/ Hut fees in the alps

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derryclimbs - on 02 Nov 2013
Planning a trip to the eastern alps next year to climb Piz Bernina via the Biancograt and maybe some traverses etc. Having a bit of trouble finding out how much the huts will cost though.
Anyone stayed in the Tschierva or Marco e Rosa huts recently? How much they charge, any options for cutting costs etc would be greatly appreciated. Thinking end of June.

Tim Chappell - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to derryclimbs:

I can't see any very good options for cutting costs if you want to do what we did, which is go from the Tschierva over the Biancograt and down to the Rifugio Marco e Rosa, then across the glacier plateau to the Diavolezza.

You could camp instead of using these huts, but then you have to lug a tent over the Biancograt, which would spoil the fun and slow you down.

Or you could try and go super-fast, maybe cutting out one of these two hut stays? But it's a long walk from Pontresina to the Tschierva, and only a little of it could be mountain-biked. And it's also a long walk from Piz Bernina to the Diavolezza cable car, unless you have skis.

The Marco e Rosa would be the easier one to cut out. Just start really early from the Tschierva, and move quickly, and don't be surprised if you miss the last cable-car down!

But I don't advise this. The Biancograt is a fantastic route and if you do it more than once in your life you'll be really lucky, so my advice would be to savour it--and to grin and bear the costs.

The Marco e Rosa is particularly worth seeing. It's in a fantastic position, if you can sleep at 3600m. It's also quite expensive, with a grumpy warden.

As I recall the Tschiervahuette was about £27 a night, and the Marco e Rosa about £35, but this info goes back to 2008.

I can't remember if they let you cook your own food at the Tschierva--I think so. I'm pretty sure they don't at the Marco e Rosa.

Sorry not to have more up to date info!
Simon4 - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to derryclimbs: I agree with Tim, getting the route done (if you have promising conditions), is far more important than saving a bit of money. Otherwise it can take multiple, sometimes dangerous attempts to achieve the same thing.

The main ways you can reduce costs is to join the Austrian Alpine Club if you are going to stay in enough huts to more than break even on the hut discount, also you can carry food up to the Tsvhievra rather than pay for the hut food. After all, that only has to be carried up a 3-4 hour path, and you can take your time over that.

I certainly wouldn't try to cut out the Marco e Rosa hut - we met a German guide and his client who had done that, but then finished up missing the last cable car and staying in the Diavolezza anyway - with obvious 1000 yard stares! We just stopped at the MER, had a comfortable night (while it stormed), then left at 7 the next morning to a crisp, clear, high-altitude morning. (I don't remember the guardian being grumpy myself).

If you get it done, it is a great Alpine route, savour it rather than trying to penny-pinch.
derryclimbs - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to derryclimbs:

Cheers guys, yeah not planning on penny pinching too much but just wondering what costs could be and ways to reduce it (own food etc). Not planning on bringing a tent as you say, would ruin the enjoyment and slow us down.
around £40 is what I was expecting so hopefully they havent gone up too much since 2008.

Cheers again.
Simon4 - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to derryclimbs: Most huts now have websites that you can find this out from, normally a google search for the hut name should bring it up.

BTW, unfortunately they will almost certainly charge you for water at the Marco e Rosa, (not at all unreasonable given where it is).

The main way to reduce costs remains carrying a lot of food. Not what I would do myself, nor would I walk down from the Diavolezza hut at the end, but both are possible options.
Tim Chappell - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to derryclimbs:

The other problem with cutting out the Marco & Rosa is that you'll end up crossing the glacier late in the day. Which is always to be avoided if possible.
Tim Chappell - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (
> The main ways you can reduce costs is to join the Austrian Alpine Club

Oh, now I remember--we tried to get a BMC discount out of the Warden at the Marco e Rosa, and he wouldn't give us one. That was got him grumpy with us.

It was a tricky conversation. My Italian was just good enough for it to make sense for us to negotiate in that language, but not good enough for me to avoid sounding clumsy and, perhaps, rude to him.

I still think he was a bit of a git, though
Simon4 - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: Very useful, we found, to have done (or rather tried - we were turned back by water running on the glacier at 5 am, and hideously soft snow higher), the Bellavista beforehand, as we consequently knew the way down the Fortezgrat for the final descent, which was thus much less confusing than it might have been.
Simon4 - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> I still think he was a bit of a git, though

Well he may have been, just we didn't notice it. Sometimes some people have good experiences with people in Alpine districts and others report bad times with the same people. For example I recently recommended a gite due to the very friendly and helpful (and knowledgeable) owners, but someone else reported having had problems with them.

On the other hand, the warden at the Schreckhorn hut is universally reported to be a swine.

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