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Old 18.09.2012, 22:11
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visiting a Swiss Alpine Club mountain hut (SAC Hutte)

Why the Swiss Alpine Club Huts are more luxurious than hotels
(translated from a blog, please view the credit at the end)

In the self service Mischabel bivouac at 3847 meters there is nothing to do except melting the snow and cooking, but do enjoy the riches on offer!




Mountaineers tell many unusual stories. For example, I once heard that someone had begged a warden, and offered him 80 francs, for him to warm up enough extra water for a shower. "Mr. Clean" simply could not stand the thoughts of going to bed unwashed after his sweaty climb up to the mountain hut, and the next day not smelling of soap while climbing up the mountain.

Visitors that are used to their creature comforts at home will find it difficult here. My dear friends and acquaintances, whose knowledge of the mountains is from skiing, or through the windows of an "alpine" spa resort, ask me sometimes how I can endure this basic accommodation: unventilated dormitories with no privacy, no flushing toilets, many days with no showers & no hair washing, sometimes not even water for brushing your teeth! You eat what is given you on a plate, at a plain wooden table. For them, such experiences would be a torture.

Mountain huts give me positive vibes and remove the negative ones.
But after a while you discover the benefits that such privations can bring, that any luxury you can gain here has a completely different meaning to which we can buy with a lot of money. This year alone, I slept over twenty times in a Swiss Alpine Club property, in a shelter or in a bivouac. And just as often in a Swiss hotel somewhere in the mountains, usually two or three stars, twice in four star hotels. My conclusion: as far as the stress recovery factor and the inner satisfaction, the Spartan zero starred mountain cabins are clearly in front. They take away everything that burdened me in my normal everyday life: the pressure to must have something is gone. I am at peace.

Time & Hygiene
At home and in a hotel, I would not even think about leaving the house without showering. For me every morning my ritual includes shampooing, blow drying, applying body lotion etc. and this takes me around 45 minutes. After an active day on the mountain, I would not dare to dine in the hotel restaurant unwashed. So each evening I again spend valuable time in the bathroom. My life is quite different in the mountain refuge because there is usually - except in exceptional lodges – nothing more than ice cold water. When I am there "to wash" takes 15 seconds and not infrequently, I renounce it entirely. Why should I worry? Nobody cares how my hairstyle looks, neither me nor my partner. It does not matter to me either, if I or another person smells of physical exercise. Even if I wanted too, I could not judge that. Even an Axe spray could not remove the variety of smells in a mountain hut. I have therefore decided to suffer no more, and I have won many hours for myself and received some much needed relaxation from my everyday stress.

Dormitories
When I reserve a cabin, then I know what to expect, a narrow thin mattress on a wooden base. But often these beds are more comfortable than those in hotels. For there what I get is not necessarily what I imagined for the price of the night. Hotels sometimes offer claustrophobic single rooms the size of a broom closet. Or the bed base sags like a poorly tensioned hammock.

Sleep
For a climb to a mountain summit, one must often get up at unholy times, sometimes at two, three or four o’clock in the morning. Usually though I sleep in a hut as long as at home. In the afternoon, I like to go and lie down for an hour and doze. This is pure luxury for me! And after supper I have no problem to say good night at 8.30 pm and go off to my world of dreams, as there is simply nothing to do. Not so in the hotel. By this time I will have been dutifully showered, coiffed and freshly dressed. After a luxurious dinner, we would stroll through the village, to digest our meal and see what there is there. Finally back in the hotel room, the TV beckons but to zap through the channels is pointless, but you do it anyway. Or maybe telephone home for another half hour or answer emails, in the hotel there is an excuse for such things, but in the mountain hut there is not even that excuse.

Eating and Drinking
At home I would never cook a packet soup or use instant mash potato, but these are served in a hut. But back at home a dish of fresh ingredients is again appreciated. In restaurants I have been served menus that are well below the quality of a hut meal, but have sometimes cost considerably more. Clearly it is cumbersome in the bivouac to melt snow to produce funny tasting water, with which you can then infuse the packet soups or tea bags. But without all that I would likely not be aware of what is a real luxury: freedom, in every respect.

Wealth is not just wealth sitting in your pocket, but can also fortunately be found in your central thinking organ - and also just behind the left breastbone.

Originally in German by: Natascha Knecht, published in “Der Bund” on Wednesday 12th. September 2012

http://blog.derbund.ch/outdoor/index.php/22008/warum-sac-hutten-luxurioser-sind-als-hotels/

Info on the main hut: http://www.mischabelhütte.ch/

http://www.saas-fee.ch/en/page.cfm/U.../mischabel-hut

.
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Old 01.10.2012, 17:14
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Re: visiting a Swiss Alpine Club mountain hut (SAC Hutte)

For a two day walk next weekend with saturday night in a catered hut, would you have a nice recommendation from Zurich?

That one you link to looks slightly extreme!
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Old 01.10.2012, 17:19
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Re: visiting a Swiss Alpine Club mountain hut (SAC Hutte)

Leglerhütte!

http://www.leglerhuette.ch/
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Old 01.10.2012, 17:47
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Re: visiting a Swiss Alpine Club mountain hut (SAC Hutte)

That's why we love mountaineering
Depending on quest, sometimes it's nice to pack lightweight tent, sleeping bag etc. and just sleep wherever you like. But for this kind of mountaineering, as light as possible is priority, so SAC huts.
Those who never climbed tough mountain and came back safely cannot appreciate the feeling one has going there, being there, exhausted and extremely happy and free at the same time.
When there is some accident, many just say "stupid guys, they should've stayed home" without knowing that those persons knew risks, and they ventured out for adventure anyway. Not because they are suicidal and don't value their life altogether, in contrary. They believe it should be lived to the fullest and this is one of few ways how to achieve that.
After venturing in realms of similar activities, answers to question "what have you done this weekend?" from many people doesn't match the level of intensity by far one can have there.
I started more mountaineering after moving here 2 years ago from super-flat Czech republic, and 5 years there seem like few months here when compared. And these 2 years here altogether feel like another life added on top of my regular one
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Old 15.10.2012, 07:47
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Re: visiting a Swiss Alpine Club mountain hut (SAC Hutte)

I like this very good country Swiss.

Also i love Machu Picchu from Peru!

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Old 21.04.2020, 09:37
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Re: visiting a Swiss Alpine Club mountain hut (SAC Hutte)

Quote:
View Post
That's why we love mountaineering
Depending on quest, sometimes it's nice to pack lightweight tent, sleeping bag etc. and just sleep wherever you like. But for this kind of mountaineering, as light as possible is priority, so SAC huts.
Those who never climbed tough mountain and came back safely cannot appreciate the feeling one has going there, being there, exhausted and extremely happy and free at the same time.
When there is some accident, many just say "stupid guys, they should've stayed home" without knowing that those persons knew risks, and they ventured out for adventure anyway. Not because they are suicidal and don't value their life altogether, in contrary. They believe it should be lived to the fullest and this is one of few ways how to achieve that.
After venturing in realms of similar activities, answers to question "what have you done this weekend?" from many people doesn't match the level of intensity by far one can have there.
I started more mountaineering after moving here 2 years ago from super-flat Czech republic, and 5 years there seem like few months here when compared. And these 2 years here altogether feel like another life added on top of my regular one
I love this answer. I agree wholeheartedly.
 

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