Euros Design “Plug and Play” Hut — Option for Bear Creek?

Bookmark and Share
This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

LEAPfactory

The Gervasutti Hut

The Gervasutti Hut sleeps twelve, hanging on the side of the Italian Alps with a full view of the Grandes Jorasses.

Refuge Gervasutti is the first alpine refuge of the latest generation. It provides the optimal combination of comfort, safety and respect for the environment. Gervasutti was installed in mid October 2011 by freight helicopter in Courmayeur (IT) on the Freboudze Glacier, in front of the spectacular East Face of the Grandes Jorasses of the Mont Blanc Range. The hut is now ready for use by mountaineers and climbers.

The Gervasutti Refuge was commissioned by CAI Torino, the Italian Alpine Club. Under the guidance of SUCAI the subsection of CAI Torino and the Ski Mountaineering School, the project was realized thanks to the works team coordinated by the LEAPfactory project managers Luca Gentilcore and Stefano Testa.

The refuge represents the pinnacle of achievement of LEAPfactory, an Italian Company that designs, creates and produces modular structures which have minimal impact on the environment.

Location shot for ski mountaineering hut.

Gervasutti Refuge Hut by Leapfactory. Are modular huts like this going to sprout all over the Alps? Could happen.

Completion of the Gervasutti Refuge is a great achievement in that the materials used are of a high standard and use sophisticated technology capable of handling the problems of extreme temperatures and the difficulties of installation given the altitude and the position in the midst of a glacier.

Assembly of the 'plug in hut' Gervasutti

Assembly of the 'plug in hut' Gervasutti

Each module is entirely prefabricated, from the outer protective shell to the interior fittings. All the modules were transported by helicopter thanks to their light weight and assembled on site in just a few hours.

The modules’ particular design means that they can be planned and constructed based on the specific requirements and can be customized depending on the location where they are to be positioned in order to make them in keeping with the surrounding environment.

The modular structure is an ideal way to solve the specific requirements of any particular location and it allows for future expansion and the replacement of damaged parts over the life of the module.

Some view for ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing inspiration.

Some view for ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing inspiration.

The living area is lit in the daytime by a big panoramic window facing towards the valley and it contains a kitchen, a table, and seating. The sleeping area is equipped with bunk beds and gear storage.

The comfortable wooden interior finish recalls a traditional mountain hut and is intended to make a stay in the LEAP module a pleasing and relaxing experience.

Gervasutti hut’s integrated monitoring station provides instant information on the interior comfort and the outdoor weather conditions and processes data which can be distributed via the web. The total electrical requirements are provided by the photovoltaic panels integrated in the outer shell.

Exterior colors of the hut are easily recognizable at a distance: an important reference point for mountaineers. The outer textural design is inspired by the shaved straight stitch of mountain pullovers to evoke warmth and comfort.

Gervasutti numbers:

Owner: Italian Alpine Club CAI Turin
Promoted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the SUCAI Ski Mountaineering School
Cost 250,000 euros (Total budget)
Design phase Sept. 2009 – Dec 2010
Construction phase May 2011 – Oct 20100

30 square metres of usable space
6 contact points with the ground
2500 kg total weight
12 bed spaces
2.5 Kwh of solar energy produced
2 days to install unit

More here.

Comments

53 Responses to “Euros Design “Plug and Play” Hut — Option for Bear Creek?”

  1. Tim December 6th, 2011 6:12 pm

    Friggin awesome! I want one!

  2. Lou December 6th, 2011 6:30 pm

    Kinda makes our portahut look a bit meager, eh?

  3. Tim December 6th, 2011 6:56 pm

    I don’t know what it would cost to build a hut at 12k ft, but that seems pretty economical too.

  4. Mark December 6th, 2011 7:01 pm

    They sell those at IKEA, don’t they?

  5. Kai December 6th, 2011 9:10 pm

    Yuck. That’s awful. What an eyesore.

  6. Biggsie December 6th, 2011 9:36 pm

    That’s rad. The more people that get into the wild, the better. If a prefab hut like this helps, wonderful.

