Closing a mountain hut and opening up to reflection

The countdown is on for the annual “Mountain Hut Course” organised by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation in cooperation with the managers of the core area of the World Heritage site. Its purpose is to map out the routes for facilitating and supporting the work of the mountain hut managers whose role is essential to the active conservation of the World Heritage site itself and to the communication of UNESCO values. The course is scheduled to take place on 18 and 19 November in Primiero, and we visited a mountain hut in the area at the beginning of October to meet its managers on closing day.

Lifting the veil on the challenges facing managers

“We gather all our belongings, thoroughly clean the mountain hut, check and secure the facilities and empty the tanks so we don’t find the hut flooded in the spring due to broken pipes.” Elisa Bettega and Piero Casagrande list the tasks to be ticked off before taking the road to down the valley floor, after more than three months of round-the-clock work. They have been managing the Velo della Madonna Mountain Hut, an eyrie on the Pale di San Martino, since 2019. One year of acclimatisation and two years of Covid have certainly been an important test of their willingness to continue this experience. Their willingness, however, appears more solid than ever, even when confronted with a lack of awareness on the part of the guests. Here they are behind the microphones at “Noi Dolomiti UNESCO”:

Video realizzato dal giornalista Giambattista Zampieri per Noi Dolomiti UNESCO

Ph. Nicolò Miana