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Discover 100 Alpine walks with a Cicerone guidebook - Sample Route

Cover of 100 Hut Walks in the Alps
12 May 2014
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
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100 Hut Walks in the Alps

Routes for day walks and overnight stays

by Kev Reynolds
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook has route descriptions for 100 day walks to suit alpine walkers of all abilities, with suggestions for some hut-to-hut tours. These routes take you through breathtaking scenery in the Maritime Alps, Julian Alps, Gran Paradiso, the Turnitzer Alps, Bernese Oberland, the Kitzbuheler Alps and the Dolomites of South Tirol.

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Extending in huge arc of more than 1000km (620 miles) from the Mediterranean coast near Nice to the low, wooded foothills outside Vienna, the Alps display the full gamut of mountain landscape features. All of the routes in this guide have been specially selected to show the amazing diversity of this wonderful mountain chain.

There are walks to suit every taste: gentle and undemanding, long and tough, and everything in between. Most of the routes avoid climbing of a technical nature except the odd scramble aided by a fixed rope. Glacier crossings where crevasses lurk for the unwary have also been avoided in the main, although just a small handful of walks stray onto ice in order to reach a distant hut.

Located in some of the most breathtaking locations in the Alps, mountain huts provide welcome facilities and a focus for all the walks in this guide – whether you choose to stay overnight or simply to have lunch or a drink on the terrace. They come in all shapes and sizes, from simple unstaffed shelters to bustling mountain inns with hot showers and restaurant service.

  • 100 routes to suit alpine walkers of all abilities, with suggestions for some hut-to-hut tours
  • background information on walking in the Alps and staying in mountain huts
  • covers France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Slovenia
  • Seasons
    Most huts are staffed from July to the end of September (see guide for details).
  • Centres
    Chamonix, Briançon, Zermatt, Grindelwald, St Moritz, Aosta, Cortina, Innsbruck, Kitzbühel, Trenta and Kranjska Gora.
  • Difficulty
    From undemanding to long, tough walks, the routes suit alpine walkers of all abilities. Basic navigation skills are required. Some routes feature scrambling and easy glacier walking.
  • Must See
    The overall hut experience is the main highlight. This includes hot showers at the end of the route, sunset views from the hut, lunch on the terrace and the companionship of other walkers.

Sept 2014

Readers planning to visit the Monte Rosa Hut above Zermatt, described as Walk 28 in 100 Hut Walks in the Alps, are warned that as a result of climate change the route as described is no longer valid.  Descent onto the Gorner glacier is now by way of near-vertical ladders, and the hike over the glacier crosses numerous widening crevasses. Unless experienced and adequately equipped for glacier travel the Zermatt website ( recommends all potential walkers on this route to hire a mountain guide.

May 2014

Since this guide went to print, certain website changes have come to our attention. (They have been corrected in the digital formats.)

