BarcelonaThis summer, more than ever, we need fresh air. To fill our lungs with oxygen and release the tension accumulated in a pandemic year that has tested our ability to be resilient. Difficult times call for a change, even if it's just for a couple of days. And the best change can be to immerse yourself in one of the wonderful mountain landscapes that our country offers us, which can heal. Breathe in, stretch your muscles and let yourself be carried away by a natural environment that will reconcile you with life. If this is what you are looking for, you can include in your summer schedule a getaway to the mountains to recharge your batteries. And if you want to make it more authentic, you can choose to stay in one of the many and essential mountain huts in our regions. They are ideal places to enjoy a night in the mountains or to make a stop on your hiking routes.
You have to keep in mind that there are several types of shelters. Apart from forest huts, which are scattered around the lower part of the mountain, in Catalonia there are three types of mountain refuges: bivouac huts, sheltered huts and hostel huts. Bivouac shelters are small (for 4-20 people) and are always open, without a guard. They have bunk beds, an emergency transmitter and rescue material. The shelters are quite spacious, offer a series of basic services (with the anti-covid measures it would be necessary to contact them beforehand to find out what these are) and are open in summer and in holiday periods. In the absence of the ranger, there is a space for a few people which is used as a bivouac shelter. To sleep there you must make a reservation in advance. Finally, shelters (or chalets) are usually open all year round, offer quality services and are located in places that can be reached at any time of the year by vehicle. In order to make the best use of the sheltered huts, it is recommended, whenever possible, to book a place to stay in advance. Keep in mind that they are spaces designed for short stays.
La Basseta hut
Located in a privileged environment, in the Alt Pirineu Natural Park, it is an ideal place to enjoy nature all year round. In winter it serves the cross-country ski resort of Sant Joan de l'Erm with equipment hire and ski school, as well as being a meeting point for lovers of doing sport with dogs. In summer it offers mountain bike rental and a multitude of walking routes. We recommend you to follow the simple and flat route that connects the current sanctuary of Sant Joan de l'Erm Nou with the old sanctuary of Sant Joan de l'Erm Vell. They are separated by five kilometres of forests full of magic in the Alt Pirineu Natural Park.
Comes de Rubió hut
Located at an altitude of 1980 metres, it is in the incomparable setting of the Alt Pirineu Natural Park, in the Orri massif, an area where you can do many outdoor activities at all times of the year: hiking, trail running,mountain biking, snowshoeing, ski mountaineering, igloos, 4x4, mushroom picking, horse riding or paragliding. With a very unique and cozy building, in winter, when it is all snowy, it offers a magnificent picture.
The Amics de Montgarri hut is located in the picturesque abandoned village of Montgarri, located in the old vicarage of the village, next to the church Mare de Déu de Montgarri, from the 16th century, built on an old hermitage from the 12th century. It is highly recommended to get there on foot by any of the two tracks that border the river Noguera, although you can also get there by car from the Pla de Beret car park or from the forest track that leaves from Alòs d'Isil. In summer you can do cycling routes and in winter you can enjoy a dog sled ride and taste a typical Aranese pot.
Josep Maria Blanc hut
It is a mountain refuge located in the valley of Peguera, in the municipality of Espot. Located at an altitude of 2,350 metres, it is to the right of the Tort de Peguera lake, within the boundaries of the Aigüestortes and Sant Maurici Lake National Park. Its location makes it a privileged place for hiking, ascents to the peaks of Peguera, Monestero, Saburó and Muntanyò, or simply to enjoy nature. It has 60 places to spend the night and is equipped with washbasin, hot water showers and heating. The kitchen service offers the comfort of not having to worry about food and drink and the opportunity to taste the typical specialities of a high mountain shelter.
Colomina mountain hut
It is located in Vall Fosca, right next to the Colomina pond, at an altitude of 2,420 metres. The building was constructed in 1917. It was known as Casa Keller, the name of the Swiss engineer who lived in it and from where he directed what was the first great hydroelectric work of the State. It is located in an area with a multitude of hiking possibilities both in summer - such as the popular Carros de Foc route - and in winter, with ski mountaineering. The GR-11.20, one of the variants of the Trans-Pyrenean long-distance footpath, also passes through the refuge. From the Sallent reservoir you can take the cable car that goes up to the Gento pond and from there take the route to the Colomina pond.
There are few places as magical as the Gerdar fir forest, the largest in the Peninsula, and few routes as recommendable as going from the hut to the Gerber waterfall. With good weather you can hike or cycle, and with the arrival of the snow you have the ski resorts of Baqueira Beret 5 kilometers away -you only have to go up the always magnificent Port de la Bonaigua-. If you want to do a route, they offer the option of linking the shelters of the Carros de Foc circuit.
Mountain hut in the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, from where you can discover a wide range of itineraries on foot, mountain bike or horseback and you can also enjoy ten permanent orienteering circuits. Located at an altitude of 1,640 metres, the shelter had been a farmhouse, but it had not been inhabited for many years and in the 50s it was recovered as a hut. It is located under the Pedró dels Quatre Batlles (Tossa d'Alp), on the southeast slope of Coma Bella.
Hut refuge located at the foot of the slopes of the ski resort of Port del Compte and offering magnificent views of the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees. Located at 1,767 metres above sea level, it offers all the services and an occupancy of 44 beds. From the hostel you can do several activities throughout the year, such as skiing, hiking, climbing, paragliding and BBT and road bike routes. In addition, it is very close to the magnificent Llosa de Cavall reservoir, where you can enjoy kayaking in summer.
Cap del Rec hut
Located in Lles de Cerdanya, is a very busy shelter that occupies a large stone and wood chalet located in a place of great beauty, surrounded by forests. Situated at an altitude of 1,960 metres, it is next to the slopes of the Lles Nòrdic ski resort and offers direct access to many hiking trails. There are private and shared rooms, all with shared bathrooms, and the restaurant offers local cuisine.
Agulles-Vicenç Barbé hut
Hut with a capacity for 20 people that is located in the area of Agulles, on the southern slope of the massif of Montserrat. It offers basic services (washbasin, wood stove, internet, blankets, food and drinks) and hiking, equipped trails and above all climbing are the star activities that can be done from this shelter, named after the climber Vicenç Barbé, who died in 1942 while climbing the Frares Encantats.
Three basic tips for going to the mountains
1. Plan the activity taking into account the level of the group. Adapt the route, duration and slope and be clear about the level of difficulty of the outing and its duration.
2. Get information about the weather conditions and inform family or friends of your route and schedule.
3. Bring appropriate equipment (footwear and spare socks) to the activity you want to do and clothing for possible changes in weather (warm and waterproof clothes). Carry a headlamp in your backpack in case it gets dark or you get lost. Do not forget to wear sunscreen, hat and lip balm and bring enough water and food.