AN EVENTFUL HISTORY, AN ETERNAL PLACE: THE ASCHER HUT

It’s 121 years old and wears its age with dignity. The view from the Ascher Hut is astounding and the paths up to the peaks of the Samnaun range are amongst the most beautiful you can take from here. Part 5 of Trisanna’s series on the mountain huts of Paznaun.

The hut comes from the time when the Austrian and German Alpine Club still operated as a joint association. In 1896, the Asch Section built the hut under the Blankakopf at a height of 2 256 metres.

The hut was small, consisting of a single room. Instead of a wall, places were separated from each other by just a curtain.

Asch – now Aš, a small town in North West Bohemia, part of the Czech Republic – no longer belonged to Germany after the Second World War. But its former members re-established the section at the beginning of the fifties, and the section headquarters have been located in Munich since then.

The hut can be reached from the lake by a hike of around four hours. Other routes lead up from Pifang over the Medrig-Alm, taking four hours for experienced hikers and five at a more leisurely pace. Going up from Tobadill, you should reckon with around six hours to complete the climb.

In 1957 the hut underwent its first major renovation. The direction of the roof ridge was changed, and a part of the old hut was integrated into the new building. The next extension in 1975 gave the hut its current dimensions, offering 32 dormitory beds as well as the restaurant.

A whole array of mountain peaks can be reached directly from the hut, which many hikers have described as the one of the most beautiful places in Paznaun. The peaks of the Rotpleiskopf (2 936m), the Furgler (3 004m), the Gamsbergspitze (2 839m), the Blankakopf (2 892m), and the Kübelgrubenkopf (2 870m) can be reached in between two and two-and-a-half hours. It takes longer to reach the legendary Hexenkopf (3 055m), between five and six hours depending on fitness levels.

Of course, just sitting on the terrace of Ascher Hut and eating Kaiserscharren (Austrian pancakes), for example, is also an experience in itself. The view of the Verwallgruppe range and the 3 168m of the Hohen Riffler is as exciting as a short mountain tour.

ILLUSTRATION: TIM MÖLLER-KAYA