Summer 2020 in the Dolomites: 5 simple rules for visiting the mountain huts

Reservations are required for overnight stays and recommended for meals; use hand gel and face masks in the public areas; maintain the required physical distance; bring a towel and slippers, and ask the manager what arrangements are in place for overnight stays at the various mountain huts. These are the five basic rules for visitors to the mountain huts, and they show that there are many common features to the arrangements put in place by the various Regions and Provinces that share the Dolomites World Heritage Site. The information campaign for this summer is the result of excellent team work, coordinated by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and involving mountaineering associations in the Dolomite region and local associations of mountain hut managers.

Summer 2020 in mountain huts:
different rules, but not too many

The guiding principles behind the protocols adopted by the Regions and Provinces are all very similar, and compliance with the rules for summer 2020 requires willingness on the part of the hiker to plan and adapt, and an extra effort on the part of the mountain hut manager. With regard to catering facilities: there are variations not only between the different areas, but also between individual mountain huts, because everything depends on the amount of space available. To ensure that safety is not compromised, the number of beds will also vary, but in all cases guests will need to bring their own equipment, and will also have to make a reservation.

The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, working together with the AVS – Alpenverein Südtirol, CAI Alto Adige (Italian Alpine Club of South Tyrol), CAI Friuli-Venezia Giulia, CAI Veneto, SAT – Società Alpinisti Tridentini (Trentino Mountaineering Association), Schutzhütten/Rifugi Alpini Südtirol (South Tyrol Alpine Huts Association), Associazione Rifugi del Trentino (Trentino Mountain Huts Association) and AGRAV – Associazione Gestori Rifugi Alpini Veneto (Veneto Mountain Hut Managers’ Association), has composed a notice for hikers, which is valid in all circumstances and begins with compliance with all the current regulations.

There are 5 safety rules for the mountain huts in the Dolomites, and they are based on the assumption that we will all behave responsibly in the first place. Here are the 5 golden rules:

  1. Booking is essential for accommodation and recommended for meals
  2. Use a mask and disinfectant gel in the common areas
  3. Always keep a distance according to the rules
  4. Ask the mountain hut manager what you need for an overnight stay You are in any case recommended to bring a sleeping bag
  5. Bring slippers and a towel with you

The notice with the 5 safety rules will be displayed on the social media channels for all the mountain huts and mountaineering associations that contributed to its creation, and will also feature on the social media networks of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation. We hope that in this way it will become widely visible online and will reach the largest possible number of potential mountain-goers, allowing them to make proper plans for their trip and their stay in a mountain hut.

The role of the mountain hut manager is central to it all

This information campaign aims to support both hikers and mountain hut managers during a complex and exceptional summer. We must not forget the extraordinary work of the managers, whose responsibilities during the COVID-19 crisis have greatly increased, so much so that they feared initially they would have to close their doors for the summer. There are many differences and variations between the mountain huts, as each facility is unique. The aim of this information campaign is to facilitate responsible visits to the Dolomites. Making enquiries before leaving is always a rule in the mountains, and at the time of COVID-19 this is more important than ever. It will certainly be a very different summer, and it will be up to all of us to make it special. With a few clear, simple rules that apply to all areas of the Dolomites, it is easier to communicate the correct way to behave.

We are sure that under every mask there will always be that smile that comes with an awareness of the great privilege of being among the world’s most beautiful mountains: whether for work or for pleasure. The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation wishes everyone a good, safe time in the mountains and a good summer’s work for the managers!

Download the 5 rules here!