The network of mountain huts in the Alps, providing food, shelter and overnight accommodation, often at high altitude, is an essential component of the Alpine infrastructure. The ÖAV (Austrian Alpine Association) Mountain Huts belong to individual sections.
Despite many man-hours of work by volunteers and thousands of Euros from central ÖAV funds and Austrian federal and provincial government grants, the sections themselves must find large sums for hut maintenance and modernisation, and to meet health and safety and environmental requirements. The difficult access and high altitude of many of the huts adds to the cost of the work.
Based so far from the Alps, ÖAV Sektion Britannia/AAC(UK) does not own any huts, nor does it have a ‘work area’ with responsibility for waymarking and path maintenance. Instead, we have a Hut Fund, to which members have contributed generously over the years, and we hope you will continue the tradition. Most sections are fully committed to their huts but the financial burden of meeting modern standards in isolated spots at high altitude can be considerable, particularly for small sections with a few hundred members. The AAC(UK) Hut Fund is needed more than ever, so please contribute generously. Contributions can be made when you join or renew your membership; or you can send a cheque payable to “Austrian Alpine Club (UK) Limited” to the AAC(UK) Office; or pay using debit/credit card details via the online shop.
Sektion Britannia/AAC(UK) has been contributing to the huts from its earliest days in the late 1940s and 1950s, when members took blankets out to the huts.
The Hut Fund itself was founded in the late 1960s. In 1967 the first donation of £125, was made to Sektion Landeck, for a tin crushing machine at the Steinseehütte. In 1973 a second donation of £350 was made to Akademic Sektion Graz for the Kaunergrathütte. Then there is a gap in our records until 1983/4 when, according to a plaque in the Steinseehütte, Sektion England contributed to a major renovation of the hut.
During the 1970s the Hut Fund received support from botanist Dr Philip Tallantire who wrote the guide book series called ‘Felix Austria’. By himself he physically renovated the Hugo-Gerbers-Hütte in the Kreuzeck Gruppe. A grant of €3000 was made to this hut in 2017 to refurbish the chimneys.
From 1986 – 2000 grants were made to 7 huts totalling Austrian
Schillings 1,450,000. From 2005 – 2019 24 huts were supported with
grants totalling €440,000. Further grants are being considered for 2021 and 2022.
Many huts put up plaques thanking donors. Please, keep an eye open when visiting alpine huts for any plaque or notice thanking Sektion England (the Club’s Austrian name until the mid-1980s) or Sektion Britannia. A photo attached to an e-mail to the Office would be much appreciated: head your e-mail ‘Hut Fund Donation to xxxxxxx Hut in 19xx or 20xx’.
Many thanks to all those members who have contributed to our Hut Fund over so many years.
In reverse order the following grants have been made: