Sunday, March 29, 2015

Capanna Montagna

More than 1,300 mountain huts (or “capanna montagna” in Italian) dot the Alps across eight European countries from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany and France in the west, to Austria and Slovenia in the east, to Italy and Monaco in the south, providing hikers and climbers with accommodations and shelter in the high country.

Envision a high altitude berth with Alpine flair: cozy bunks, warm blankets, hearty meals and outstanding views. The headline in a recent CNN article about Alpine huts read: “Semi-Secret Alpine Huts; Where Hardcore Hikers Party.” “Lens-Popping Mountain Scenery! Vodka-Clear Lakes! Marmots! You Get It All,” said the kicker.

And so it is. We now have not one, but two, Alpine huts of our own in the North Cascades near the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington. The first was a tree house (above); the second is more down-to-earth (top). Both are located in the upper Wenatchee River area adjacent to the Glacier Peak and Alpine Lakes Wilderness Areas.

The property is adjacent to the junction of the Wenatchee River and the Chiwawa River (below) near Plain, Washington. Tip of the fedora to Helmut Vallindaklopf and the Steinke clan for the resources, help and guidance to make it possible. With shower house and sauna in place, we are all set for backcountry adventures this summer.

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