  7. Chris Beh December 6th, 2011 9:51 pm

    It looks like you could stick one of those things just about anywhere. Amazing. Too bad the US can’t support or even allow something this cool to be put in our mountains. Lou, do you think something like the Friend’s Hut could be built again in these times? The BANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere) would be out for it, I think.

  8. Tim December 7th, 2011 12:14 am

    Why the precarious installation? I guess its a winter only hut, otherwise watch out for that first step out the door! Otherwise pretty cool. A little over the top, but cool. Looks a little like an airplane crashed into the side of the rock.

  9. Dostie December 7th, 2011 12:50 am

    What about water & waste? How are those dealt with?

  10. Alastair December 7th, 2011 1:55 am

    The modular hut isn’t such a new idea in the Alps – although I’m guessing this new one is less draughty than the ones portaged into place 100 years ago.

    http://www.fondation-petzl.org/en/save-refuge-de-laigle

  11. Lou December 7th, 2011 6:00 am

    Dostie, on their website I did see something about them designing a solid waste disposal system. Didn’t see anything about water. Could be a spring there, or perhaps they have a snow/ice melt system. Or, the hut might be fairly close to mechanized access and you’re supposed to just bring your own water. I’ll try to find out.

  12. Mark December 7th, 2011 6:25 am

    Chris Beh – They are building a new (okay, much larger replacement) hut at Second Creek right now. Let’s be honest – Colorado ski country has quite a lot of huts. Go to the Sierra and the Cascades and you’ll find a serious hut shortage.

    There’s no doubt, the Wilderness Act (and court rulings on structures and commercial services in wilderness) leaves no wiggle room for backcountry huts. I wouldn’t waste my energy on trying to get a new hut established in an already designated wilderness areas. But for new wilderness proposals – well, it may be an uphill battle, but when Congress establishes a wilderness area they can authorize any non-conforming use they want. They could authorize bikes on a trail, a hut, airboats, floatplanes, whatever. Once the legislation is passed, agencies have no such flexibility.

    Personally I prefer the charm of a hut constructed in rustic style.

  13. RDE December 7th, 2011 6:43 am

    Perfect for a generation that learned it asthetic standards by shopping at WalMart.

  14. Lou December 7th, 2011 7:14 am

    I like rustic huts better, but hey, everyone has a right to their own bad taste!

    As for Fed Wilderness limiting hut building, that is one of my pet peeves about legal Wilderness. Solution is the dreaded concept of, do I even whisper the word, inholdings. There are still a bunch of inholdings in our fed Wilderness, but they’re getting bought up and returned to public ownership at a fairly good clip. Every time that happens, another opportunity for a hut is lost.

    Meanwhile, a lot of public land still exists that is not legal Wilderness where huts can be easily built on private inholdings or even with special use permit from USFS. All that takes is some will on the part of a given group of citizens to make this happen — though hurdles do exist.

  15. Njord December 7th, 2011 7:16 am

    Made by helicopters!!

  16. Lou December 7th, 2011 7:21 am

    Chris, specifically, the problem with hut building is that as soon as you propose something that involves commercial use, even if it’s on private land, you’ve got issues with things like wildlife impacts, nimby neighbors, parking, and so on. I’m no expert on this, but do know that the process has become more difficult but not impossible. Hut proposals in Colorado do get shot down, but some get done. That’s how 10th Mountain has ended up with their huge inventory.

    Probably the best approach to all this is to first purchase private land, and build a hut that’s only used by the land owners (who can be a non-profit corp that user own shares in.). After the land is purchased and the hut is built, then you start ramping up the public use so you develop a critical mass of public opinion that supports the hut when the NIMBYs try to shut it down.

  17. Lou December 7th, 2011 7:28 am

    Njord, I was thinking about you when I saw that! Can you ID that heli (see their website, where you can see photo of heli)? Someone mentioned the name but I forgot. They said it could lift something like 5,000 lbs? Our portahut weighs about 7,000. Thus, it could easily be heli-dropped if it was in two or three sections?

  18. avalansh December 7th, 2011 8:00 am

    It looks like a submarine on top of the mountain.

    Much respect Lou.

  19. chris blatter aka silvertonslim December 7th, 2011 9:30 am

    Lou- you hit the mark well;
    “Probably the best approach to all this is to first purchase private land, and build a hut that’s only used by the land owners (who can be a non-profit corp that user own shares in.)”

