#MOUNTAINHUTLIFE: we’re online!

The ropes of the cableways that sway as they carry the load at the beginning of the season. The generator that turns on. If it turns on. The stove that heats the walls, a little at a time. The water hoses that have to be pulled, this year a little further, in search of the snow that isn’t there and the spring that “gushes” too little. All this is #mountainhutlife, the awareness campaign created by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation in synergy with the World Heritage Mountain Huts, to share experiences of life in a mountain hut through short videos posted on social media. The campaign was presented on 5 May at the Trento Film Festival and has already been widely shared, as was the aim. The purpose is to encourage users to be respectful of the environmental context in which they find themselves and aware of the limits that the mountains impose on everything, even on the work of mountain hut managers.

“Day-to-day” heritage

Small glimpses of everyday life that relate the work of the mountain manager – from supplying water and provisions, to maintaining the paths, to welcoming increasingly demanding guests. The testimonials that are already circulating online were echoed in real life during the official presentation of the initiative, which took place in the prestigious setting of Palazzo Roccabruna with Trento Film Festival director Luana Bisesti and UNESCO Dolomites Foundation director Mara Nemela in attendance. Roberta Silva, president of the Trentino Mountain Hut Association and manager of the Roda di Vael mountain hut (TN), Marika Freschi, manager of the Pordenone mountain hut (PN), Raffaele Alimonta, of the Alimonta mountain hut (TN) and Mario Fiorentini, president of the Association of Mountain Hut Managers in Veneto (AGRAV) and manager of the Città di Fiume mountain hut (BL) were also on hand to share their experiences. Also present were numerous mountain hut managers from all over the Dolomites who, in recent years, have been reached by the services of “Noi Dolomiti UNESCO”, from which part of their stories will be drawn and told in first person along with simple videos made during their days at high altitude. The purpose of #mountainhutlife is to provide unfiltered information that will give hikers an understanding of the delicate environmental context in which the mountain hut managers live and work. The hope is that visitors will be encouraged to adopt increasingly conscientious behaviour.

The uniqueness of the Dolomites
is also behind the scenes

“Each mountain hut is unique and also has its own idiosyncrasies in terms of the services it is willing and able to offer. “The offer also conditions the behaviour of the hiker”, stressed UNESCO Dolomites Foundation director Mara Nemela, “giving a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the path that food takes on its way to the table or the route that water traverses before gushing from the showerhead are just a few tangible examples that can encourage hikers to adopt a more responsible approach to the mountains. #mountainhutlife is therefore a slow, step-by-step approach to the Dolomites, guided by the testimony of mountain hut managers, the true sentinels of the Dolomites.” And while presenting the campaign, the managers said they were willing to accompany their own clients to have a look around, consider the context in which they find themselves and calibrate their requests accordingly. “For themselves, even more than for us”, Marika Freschi, of the Pordenone mountain hut, commented, “in fact, we often find ourselves playing the role of psychologists as well – in addition to informing, training, and directing, we have to know how to listen, and it is in those moments that the harmony we need to get certain messages across comes about.”

Taking off “with a bang”

The start of the project has had a wide response in the media, and the first videos are already getting a significant number of views and shares. You can find them by following the Foundation’s social media channels @DolomitesUNESCO (FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAMYOUTUBE). We invite all enthusiasts to do their part to spread the values underlying the campaign. Every like, comment or share gets the message out to more people. The short video clips lasting a few seconds will be merged into a great collective story that we hope to share with you all soon!

Ph. la spesa al Rifugio Antermoia