Manuel and its hut
Photo: Manuel Agreiter
He does not see himself as a hut ‘manager’. More of a dweller, actually. He has been taking care of one of the most traditional huts of the Dolomites, the Franz Kostner in Vallon sotto il Boè at 2,600 m altitude for quite some time now. You can manage a hotel, a fuel station, a clothes shop. Managing a hut… well, you can only truly experience a hut by living (in) it. From dawn to dusk, and during every night; between June and October, without heading down once to the valley; without using the lifts, only when it is absolutely necessary. Two rides in the helicopter, at the start and end of the season, to move heavy material. That is it. Manuel is a mountain guide and ski instructor. But you will not find him in the middle of the crowds: he will be skiing off-piste and climbing some rocky wall or another during summer. He is passionate about mountains, and has been for a lifetime. They never stop surprising him. As soon as he looks at the mountains and they cannot spark any more emotions, he will return to the valley. (As if.) He lives in the hut during the summer with his Cristina and their son Matteo, who is passionate about photography. Nothing will change this year, although, of course, some things will: the required distances will be observed, and everyone will have to comply with the safety measures. That is why you should go and visit him: you will always find a hearty canederli or gulash washed down with a good glass of wine at the Franz Kostner. And if you fancy staying for Manuel’s stories, transporting you into a universe of mountains and snow, lashing winds and rain, flowers and animals, take a seat. You will be here for a while.