    I am in the midst of building a two storey rustico on my claims / inholdings in San Juan County. In October I hired a chopper to fly in 38,000 lbs of building material. I was up there this past weekend and am pleased to note that the lumber, blocks, sacrete, batteries, septic and infilrators are all getting buried. I’ll resume construction when the stuff melts out in June. F.Y.I. the Huey chopper I used was able to haul only 1500 lbs at 12,000′.
    I use a ’62 Thiokol snowcat for winter access and to support my backcountry ski habit. I am very concious of how my project is viewed by all; when the plane crashed this weekend 2 miles from my property I volunteered my servives and my snowcat to the county sherrif / S&R teams.
    Yes an individual or group certainly can get permits to build on inholdings (My 45 acres are surrounded by B.L.M. lands). I have a great rapport with all the agencies involved; indeed I was granted the first permit in the history of the state of Condorado to collect rain/snowmelt from the roof of a cabin.
    I continue to watch these discussions regarding private lands and access. I thank you for your coverage of these issues and giving me the ability to “chime in”
    cheers

  20. Lou December 7th, 2011 9:37 am

    Chris, very cool. You show it “can be done.” One thing that’s interesting is that in many places a mining claim (the usual inholding in the Colorado mountains) has a use by right for building due to the fact that when the claim was created such use was allowed by law. This eliminates the actual approval for building, though the building still of course has to conform to code and zoning. Each situation is different, but this and other factors make hut building a possibility. Another thing is that in some cases citizens have certain rights to access their property, which may include the building of driveways on public land. Again, making hut building more possible.

  21. Tom Gos December 7th, 2011 10:33 am

    I hate to see inholdings used as a way for mega developers to trade 10 acres of “wilderness” for publically owned prime real estate located at the base of ski areas or in other high value areas, but, I’m all for utlizing some inholdings for hut construction.

    Lou, I am curious about the detail of mining claim ownership. I thought a mining claim is ownership of a right to mine a piece of land, but not true fee simple ownership of the land itself, kind of like an easement. Did you learn anything about these issues when acquiring your portahut property?

  22. Lou December 7th, 2011 10:47 am

    Tom, there are two types of claims. At the first stage, yes, it’s more like an easement. But after a certain amount of money and time the claim becomes “patented” and becomes private land that usually includes mineral rights unless they were sold off at some point. Much (if not most) of the private land in and around Colorado mountain towns was created that way over the last century or so.

    Once a claim is patented, calling it a “claim” is just a term of art. It’s simply private land, sometimes with a chain of title that goes back far enough to show you have certain uses by right.

    I don’t consider myself as having much knowledge about this stuff, so read above with a grain of salt.

    The media (including me) tends to perpetuate the use of the term “mining claim” when describing some inholdings, thus confusing the issue. I’ve actually been trying to get away from calling private land a “claim” or “mining claim.” But it’s kind of fun and colorful to use the term.

    When it comes to inholdings, frankly, if trades can be worked out to consolidate legal Wilderness or relatively pristine backcountry (which is not Bear Creek, mined, roaded and adjacent to a ski resort, by the way), that seems very worth it, so long as they’re legal and don’t involve any corruption. So long as they’re legal, who really cares about the prices, or the value of the land that’s traded? That stuff is like a drop in the bucket compared to everything else going on in the world. Like I’ve always said, I’m a fan of existing Wilderness so I’d agree in spirit that getting rid of the stupid patchwork of inholdings it created is overall a good thing. But at the same time, I’m a realist. Surrounding those inholdings with what is perceived by the public as valuable “wilderness,” (even though legal fed Wilderness usually has little to no difference from adjacent non-wilderness land, besides letting horses instead of mountain bikers wreck the trails) created value for the land owners. Some of those land owners choose to pursue that value. I know my view isn’t popular, but I really do feel it’s ok in most situations to try and realize that value. Besides, it’s a finite situation. Most of the inholdings will eventually be gone, one way or another. Such has been happening at what I feel is a fairly rapid pace (taking the long view of a guy who’s been around for a while.)

    Of course, when most of the pristine legal Wilderness inholdings gone, the ones that are left will be worth even more! That’s already been happening. Welcome to economics 101.

