By Jack Day
If you enjoy climbing mountains, then this story may inspire your ambitions for adventure. High in the Swiss Alps, 14,692 feet to be specific, there lies the majestic Matterhorn. As one of the tallest peaks in all of Europe, it has been made famous over the years through movies, books, and even amusement park rides. What’s so great about it? Well other than being admired for it’s nearly perfect pyramid shape, the mountain has a certain mystique about it that calls to all who have the heart of an explorer.
For instance, more than half way up one of the sides of the Matterhorn there sits a small precarious looking cabin where no human construction should exist. It was first built in 1915 by using animals to haul the supplies up the mountain. At 13,133 feet the Solvay Hut, named after it’s builder and avid mountaineer Ernest Solvay (1838-1922), is the highest in all of the Swiss Alps. Wait, there’s more? Even more impressive is that it only took five days to build.
Solvay donated the structure to the Swiss Alpine Club as a way to show his gratitude to the mountains he loved so much and fellow climbers who could use the building as an emergency shelter. It was fixed up once in the 60’s and again the late 70’s, and now celebrates it’s 100th birthday this year. Not bad for 5 days work. Check out the pictures and see if you become inspired by this “mountain oasis.”
So, do you think you could make it to the Solvay Hut? C’mon, it’s like 15,000 feet shorter than Mount Everest! You could do this in your sleep! OK, so that’s not advisable, but it does seem doable. Tell us your stories and comments please!