Ali and Lay’s Mountaineering Blog

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Dix Hut (Cabane des Dix)

June 24th, 2007 · No Comments

Having negotiated the ladders and crossed the Cheilon glacier we arrive at the Dix Hut perched below a rocky knoll known as the Tête Noire at 2,928m. 

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The Dix has room for 150 people.  Given it’s location on the classic Chamonix – Zermatt  haute route it is one of the most popular mountain huts in the Valais.  For the past six years it has been staffed by Pierre-Antoine and Béatrice Sierro who gave us a warm and friendly welcome.  The Dix features in the highly recommended Alpine Essentials DVD released by the BMC. 

We negotiated a small discount with Pierre on production of a valid standard BMC membership card.  Larger discounts of up to 50% are available on production of a Reciprocal Rights card.  For those living in the UK, who plan to stay more than just a few nights in Alpine huts, it may be worthwhile joining the Austrian Alpine Club (UK)

To the UK purist the network of alpine mountain huts may, at first glance, be somewhat of a blot on the landscape.  It is true that some huts (not the Dix) are indeed large and built for function rather than architectural aesthetics.  Frankly they are big and ugly. 

However, they serve an essential service to the Alpinist as they allow:

  • time to be spent in the range close to the proposed routes and without the burden of a heavy rucksack.
  • several routes to be attempted before returning to the valley.
  • the mountain equivalent of long distance paths, such as the Haute Route to be spread over a number of days by travelling from hut to hut.
  • early morning starts – in the Alps one needs to summit early in the morning to avoid the afternoon snow melt.
  • altitude acclimatisation – sleeping at altitude can significantly improve success rates on 4000+m peaks.

At any rate, even the largest and ugliest hut seems to disappear in the sheer scale of the alpine vista. 

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All the supplies (and waste) has to be transported by helicopter

Tags: Arolla

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