    MEANWHILE, it would indeed behoove us to quit paying so much attention to Thomas Chapman and perhaps instead for some of our non-profits to acquire some of those Wilderness or backcountry inholdings for the purpose of hut building to benefit the public. Heck, perhaps Chapman would even help. Blasphemy?

    Lou

  23. Tomas December 7th, 2011 11:56 am

    That is WAY cool!!!!

  24. Rob December 7th, 2011 12:03 pm

    Lou – a friend of mine who worked for the Nature Conservancy once said, “we protect land the old fashioned way…we buy it.” There’s a lot to be said for putting your money where your mouth is. I think you are correct that instead of wasting energy demonizing people like Chapman, it makes more sense to try and find allies/investors/non-profits to acquire inholdings and build suitable huts. Anyone who was ever hiked or skied in Europe would agree it’s a great concept!

  25. Biggsie December 7th, 2011 2:54 pm

    Agreed that there’s a lack of huts in CA. A basic extension to a Sierra Club hut on the Sierra Crest has been stuck in the permitting process for years.

    Re: inholdings, is there any process like this in CA? My understanding is that CO is unique in that active mining claims still exist and can be had fairly easily compared to getting access to similar property in CA.

    When I lived in Durango in ’92, a friend’s family built a cabin on a claim outside of Silverton and I thought it was the coolest idea ever.

  26. Lou December 7th, 2011 3:21 pm

    Biggsie, I’m not sure where or what exists in CA in terms of inholdings. But what happened in Colorado is there was quite a frenzy back in the 1800s, when venture capitalists would basically pay guys to go around and stake claims. Most of what went on, from what I’ve studied was legit industry and resulted in mining metals that are still circulating as coinage and elsewhere, thus supporting our lifestyle. But some of the claim staking was no doubt on the shady side. Whatever the case, what claims became patented and remained that way are now legally viable private land. They are not mining claims, that’s just how they came to be private land.

    On the other hand, it is possible to find and purchase NON patented claims. You can build on those and work them, but you have to file papers that show you are spending money on the claim and working it. These are indeed “mining claims.” There is a certain amount of scamming going on with that, but not a whole lot. Once in a while, you’ll be out hiking and you’ll run across what’s obviously a non-working non-productive mine that’s being limped along so someone can have a cabin on the unpatented claim land.

    Mainly, what we have are hundreds (if not thousands) of claims that became patented and formed much of what is now our private land in Colorado. Some of those are inholdings.

  27. Lou December 7th, 2011 6:43 pm

    Our new motto for comments, thanks Rainey:

    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

  28. Mark W December 7th, 2011 7:34 pm

    Spectactular position, but looks like a space ship docking on a cliff. Otherwise, it’s pretty amazing. Dostie, ever heard of an Incinolet? My family had one in a cabin we once owned. It burns waste. My uncle dubbed it the “pooper nuker.”

  29. jriph December 8th, 2011 9:25 am

    The heli in the picture seems to be an Eurocopter Ecureuil fwiw

  30. Jim December 8th, 2011 12:14 pm

    I’ve been studying the numerous backcountry huts up in BC Canada. They have the European style. Sure saves weight on tent/stove/bag doing the hut route. We stayed at the beautiful Mountain House in Denali last year located on the only piece of private land in Denali. Don Sheldon did a good thing there with his private land located inside the park. That tube hut in your article is way cool. I love the gites in Europe.

  31. Jim December 8th, 2011 12:16 pm

    A friend here got an old wood hull boat for free, trucked it to his land, and set it up as the guest hut with bunks/kitchen, all ready to go and free. A cheap old boat would be a cheap route for near ocean mountains. IT waterproof, ready made. Trucking was difficult.

