If you love hiking, a must-do while you’re in Switzerland is to hike to a hut in the Alps. The huts are places hikers can stay for the night with sleeping quarters, food and drink. They’re located throughout the mountain range and you can pick one according to how far you feel like hiking. Some people are hard-core, hiking from hut to hut for days while others may only do one hut and then return to civilization the next day.
The one we did was 65-year-old Rotstock-Hutte, which is about 2 1/2-3 hours from a mountain town called Murren, and 2,040 meters up. Unfortunately the day we went it was raining like a mofo. So that slowed us down a bit, especially because of the killer ascent.
But by the time we arrived at the hut, we were so grateful for getting in out of the rain. What awaited us was a gourmet five-course meal, including mini croissants filled with lardon, soup made with fresh herbs, risotto and sausages. Now it’s not like this in most hikes which usually offer just fondue, potatoes and bread. But the Rotstock-Hutte was deluxe.
There was also wine by the bottle for 35 Swiss Francs (overpriced but we didn’t mind) and beer for 6.
Claudio and Connie, “guardians” aka hosts of the hut, were so attentive and hospitable. I guess this was helped by the fact that we were the only people at the hut at the time. Apparently the high season for the huts are July and August. As it was, in June, we had the whole sleeping quarters (which sleeps about 50) to ourselves. Awesome because then we could sleep in for as long as we wanted and didn’t have to worry about curfew, which is usually 10:10pm. And Claudio and Connie made sure we didn’t want for anything.
After dinner, a few of us took a stroll around the hut, taking in the night sky with the stars the brightest we’ve ever seen them. I stayed behind, keeping warm with a cup of hot chocolate spiked with rum and topped with whipped cream.
The dinner menu here is usually spontaneously planned according to how many reservations are made. C&C usually eat whatever they cook for the guests so our dinner was their dinner, and you know it’s gotta be good if that’s the case.
After dinner we played a game of cards while C&C prepared the table for breakfast the next morning.
The accommodations themselves were surprisingly comfortable even though only consisting of a futon mattress and a quilt. You have to bring your own bedliner, we brought bed sheets, but they will rent them out to you for 5 Swiss Francs.
Only not-so-great part was the outhouse and the outdoor sink with only cold water. Blech but that’s all part of “roughing it.”
The next morning we were greeted by a breakfast of muesli, bread with fresh butter and apricot jam, cheese and dried apricots along with black tea and coffee. Simple but hardy and perfect for hikers setting off on the trek back to town.
I loved this hut even though the hike to it was a bitch during the rainy, chilly weather, it only made me appreciate it all the more. And it is a bit pricey at 70 Swiss Francs per person a night but so worth it and I recommend everyone put it on their bucket list.