Want to Sleep on Top of a Mountain? The Bertol Hut in Switzerland Might Be Just Right for You!

Ryan Kime | BackcountryBackcountry | Industry NewsIndustry News
Bertol Hut
Bertol Hut – Classic Haute Route pc:jebiga

At an elevation of 3,311 meters (10,863 ft.), sitting high above the glacier pass which shares its name, the Bertol Hut is undoubtedly one of the iconic huts along the Haute Route. 

Since “The High-Level Route” was originally named by its English hikers who first traversed it in the 1850s, it has become an alpinist’s dream trek. Traveling approximately 120 miles across glaciers and over mountain passes, the Haute Route wanders its way from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland. Today, it’s a world-class destination attracting all types of serious alpinists and enthusiasts alike.

Haute Route Map
Haute Route pc:wanderam 

The Bertol Hut is part of a Swiss mountain hut system stretched across the classic  Haute Route. The Bertol Hut is a common stop on Day 2 of a reverse ski tour, traveling from Zermatt to Chamonix. This reverse direction affords ski tourers certain advantages in terms of easier climbs and traverses.

Map Bertol Hut
Topographical map Col de Bertol, pc:expeditionreview

The Bertol Hut rests atop Bertol Pass overlooking the Mont Minè Glacier to its east and part of the Valais Alps. The hut is maintained and operated by the Neuchatel Swiss Alpine Club and was originally built in Geneva before being reassembled on the mountaintop between 1896 and 1898. A major renovation was performed in 1976 in addition to a number of other remodelings occurring along the way. All in all, it resembles a fairly modern (<50 years) dwelling perched on top of the mountain.

Before leaving, family caretakers Jean Georges and his nephew, Jean Favre, operated the Bertol Hut for almost 75 years infusing a story-telling, climber-type atmosphere to go along with their beers, soups, and assorted pies.

That’s no longer the case, and today’s hut offers a good amount of food and beverages for its travelers. So much, in fact, there is no need to bring all your own supplies. Beer, wine—even Schnapps—as well as assorted foods and meals are all for sale and prepared for the many hikers, runners, ski tourers, and climbers who stay there.

Check Out These Pictures!!

Bertol Hut on Col Des Bertol
View of the Bertol Hut, pc:cas-neuchatel
View Bertol Hut
Ascent to the Bertol Hut, pc:cas-neuchatel

Sometimes you just have to work for it!” is a statement you’ll hear commonly among new visitors to the Bertol Hut. And that statement doesn’t fall far from the mark when considering the final ascent to the hut. With another 129 meters of ladder and cables to reach the doorsteps, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart!

However difficult the ascent may, or may not be, you’ll still be hard-pressed to find a single person who wasn’t happy with the views they uncover. Spectacular!!

Fun & Interesting Facts about The Bertol Hut

  • They take reservations, and actually, they are recommended!!
  • Don’t wear shoes inside!  Keep them outside or on your shoe rack.
  • Expect expensive with the trade-off being that you can also travel light.
  • Carry all important hand sanitizer.
  • Offer to lend a hand and help out with the dishes or even bring a piece or two of fresh fruit for the hut caretakers!
  • Bring a pair of earplugs… you never use them until you NEED them!
ascent to Berto Hut
Bertol Hut ladders pc: screenshot, alpine-guides
Bertol Hut
Bertol Hut ladders and stairs, pc:jebiga
Bertol Hut
Another view of Bertol Hut ladders from above, pc: couselyhouston.com
Bertol Hut
Grand perspective from Bertol Hut, pc: cosleyhouston.com

Reverie and relaxation inside the common area. You never know who you might run into?

inside Bertol Hut
Reverie inside Bertol Hut, pc:cas-nachatel
inside Bertol Hut
Bertol Hut accommodations, pc:jebiga

Accommodations are simple, but functional with bunk beds and cots available for reservation.

Bertol Hut system
Bertol Hut sleeping arrangements pc:sac-cas.ch 


rearview of Bertol Hut
Bertol Hut snow removal, pc:sac-ces.ch
rear view of Bertol Hut
Bertol Hut exterior view, pc:sac-ces.ch
Bertol Hut
Bertol Hut viewpoint, pc:sac-ces.ch
view from Bertol Hut
Viewpoint from Bertol Hut, pc:jebiga

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8 thoughts on “Want to Sleep on Top of a Mountain? The Bertol Hut in Switzerland Might Be Just Right for You!

  1. Its amazing how many people don’t know the legal definition of wilderness. Its also amazing how much acreage has been set aside to rot, become overgrown, makes it illegal to do fuel management on, can’t ride a bike in it, can’t push a wheel chair, can’t fly a helicopter over, can’t heli ski.

    Set aside to become overgrow and eventually burn up in massive wild fire just to appease a bunch of environmental dogmatics.

    It’s also amazing how millions of acres a year is converted to wilderness areas or wilderness study areas and how much other recreational opportunities gets destroyed for people who are a little more center of the road and less crazy when it comes to environmental protection.

    I do write my congressman. I’ve met with him several times. I also participate in several non-profits who raise money, lobby and file lawsuits to keep areas open to multiple forms of recreation.

  2. Username- the “wilderness” being referenced here is the technical designation, as in “highest level of land protection.” And in this case, over half of the designated wilderness is in the lower 48. . QAnOnYmOuS’ gripe is that this designation is keeping regular people from enjoying our public lands for arbitrary reasons. Most people live in the lower 48, that’s why its an issue. No one thinks Alaska isnt wild, that’s just not the conversation thats happening

  3. Imagine knowing where the hut system is and how much better and less crowded it could be.

  4. Imagine all the Sierra Club red tape and lawsuits that would happen if you tried to build something so harmless in Wilderness areas in America.

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