  32. Daniel December 9th, 2011 9:35 am

    I’m actually a huge fan of the look and design of the hut, because of what it represents. A super modern, energy and resources efficient place for people to get into the mountains. Made off-site, and built in a really energy efficient way. As little disturbance to the landscape, either through construction, and in the direct usage of resources, (trees, stone, water) during that construction process. Solar panels are built into the thing, and it’s pre-fabbed, helping to keep costs down and make it more accessible to more groups. Overall, it’s just really friendly to the environment, and to groups who want to put it certain places. Maybe it’s exactly what we need in certain (wilderness) locations in America. It places very little demands on the surrounding locales, it’s small and quick and easy to build, and it’s more about the place, what you can do from it, and the friends you’re with. Does it look like a giant Tylenol? Sure, but maybe with a few quick design mods and/or color changes, it would slip right into the environment, and you wouldn’t even know it was there. I’m actually really excited about this way of building and thinking. We don’t have enough natural resources in certain places to build log McMansions.
    Thanks for reviewing this Lou, I’m excited to see where it takes us.

  33. Daniel December 9th, 2011 9:51 am

    Lou, I pretty agree with 99.9% of what you say, but I do get super defensive and outspoken when it comes to mt. biking. I’m not trying to be a hater, I want to be a promoter. Your comment above made me think, “besides letting horses instead of mountain bikers wreck the trails” and bugged me a bit. In the last five years, I’ve personally put in over twenty days doing trail building and restoration work. In Summit County, (if you don’t count the massive Volunteers of Outdoor Colorado work days-much love to those folks) mt. bikers are far and away the leading trail advocacy group, and we put our “money” where our mouths are, but doing trail work days. We work with the Friends of the Dillon Ranger district, who, by the way, just won the Forest Service’s Volunteer Group of the Year, a huge award. I think mt. bikers in Summit County and Groups like the FDRD, Summit Mt. Bikers, Summmit Fat Tire Society, VOC, locals and 2nd home owners, are an awesome example of different working together to create, and maintain, an awesome network of trails. A network that is one of the best in this country, and the world.

  34. Lou December 9th, 2011 9:51 am

    I don’t mind the design either… if the color was just moved over to the off-white side it would blend in quite nicely, but one can imagine that having it reflect sun heat as much as possible is important, as cooling something like that when it’s getting baked is more difficult than heating it.

  35. Lou December 9th, 2011 9:56 am

    Daniel, go ahead and get defensive, we understand (grin). But the whole reason trails need restoration is that they get wrecked in the first place. Hikers wreck them, even elk wreck them, but you have to admit that horses and mountain bikes can be pretty hard on trails as well. I’m out there with boots on the ground and see the MAJOR terraforming that bikes do over the years on a popular dirt trail. What is defined as “damage” is open to interpretation. But if I was a preservationist I’d be pretty appalled at how much dirt gets moved around.

  36. Daniel December 9th, 2011 10:14 am

    I certainly agree with you on trails, dirt, bikes and horses, and trails do get worked. I think they get ruined by horses, and I personally see NO trail work being done by horse people. I see a lot of public land being used by “ranchers” who own horses and think of BLM land they have leases on as their own little kingdoms. But I also see a LOT of trail work being done by mt. bikers, at least in my backyard. And I’m extremely proud of that, it’s our “pay to play” so to speak.
    In today’s society, at least in CO mts., mt. bikes are here to stay. And I do think we’re doing our part to be responsible, backcountry neighbors and partners. We’re only getting more and more crowded and we gotta work together.
    How’s that cabin of your’s coming? I love that series you’re doing on the design and construction of it, I think that’s totally awesome by the way. One day, I will have something just like that up in those hills, whether it’s on private or public land, or whatever derivation we get to in the future. Thanks again for your writing Lou.

  37. Lou December 9th, 2011 10:27 am

    Daniel, good point about the horse folks. The trails they trash in our legal Wilderness receive very little work from them or anyone else. More Wilderness weirdness (WW grin). What a mess the whole thing (legal Wilderness management) really is. And the activists want more more more. I really don’t get it, other than thinking thing the whole deal is some kind of fund raising racket to keep the activists employed. As always, I say we have enough and let’s manage it better.

  38. Don The NorthCascades Wanderer December 10th, 2011 7:52 am

    THAT IS THE UGLIEST LOOKING PIECE OF EURO TRASH TO EVER LITTER A MOUNTAIN SIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let me think, I’ve spent countless nights in real mountain huts. Well weathered wood, smells of countless fires in the stone fireplace which doubles as the cook fire.
    Or go to the IKEA, Melamine covered piece of Crap space pod. The aromatic smell of plastic laminates. Because everything is enviro friendly I can’t even fire up my mountain stove indoors, something might melt.

