March 16, 2014

Huckberry | The Solvay Hut

A little over 14,000 feet at its summit, snow and rain fall year-round on the Matterhorn, and diving nighttime temperatures often create dicey conditions. The ascent is best attempted “in good nick,” during one of the 30 or so days a year when the weather is dry and the terrain is free of snow and ice. If you make a stab at the Matterhorn on one of the other 335, however, the unpredictable weather means that there’s a chance you’ll need to take refuge. 1,500 feet below the peak, The Solvay Hut is built right into the rock, an alpine oasis of sorts.

The Solvay Hut was built in 1915, half a century after the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. In just five days during the fall of 1915, the materials were hauled up the side of the mountain with the help of pack animals and a stopgap cable car. Following his retirement, Ernest Solvay, a Belgian chemist, inventor, and businessman who developed a fondness for climbing the Matterhorn commissioned the project.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 16, 2014 9:45 PM
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