One of the casualties resulting from the extremely heavy snowfall in the Austrian Alps this winter was the Totalp Hut on the slopes of Schesaplana, highest of the Rätikon Alps.
One of the casualties resulting from the extremely heavy snowfall in the Austrian Alps this winter was the Totalp Hut on the slopes of Schesaplana, highest of the Rätikon Alps. It was totally destroyed by avalanche, along with its seilbahn (equipment lift), and will therefore be unavailable for accommodation or refreshments until it can be rebuilt.
Owned by Sektion Vorarlberg of the Austrian Alpine Club, the hut stood – as its name implies – in the stony basin of the ‘dead alp’ some 400 metres above the turquoise Lünersee at 2385m, and was listed as one of the top ten huts in The Mountain Hut Book. It was used not only by climbers and walkers making the ascent of the Schesaplana, but as an optional diversion by trekkers tackling the multi-day Rätikon Höhenweg hut tour. The spectacular view across the Lünersee to the mountain ridge that carries the Austro/Swiss border was a memorable feature of an overnight there. (See Trekking in the Silvretta and Rätikon Alps)
Fortunately the Douglass Hut is only 1½ hours away, so visitors should still be catered for until the Totalp can be rebuilt, but the loss of the hut will also affect the livelihood of a number of people who worked there. Donations towards its replacement will no doubt be welcomed by the UK branch (Sektion Britannia) of the Austrian Alpine Club – www.aacuk.org.uk