Where are the huts? Creating maps and lists

How many huts exist and where are they?

We are experimenting with a modest project: Hut Systems Map of North and South America.  Our map initiative is just one of many.  We hope to coordinate our work with that of some of the growing number of hut mapping and listing projects worldwide.  Some are focused on a particular state, region or nation, while others global in scope.  Following are some initial examples to provide a sense of the range.  We will add others as we learn about them.

  1. Tourenwelt.info – A remarkable compilation of three searchable databases of huts, peaks and trails.  Joachim Saffert’s list of huts, Jo’s Hüttenliste, is worldwide in scope.  Currently his database has over 49,000 entiries, corresponding to 27,270 huts (and 21,956  aliases).  These include many huts used by alpinists, as well as those used by walkers, skiers, and bikers.  Links to  the web pages are included.  Private cabins are not included.
  2. Hutmap.com – An ambitious GIS mapping project by two climbers, Ethan Welty and Dylan Price.  They are utilizing satellite images, topo maps, and the web to compile a comprehensive map with pins you can click on to get basic information on a hut.  Still in early stages of development, Hutmap, looks like a promising approach to very precise location of huts, cabins, caves and other shelter options for climbers and others staying in the backcountry.
  3.  Remote Huts – From their website: “This site profiles 63 high-country huts and bivouacs located on the western side of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Its aim is to promote their preservation and continued maintenance, and provide up-to-date hut, track and route information……The focus is on structures that are being minimally maintained by the Department of Conservation, or are maintain by community projects.”
  4. The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) – A coded map depicting the shelters (staffed lodge, self-service cabins, no-service cabins, and emergency shelters) and trails (summer and winter routes) in their system of about 360 huts.
  5. Colorado Hut and Yurt Alliance Map – A dandy map with map pins for each of about 130 huts and yurts.  You can peruse them by name or by geographic location and click on either to get a brief description and photo of the hut or yurt, basic information (price capacity, distance and elevation gain to get there), and links to contact the owner and make a reservation.
  6. Swiss Alpine Club “Search a Hut” Map – A useful map with pins for all 152 SAC huts and a large selection of private huts in Switzerland.  One can visually scan the country to find huts in a region, clicking on a pin to get picture of the hut along with reservations and contact information. Also has a search function by hut name to locate a hut on the map.
  7. New Zealand Department of Conservation – An interactive map of its network of over 950 huts.  Searchable, and can set parameters to view: huts, campgrounds, tracks, “Must See” places, “Historical Places”, hunting areas, conservation areas, NZ’s 9 Great Walks etc.
  8. American Alpine Club Lodging Network – A map of the lodging options provided by the AAC (used by members to support their climbs) and those of other organizations to which AAC members have reciprocal privileges (i.e. member discounts).

After this initial Post (April 2015), this list will be updated on the sub-menu page “Maps and Lists” under menu item: Hut & Operations.

Given the existing mapping  initiatives, we are working on a very limited piece of the pie which we think our readers will find useful.   Hut Systems Map of North and South America focuses on: huts (cabins, yurts and lodges) that are intentionally connected by trails and designed to be visited in a sequence over a period of days.  We are not trying to map individual huts and shelters, climbers huts, and other stand-alone, unconnected facilities.

Check out our map and follow the map marker links to the web sites of hut systems.  We have made a start on  the USA.  With your help, we will complete USA and expand to Canada, Mexico, and Central & South America. Help us by Submitting a map marker for additional North or South American hut systems.

— Sam Demas and Adam Rutkowski