They are as follows: > > > > > >


Mountain Huts
Walking in the Alps
Paths and Waymarks
Safety in the Mountains
The Alpine Environment
Recommended Maps and Guides
Using this Guide
The French Alps
1: Refuge de Valmasque (Maritime Alps)
2: Refuge des Merveilles (Maritime Alps)
3: Refuge de Nice (Maritime Alps)
4: Refuge de Cougourde (Maritime Alps)
5: Refuge de Gialorgues (Maritime Alps)
6: Refuge du Balif Viso (Dauphiné Alps – Queyras Region)
7: Refuge des Bans (Dauphiné Alps – Massif des Écrins)
8: Refuge du Pré de Chaumette (Dauphiné Alps – Massif des Écrins)
9: Refuge de Vallonpierre (Dauphiné Alps – Massif des Écrins)
10: Refuge du Glacier Blanc (Dauphiné Alps – Massif des Écrins)
11: Refuge du Carrelet (Dauphiné Alps – Massif des Écrins)
12: Refuge du Châtelleret (Dauphiné Alps – Massif des Écrins)
13: Refuge de l’Orgère (Graian Alps – Vanoise National Park)
14: Refuge de l’Arpont (Graian Alps – Vanoise National Park)
15: Refuge d’Entre Deux Eaux (Graian Alps – Vanoise National Park)
16: Refuge de la Leisse (Graian Alps – Vanoise National Park)
17: Refuge du Col de la Vanoise (Graian Alps – Vanoise National Park)
18: Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme (Mont Blanc Range)
19: Refuge de Bellachat (Mont Blanc Range)
20: Refuge du Lac Blanc (Mont Blanc Range)
The Swiss Alps
21: Cabane du Mont-Fort (Pennine Alps)
22: Cabane de Chanrion (Pennine Alps)
23: Cabane des Dix (Pennine Alps)
24: Cabane des Aiguilles-Rouges (Pennine Alps)
25: Cabane de Moiry (Pennine Alps)
26: Cabane du Petit Mountet (Pennine Alps)
27: Täsch Hut (Pennine Alps)
28: Monte Rosa Hut (Pennine Alps)
29: Hörnli Hut (Pennine Alps)
30: Schönbiel Hut (Pennine Alps)
31: Mischabel Hut (Pennine Alps)
32: Britannia Hut (Pennine Alps)
33: Gelten Hut (Bernese Alps)
34: Wildhorn Hut (Bernese Alps)
35: Fründen Hut (Bernese Alps)
36: Blümlisalp Hut (Bernese Alps)
37: Balmhorn Hut (Bernese Alps)
38: Lötschenpass Hut (Bernese Alps)
39: Rottal Hut (Bernese Alps)
40: Schmadri Hut (Bernese Alps)
41: Weber Hut (Bernese Alps)
42: Burg Hut (Bernese Alps)
43: Damma Hut (Central Swiss Alps)
44: Chelenalp Hut (Central Swiss Alps)
45: Tresch Hut (Central Swiss Alps)
46: Windgällen Hut (Central Swiss Alps)
47: Capanna Basodino (Lepontine Alps)
48: Capanna Cristallina (Lepontine Alps)
49: Capanna Leit (Lepontine Alps)
50: Capanna Cadagno (Lepontine Alps)
51: Carschina Hut (Rätikon Alps)
52: Chamanna Tuoi (Silvretta Alps)
53: Blockhaus Cluozza (Bernina Alps – Swiss National Park)
54: Coaz Hut (Bernina Alps)
55: Boval Hut (Bernina Alps)
56: Albigna Hut (Bregaglia Alps)
57: Sasc-Furä Hut (Bregaglia Alps)
58: Sciora Hut (Bregaglia Alps)
The Italian Alps
59: Rifugio Benevolo (Gran Paradiso)
60: Rifugio F. Chabod (Gran Paradiso)
61: Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele (Gran Paradiso)
62: Rifugio Vittorio Sella (Gran Paradiso)
63: Rifugio Elisabetta (Mont Blanc Range)
64: Rifugio Bonatti (Mont Blanc Range)
65: Rifugio Luigi Brasca (Bregaglia Alps)
66: Rifugio A. Omio (Bregaglia Alps)
67: Rifugio C. Ponti (Bregaglia Alps)
68: Rifugio Longoni (Bernina Alps)
69: Rifugio Larcher (Ortler Alps)
70: Rifugio Mandrone (Adamello Group)
71: Rifugio Tuckett (Brenta Dolomites)
72: Rifugio Brentei (Brenta Dolomites)
73: Rifugio Puez (Dolomites – Puez-Odle Group)
74: Rifugio Vicenza (Dolomites – Sassolungo Group)
75: Rifugio Viel del Pan (Dolomites – Marmolada Group)
76: Rifugio Pian di Cengia (Sexten Dolomites)
77: Rifugio Locatelli (Sexten Dolomites)
78: Rifugio Vandelli (Dolomites – Sorapiss Group)
The Austrian Alps
79: Saarbrücker Hut (Silvretta Alps)
80: Wiesbadner Hut (Silvretta Alps)
81: Täschach Haus (Ötztal Alps)
82: Braunschweiger Hut (Ötztal Alps)
83: Innsbrucker Hut (Stubai Alps)
84: Bremer Hut (Stubai Alps)
85: Franz Senn Hut (Stubai Alps)
86: Starkenburger Hut (Stubai Alps)
87: Berliner Hut (Zillertal Alps)
88: Plauener Hut (Zillertal Alps)
89: Grutten Hut (Kaisergebirge)
90: Brechhornhaus (Kitzbüheler Alps)
91: Bochumer Hut (Kitzbüheler Alps)
92: Schönleiten Hut (Kitzbüheler Alps)
93: Bürgl Hut (Kitzbüheler Alps)
94: Statzerhaus (Salzburger Schiefer Alps)
95: Salzburger Hut (Glockner Group)
96: Kals-Matreier-Törlhaus (Granatspitz Group)
97: Nassfeldhaus (Carnic Alps)
98: Julius-Seitner Hut (Türnitzer Alps)
The Julian Alps
99: Triglav Lakes Hut (Julian Alps)
100: Bogatinom Hut (Julian Alps)
Appendix A Useful Addresses
Appendix B Suggested Equipment List
Appendix C Glossary
Appendix D Bibliography