    Oh do I know what I would choose.

    Check out Scottish Lakes High Camp for REAL mountain huts.

    Don

  39. Mark December 10th, 2011 8:50 am

    To be fair, there are groups like Backcountry Horseman that do volunteer trail work, at least in the Sierra Nevada where I am more familiar with the stock issue. Commercial packers also get tapped a little. The major cost, I’d say, of building trails to stock standard and maintaining them is borne by the land management agency (i.e., tax payer).

    Personally, I hate to think about what the western landscape would look like without the Wilderness Act. In most cases it leads to a land use that seems very well-suited to the public recreation interest. But not always. What I think is unfortunate is that there is very little creativity in new Wilderness proposals in terms of authorizing otherwise prohibited uses. Congress can do it. They can write the legislation such that it says, “mountain bikes are prohibited EXCEPT for this section of the Colorado Trail that links two other important mountain bike areas”, or “permanent structures are prohibited EXCEPT for this hut in this location to be managed by such-and -such nonprofit”. But I don’t see these type of concessions being made to bring more people together on Wilderness proposals and USE the act to get the mix of public recreation we want.

  40. Lou December 10th, 2011 9:15 am

    Good points Mark, I was painting with a pretty broad brush. As I always say, I like the legal Wilderness we have. But we all need to remember, legal Wilderness is not purposed to recreation, nor are efforts to create more Wilderness purposed to recreation. Any honest Wilderness advocate will tell you that. In fact, if you can get any true Wilderness advocate to be totally candid, they’ll tell you that most recreation is incompatible with true Wilderness, and should be allowed in a very restricted fashion, in small doses. Wilderness as advocated these days is all about preservation of an ideal which sometimes is real and very nice. I just hope they don’t outlaw my ski bindings. There is nothing in the Wilderness Act that says they can’t.

  41. Mark December 10th, 2011 9:37 am

    Well, don’t let the zealots convince anyone that recreation is not a Wilderness purpose. Because the Wilderness Act says, “Except as otherwise provided in this Act, wilderness areas shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use.” Recreation absolutely IS a wilderness purpose, notwithstanding the prohibition on roads, permanent structures, and mechanized transportation. Elsewhere the act states that a characteristic of wilderness is that is “has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation”. Non-motorized mountain sports are a pretty good fit, I’d say.

  42. dmr December 10th, 2011 10:25 am

    Hi Don,

    Don’t you think that “Euro Trash” is a bit strong as well as insulting?

    Out of honest curiosity, have you ever been to the Alps? Spent a night in a hut in the Alps?

    I personally prefer the bivouac / under the stars method when heading into the wilderness / backcountry. I’ve spent hundreds of days and nights in the wilderness in the US and only 3 nights in non-managed huts, all in the winter time.

    The Alps are a bit different for a few reasons, one, there are a lot more people playing in the mountains, especially in the Mont Blanc range, so huts are able to concentrate people and their waste so as to impact the environment as little as possible, two, there are a lot of summertime evening thunderstorms, so a hut allows protection that an open bivouac or a tent would not, three, most of the huts (especially in the Mont Blanc range) are above tree line, so you’ll never get the quaint, in-the-woods-cozy type hut (a lot of huts are located above 8,000 feet, which in the Alps means above tree line and glacier territory, this hut is at well over 9,000 feet, and many huts sit at close to 12,000 feet), and last, a lot of new huts might indeed be an eyesore when compared to the log cabins of yesteryear, but are self-sufficient and of the highest environmental quality in terms of energy, waste and overall carbon footprint.

    Here’s another hut that I think you’ll like, Don, the new Refuge du Gouter hut on Mont Blanc’s regular route:

    http://www.refugedugouter.fr/

    The Scottish Lakes High Camp huts look nice, and if I ever get the chance I’d love to stay there, but at a measly 5,000 feet, sitting in a nice flat area in a forest (yes, the word nestled comes to mind), can these huts really be called “mountain” huts?

    Cheers.

