts within a few hours, with spectacular views on the way. All in all, an easily accessible area with great opportunities!
That is absolutely correct. If the OP is interested in glaciers the Allgäuer Alpen are not the best choice. In that case the Stubaier Alpen or the Großglockner Pasterze Glacier (the longest and largest in Austria) will be better suited.

I think it is crucial to have the right equipment if you plan to tour a glacier. I would never advise anybody to walk a glacier without sturdy climbing boots, crampons, a helmet, and an ice axe. Hiking boots simply won't do, in my humble opinion. Accidents happen every year, and in April 2012 a man fell into a glacier crevasse in Tyrol where he survived six days and nights before rescuers found him. I do not mean to discurage anybody, but one of my cousins works for the Bayerische Bergwacht (mountain rescue group) in Mittenwald, and he has some interesting tales about hikers and climbers getting stuck. In short, never underestimate the mountains. Treat nature with respect, prepare properly, and you should be fine.
 

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