Sample Route

Refuge de Valmasque (2221m: 7287ft)
StartNat. Park entrance (1732m: 5683ft)
Valley baseCasterino or St-Dalmas
Distance11km (7 miles) round trip
Total ascent489m (1604ft)
Time2hrs up, 1½hrs down
MapDidier Richard 9 ‘Mercantour’ 1:50,000

The Vallée de la Roya, flowing south from Col de Tende, marks the eastern limit of the Maritime Alps. To the west the Mercantour National Park runs against the Franco-Italian border, and within it lies some firstrate walking country. Several huts grouped within a comparatively small area are linked by accessible cols. The first of these is Refuge de Valmasque. Overlooking a small dammed lake at the head of the Valmasque valley, it is reached by a short but interesting walk from a narrow road which projects deep into the mountains from St-Dalmas-de-Tende. Walkers without their own transport can take a twice-daily bus from St-Dalmas railway station as far as Casterino (13km), and begin the walk there – in which case add 5km and a further 1½hrs to the overall route.

About 3km upvalley from the hamlet of Casterino, the narrow jeep road forks at the entrance to the Mercantour National Park; vehicles should be parked here. At this point wander along a stony track, signposted to Refuge de Valmasque, soon looking steeply down to the Valmasque stream. Green mountains on the north side of the valley rise to the Italian frontier, while the track rises gently among larch, rowan and alder and curves south-west towards wilder country marked by jagged, rocky peaks. After about 40mins an alternative path slants off right ahead to explore Lac de l’Agnel. We remain on the track for a further 15mins to reach a barrier (2027m).

Supply mule on its way to Refuge de Valmasque

Now take a narrow path rising on the left. At first steeply, the angle soon eases across a small pasture with a fine stream flowing through. The path accompanies this stream upvalley, then rises to a higher level and crosses the stream below a cascade. At a junction of paths take the upper option and eventually gain a high, rocky terrace where you traverse to the right (north). The trail forks; the left branch leads to the Baisse de Valmasque via Lac Noir and Lac du Basto, the right-hand option is marked to the refuge. This latter trail contours over a hillside of bald slabs, passes a ruin, climbs a little to a second ruin, now with the hut in sight, and slopes down to the small barrage at the eastern end of Lac Vert. The hut is perched on a rocky knoll on the far side overlooking a wild and rocky landscape dominated by Cime Montolivo, Cime Chamineye, and Cime Lusiere. Above the latter rises the cone of Mont Clapier.

Refuge de Valmasque belongs to the CAF (Section Nice). It has 54 places and a guardian is in residence from mid-June to the end of September; meals available. (Tel CAF, Nice: 04 92 31 91 20, email: cafnice@cafniceorg, web:

Unless your plan is to make a cross-country journey to Refuge des Merveilles (see Walk 2), return by the same path as the upward route. Allow 1½hrs to the roadhead.

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