/ NEWS: Mont Blanc Range Bivouac Hut Goes Space Age

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UKC News - on 27 Jan 2012
The New 'space-age' hut, 3 kbThe 1948 Gervasutti bivouac hut, situated close to the Fréboudze Glacier on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif, has recently been replaced with a "modular, comfortable, technologically sophisticated shelter".

However, the hut has met with a lot of local criticism...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=66111

JoshOvki on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Is it the start of April already?
Robert Durran - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

This looks horrible! I always liked the old hut. Long may the internet access fail to work - I thought people went to the mountains to escape such things!
Jim Brownlow - on 27 Jan 2012
What a waste of money, all you want is a shelter that's sturdy and with plenty of space!
Jimmy D - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Have to say I don't like the idea of the on-line booking bit - does that mean if you showed up without a booking you wouldn't be able to get in? Would you need some sort of key or code? Wouldn't be very good for emergency situations!
In reply to UKC News: am I the only one who's noticed the death defying drop when you walk out of the door?
Tyler - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Yes, just you and all the people who have complained about it that are mentioned it in the text of the article.

What routesdescents is this hut useful for?
CurlyStevo - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to JoshOvki:
just what I was thinking, is this some kind of bad joke?

This picture doesn't look real either does it
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=189879&full=1
Neil Henson - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: And if you walk down to one end of the hut it tumbles down the mountainside. Don't think this is genuine somehow.
liz j on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
I'm not too sure if it's real or not, but would the BMC run a prank like this? Don't fancy stumbling out of there at 2am and forgeting about the ladder!!
jon on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

This is what Luca Signorelli had to say about it on the 12th October last year:

> The new Gervasutti hut has been put in place this afternoon - is a cross between a IKEA kitchen, a train WC and a boiler. And obviously the big panoramic windows doesn't point at the Jorasses!


liz j on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to jon:
Oh lordy lord!!! Did they not measure the place at all with regards to the door?? It looks like an avalanche blaster!!
JHammond on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

This photo would imply they haven't considered the snow and the solar panels...

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2011/12/dezeen_New-Refuge-Gervasutti-by-LEAPfactory_6.jpg
liz j on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to JHammond:
If this is genuine (??), then is it not a concern that it is replacing an open use emergency shelter with somewhere that you will need to book? Will the door always be open, or do you need to obtain a code for the door? How can you fore-tale whether you are going to need to use it in an emergency, and what happens if it's all booked!! And where do they keep the ladder!!
mike kann - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: Does look very very odd. Although one would imagine there will be some sort of ladder there when it opens, I'can't imagine the french being THAT daft, and also solar panels usually work beneath snow...
Bruce Hooker - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Despite all the remarks I bet you'd all be glad of it if you were stuck :-)
Simon Caldwell - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> I bet you'd all be glad of it if you were stuck

Only if I could get the door open :-)
a crap climber - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to Toreador:

Or even get to the door without falling down the mountain...
Milesy - on 27 Jan 2012
That is absolutely disgusting looking!
gethin_allen on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:
It looks like someone has dropped a tube train they were transporting over the mountain by air.
JoshOvki on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to a crap climber:

You wouldn't want to mistake the toilet door for the front door would you!
Neil Henson - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: Go on tell us - it's an old ship's funnel isn't it?
JLS on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to Neil Henson:

>"it's an old ship's funnel"

Have you seen the mothership?

http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1178&bih=461&q=refuge+...
Neil Henson - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to JLS: Maybe they should relocate it on top of that one.
TRip - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I think it looks cool...

Are the doors left open, like most other unmanned huts, you don't have to pay?!
liz j on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to UKC News) Does look very very odd. Although one would imagine there will be some sort of ladder there when it opens, I'can't imagine the french being THAT daft, and also solar panels usually work beneath snow...

It's in Italy, so anything is possible!!
paul-1970 - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:
As soon as I saw the picture I immediately thought of Michael Caine and the end of The Italian Job

"Hang on a minute, lads, I've got a great idea..."
Erik B - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: clear to me they definitely arsed up the measurements for the door placement.. dear god

this should be used for all design students of how badly wrong people can get it. virtually flat roof with solar panels in that location? why not make it sharp triangular roof with extra sleeping places and ability to shed snow/avalanches?? truely bonkers, hope someone got their jotters
Erik B - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to Erik B: but dont worry folks, the focus on the design has been an internet booth.

Italians should stick to shoes, sports cars and high end audio equipment
Mark Collins - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to paul-1970: Lol, You'll be on the wrong end of an Italian Job if someone mis-understands which door leads to the toilet.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Stone Muppet - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: Better be clear on whether this is a hoax before 2 climbers drive all the way down from Bristol to check
Erik B - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet: oh jesus h, the door even opens in towards the cliff, making it even more dangerous!!!

you couldnt make this up LOL
Bruce Hooker - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Some people are never 'appy!

They had to something with the spare funnel for the Costa Concordia. I think it looks quite nice, but then I don't sleep walk.
Erik B - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: i honestly think theyve put it on the wrong way round, surely the angled end would fit nicely into the cliff and doors then wouldnt be an issue? ha ha!!
Dauphin - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Don't come knockin when the caravans rockin...

Looks as cool as f@@k - like a bond villians escape pod. I assuming it comes with ensuite supermodels, lasershow and disco sound system?

