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Matterhorn: planning of new Hörnli Hut progressing well

The Hörnli Hut is the starting point for most climbers who want to tackle the route up the Matterhorn. The now out-of-date hut is to be renovated for the 2015 anniversary year.

On fine days in July and August, up to 200 alpinists and their guides from all over the world set out to climb the Matterhorn (4478 m). To this can be added some 200 day-visitors armed with telescopes and binoculars who watch the climbers on the Hörnligrat (ridge) from the hut’s terrace.

The Hörnli Hut at 3260 m dates back to the beginning of alpinism in the Mattertal. In 1865, Edward Whymper and his roped team were the first people to stand on the summit of the Matterhorn. Since 1880, the accommodation at the foot of the Matterhorn has been constantly updated to meet the requirements of climbers and provide protection and minimal comfort. “We are making every effort to ensure that from 2015 we will be able to offer accommodation that will fulfill climbers’ requirements as well as meeting those of sustainable energy, water supply and waste water disposal in the high-Alpine region,” says Fernando Clemenz, Director of Mountain Operations at the Matterhorn Group of the Zermatt Civic Community. 2015 will be the 150th anniversary of the first ascent by Edward Whymper and his roped team.

A new generation "hut will emerge
Today’s hut, which consists of the 100-year-old Hotel Belvedere and the former SAC Hörnli Hut, no longer meets the standards expected of a mountain hut. The water and electricity supply as well as comfort and functionality will all be improved by 2015. The external walls of the old Belvedere will be renovated and finished in attractive yellow ochre. The former SAC hut next to it will be demolished and replaced by an extension linked directly to the Belvedere. It will have a conservative metal cladding.
The sloping roof will be clad with PV panels to supply electricity. Solar thermal collectors will be placed on the terraces to provide the building complex with hot water. The water supply system will also be completely renewed. The key items will be an underground water tank and a single, virtually unseen pipe. An efficient waste water and energy system will make the hut almost self-sufficient.  

After completion of the renovation work, the hut, which today has 170 beds, will be able to accommodate up to 140 climbers.

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