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Central Technical Teams


Central Alpine Hut and Works Commission

Central Alpine Hut and Works Commission



Mountain huts could be defined as “hostels – not hotels – and places of public utility situated in the mountains at a certain altitude”. They offer board and lodging and, at the same time, provide a base for mountain activities.

The boom in mountaineering and climbing in the 1800s showed the need to set up permanent bases for access to the higher peaks.

The main impulse came from the Club Alpino Italiano, set up in 1863, which built the first mountain huts: on Mount Monviso the Rifugio Alpetto (today a museum) and on the Matterhorn the Rifugio della Cravatta in 1886. By 1900 the CAI already owned 98 mountain huts and had 5400 members.

In addition to their main role as resting points and overnight hostels along the trail, many mountain huts are also seen as destinations in their own right, the end of a trek and the last outpost of civilization that can be reached in complete safety.

Today, right across the Alpine chain and along the Apennines, including Sicily, there are 428 mountain huts, 226 permanent shelters,  68 CAI huts, 27 aid stations and 16 emergency shelters.
These facilities can accommodate over 21,000 mountain visitors.

Some mountain huts can accommodate hundreds of people, others just a handful. All the huts are anyway a ‘home from home’, both for expert mountaineers and for amateurs, a safe, protected place. Without such facilities, approaching the mountains would be much more difficult and more exacting.

Given their particular location and the purpose for which they were built, mountain huts can and should also be privileged places for undertaking actions that are based on an informed approach to the mountains.

The Central Commission for Mountain Huts and Alpine Works, with the help of the Regional Commissions of the same name, checks that these facilities are working properly and coordinates the distribution of funds for any refurbishing work that may be required.

Thanks to the technical experience of its members, the Commission can offer the local branches that own mountain huts technical and normative advice in various fields: health and hygiene, fire-fighting and safety.






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