D
blakey21 - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: This has got to be a joke, surely??? Someone has been busy with photoshop!
Frogger - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:


looks like a large cctv camera
lee birtwistle - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: Looks like the bus from the Italian Job.
You were only sposed to blow the bloody doors off!!!!!!!
Albert Tatlock - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Must be a p*ss take,there was nothing wrong with the old hut when I stopped in it.

I was the standard stop over when descending of the west face of the Petit Jorrasses.Most, if not all parties rappel back down to France now.I can not see such an expensive hut being built is such an unfrequented corner of the range
Killianmurphy - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I saw this in an article a while ago here

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665584/terrifying-mountain-refuge-juts-out-over-an-alpine-cliff

it has a few more different views of the hut...
henwardian - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: Heh, I was taken in for a moment but then I read the whole article. Is the new idea to shift april fools day to a depressing time of year where it is really needed? Someone must have spent quite some time photoshopping it.
Luca Signorelli - on 27 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Alas, the hut is genuine (I know because I've seen it myself!). And all the "local criticism" are IMHO valid, particularly the less than ideal position. Also, the whole idea that this is more "ecologically susteinable" than the previous hut is simply ridiculous.

I know that people at CAI will probably beg to differ, but this is not just my opinion...

BTW - if you've ever been to the Canzio hut, prepare yourself for a worse shock in a little less than one year...
Misha - on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:
It's space age alright - you need a rocket to get to the door!

Ok, so there's a ladder. What if some prankster leaves the hut first and hides the door somewhere? At least the remaining occupants could use the internet to call for rescue (if the internet works).
Kemics - on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

you know you really screwed up when people can't tell if it's a joke or not :)
Luca Signorelli - on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to Misha:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> It's space age alright - you need a rocket to get to the door!
>
> Ok, so there's a ladder. What if some prankster leaves the hut first and hides the door somewhere? At least the remaining occupants could use the internet to call for rescue (if the internet works)

Not to mention that getting to the Gervasutti itself ain't exactly a walk in the park (Alexis Long was killed approaching the hut by a serac fall)
Luca Signorelli - on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to Kemics:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> you know you really screwed up when people can't tell if it's a joke or not :)

...or when a mountain hut gives you the irresistible urge to start singing "The Self Preservation Society" loud
JLS on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Am I the only one worried about the distance to a BT exchange? I tell you 20 meg broad band it will not be. No way Pedro, will we be sitting in the hut watching HD climbing video's over the net. Space age? Ice age more like.
Impromptu - on 28 Jan 2012
Naw...you gotta be pulling my ****....all that is missing is a paint job saying 'RED BULL'
outtathaway - on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: it looks so dodgy, should the oblong structure not be turned around 90 degrees, so it runs along the ledge, with the door on the end of the oblong. This is just awful, talk about design over practicality, not very funny either really...
MG - on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to Luca Signorelli: What is driving this urge to replace old huts with expensive, umm, imaginative, modern ones? I don't remember the old Gervasutti hut being in particularly bad shape (c2002) or the hut book suggesting it was regularly crowded. So why spend £250,000 euro on a new one.

UKC News: I think the article is wrong to state the old hut was for emergencies only and basic. It was like most Italian bivouacs - you just turned up if you wanted to use it and there were bunk and blankets. Quite comforable.
Alan Breck on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: Interesting range of pics some of which are used in the article. http://www.flickr.com/photos/leapfactory/6334474317/in/photostream/

Looks an abomination.
jon on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to MG:
> UKC News: I think the article is wrong to state the old hut was for emergencies only and basic. It was like most Italian bivouacs - you just turned up if you wanted to use it and there were bunk and blankets. Quite comforable.

I'd agree with that. Off hand, I can only think of the Vallot and the Solvay that fit that use description.
Robert Durran - on 28 Jan 2012
In reply to Luca Signorelli:

Is the old hut of which I have fond memeories still there?
The Canzio was great too.....
what next, the Quintino Sella (best of the lot!)
Jonny2vests - on 29 Jan 2012
In reply to Luca Signorelli:
> (In reply to Kemics)
> [...]
>
> ...or when a mountain hut gives you the irresistible urge to start singing "The Self Preservation Society" loud

Lol, I was thinking Yellow Submarine.

The daft buggers, they've completely lost the plot.
Ben C - on 29 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: well that is just plain daft
ClimberJimmyB - on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I think this is really interesting! Sure it's a little bit ugly and looks very uncomfortable in its location, but at least someone has a take on a modern mountain hut.

Personally I think this is how it should be done:
http://www.hcla.co.uk/index.php?id=134
Lurkio - on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Presumably the hanging doors are so they don't get snowed up?
Mr Eddie - on 07 Feb 2012
Am I the only one thinking that if you all jump hard at the window end you'll get an awesome ride down the hill? Like a massive bob sled.
Jimbo C - on 10 Feb 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Carrying out roof repairs looks like it will be nigh on impossible. I'm wondering how many years of alpine weather and hits from avalanches and rockfall this thing is going to stand up to. Maybe 10 - 15 years, after which it'll need to be dismantled and brought down the mountain. Doesn't sound very eco-friendly to me.
It seemlessly blends in with the surrounding alpine environment. Horrible.

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