The sunrays in the morning make any breakfast with products from the mountain pastures taste twice as good. The free spirit on the mountains makes ‘civilization’ and daily routine seem far away. Life is not ruled by the clock but by nature! At any time you fancy, you could go on a hike, get cosy on a wooden bench with a good book, play with the butterflies on the pasture or just enjoy the vastness of the mountains. Whether it’s a rustic self-catering hut with outhouse, open fireplace and romantic candlelight, managed mountain hut with overnight stay or comfortable hut village that offers luxurious service, wellness and cuisine – the elation of the mountain experience is unique in every category.
Life on the mountain hut
The days are often long and busy for the mountain hut keepers who hold the fort on the mountain all summer long. They make sure to look after their guests with the typical warm hospitality and to provide them with a comfortable bed to sleep in – high under the summit cross. Clear panorama vision, rewarding views and attractive mountain tours lure mountaineers out of bed in the early hours when they are already greeted with the smell of fresh coffee in the common room. The mountain hut keepers have already prepared a delicious breakfast so that hikers can embark on their tour with zest. When they return, the cosy beds have been made and a lot of cooking and baking is happening in the kitchen to re-energise the weary hikers. In the evenings, people sociably gather around the tables with the hosts and tell tales of adventures in the mountains or hears exciting stories from everyday mountain life.
For the dedicated mountain hut keepers, running the huts at high altitudes requires a great amount of organisational effort that guests are usually not aware of. The huts are not always accessible by car or other vehicles, and despite having stocked up generously at the start of the season, fresh food and supplies from ‘civilisation’ have to be transported up to the mountains by cableway or backpack. Managed huts in the mountain regions are serviced by sophisticated logistics and with a great deal of effort to offer things that are taken completely for granted in the valley. Many visitors produce a considerable amount garbage and special attention is of course paid to this issue to preserve the pristine environment. The waste is collected, separated and transported to the valley. Most mountain huts are have fresh, clear spring water and these sources have to be constantly checked and maintained.
Fulfilling work in the mountains
Many mountain hut keepers are also farmers, and in the beginning of summer they therefore drive their cows, sheep and horses to the mountain pasture. The animals belonging to the mountain farm have be supervised. Calves are lured with salt and counted to ensure that none of them are missing and the dairy cows are milked in the barn every day – at times, they are already mooing quietly in front of the stable door at milking time to wait for the milker. Overnight guests large and small can lend a hand to their hosts and watch when Alpine produce is being prepared. The fresh milk is made into butter, cheese and yoghurt and refined with fresh herbs. When the grass on the mountain pastures is in full bloom, it is time for the mountain hut keepers to grab the scythes and generate a large reserve of hay for the winter. Guests are always welcome to rake the dry grass and after a strenuous day on the steep pastures and meadows, a deep sleep is guaranteed! Life on the mountain hut can be hard, but if you ask your mountain hut keepers if they can imagine a future without Alpine Summer, then you will certainly hear a resounding ‘no’. They will say that the work on the mountain, in harmony with nature, is more fulfilling than anything they know about life in the valley.
Have we whet your appetite for a job in the mountains? You can spend one summer as an assistant at a managed mountain hut in SalzburgerLand!