  43. Mark December 10th, 2011 10:41 am

    5000 feet in the N Cascades is getting pretty high. The peaks are, what 8-9000 feet? The massifs there are separated by amazing, deep, forested valleys, and you can find yourself hiking through dripping mossy old growth that suddenly gives way to the subalpine. I love the mountains is Washington.

  44. Ben December 10th, 2011 10:25 pm

    When you put a hut above treeline, quaint huts with gabled roofs and wood trim are no more “natural” than round metal space pods, they’re just more traditional. There are good reasons for having huts in areas as heavily trodden as the Alps, as dmr said.

    I kind of like the red pattern. People who hate it probably hate Christmas sweaters in the ski lodge, too.

  45. Don The NorthCascades Wanderer December 11th, 2011 7:28 pm

    Yep I’ve spent time in the Alps

    Stayed in there huts, I plan on making another trip in the next couple of years.

    I’m glad to be in the mountians even if it is a measly 5000 feet, the skiing is still just as great. I also am glad for the much overlooked North Cascades.

  46. dmr December 11th, 2011 11:54 pm

    I love the Cascades, and have spent a great deal of time on the two volcanoes at the southern tip of the range (Lassen and Shasta).

    But; Don, you threw out the Euro Trash insult, and on top of that in caps!

    You had to expect some sort of ribbing (even if very slight).

    I look forward to the day I’ll be able to spend some time in the Northern Cascades.

    Cheers.

  47. Mark December 12th, 2011 3:43 am

    Buildings aren’t “natural”, but some buildings are more congruent with their environments than others. Buildings that borrow architectural forms from local historical structures and use native materials are to me more beautiful than the big tube. We have a lot of mountain architecture in the US to draw on, which I think has been used nicely in a lot of different ways, including some modern styles. And they have a LOT to draw on in the Alps as well.

    That said, you’re not helicoptering the Pear Lake hut anywhere.

  48. Lou December 12th, 2011 6:55 am

    I just about moderated the “euro trash” comment but figured that the architecture of this thing did evoke some strong feelings, and in this case that level of expression was ok. Was trying to think of the equivalent term for American stuff. Trailer trash seemed close, but then, I’m not fond of that term either (grin).

  49. Julian December 13th, 2011 3:52 pm

    Hi Lou, I’m from the SUCAI club here in Turin, and we’re all really excited at seeing our hut on your blog, seeing as you have a bit of a cult status amongst our members!
    It was mounted just before the first snow arrived in the autumn, so only a few of us have physically set foot in it, so we’re itching to head up there. The position is completely enchanting, way off the beaten track. We hope some of the Wild Snowers will get a chance to pop in for a visit in the future. :)

  50. Lou December 13th, 2011 3:58 pm

    Julian! Thanks! I’ll be in Europe in a few weeks for a Dynafit press event. Since there is little snow and not great skiing, I was thinking of visiting the hut. Not sure how to make it happen but I’d need to be shown the way up there. I’ll contact you on email. Lou

  51. Julian December 13th, 2011 4:23 pm

    Lou, it’s dumping over in France (2 hrs drive from here) right now, so don’t leave your skis at home!

  52. Gregg Cronn December 13th, 2011 7:43 pm

    Another example of bold futuristic Italian design. I think it is outstanding. God I would love to see more huts in our neck of the woods. Here in the NW corner of WA state we have to cross the border to enjoy hut mountain culture.

  53. Nick Mcgill December 22nd, 2011 10:06 am

    I have been involved in the development of Gervasutti, the key first point is you can take it in and install it in a few hours by helicopter so no construction site crane or trucks. You can take it out again the same way in 6 months or 10 years and there will be no trace of it left. The second point is that it can be constructed in what ever material you want it can be in wood or bamboo fibre if that is more in keeping with location, in this location it is important that it is visable as it serves an important rescue function, but you can have it in any colour you like.

Got something to say? Please do so.





Anti-Spam Quiz:


If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.
:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after we approve it. Once you've had one comment published, your comments will be pre-approved and appear immediately if you're using the same computer and not blocking browser cookies. NOTE however that ALL comments with one or more links in the text will be held for moderation no matter what, again for spam prevention.
Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

All material on this website online magazine is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked.. Permission required for reproduction, electronic or otherwise. This includes publication and display on other websites by whatever means. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

Switch to our mobile site