My wife and I use to go hiking in the Bavarian Alps every now and then. We usually try to avoid routes that are heavily traveled by mountain bikes or spoilt by a ropeway. A serviced hut close to the summit or along the way, however, never hurts. We are great fans of the traditional, handmade alpine cuisine that is served in many of them (not forgetting the compulsory beer).
Lodges run by the Deutscher Alpenverein (German Alpine Club) are usually open almost all year round. Huts maintained by local farmers are, in contrast, only operated during summer, when the cattle grazes on the surrounding pastures.■