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Capanna Magherita Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 08/26/2012
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Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Capanna Regina Margherita

The Capanna Regina Margherita, in German Margherita Hut, is a refuge on the top of the Signalkuppe / Punta Gnifetti in the Pennine Alps in Italy. The country's border with Switzerland runs a few meters north and west of the hut. The building is located in the municipality of Macugnaga. It lies at an altitude of 4554 m asl, and is the highest building in Europe. The lodge is owned by Section Varallo of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI), is guarded from mid-June to mid-September and offers at in this period beds for 70 climbers. In the rest of the year the winter room is open with 12 places. In the hut there used to be an international center for altitude physiology research.


Access is by the routes to the Signalkuppe / Punta Gnifetti. All access routes are glacier tours that require specialized equipment and care. On the Italian side, the hut can be reached most easily from the Capanna Giovanni Gnifetti laying at 3647 m. The Capanna Regina Margherita is the starting point to the peaks of Zumsteinspitze, of the Dufour Peak, of the Nordend and the east and west summits of the Liskamm.


On 14 July 1889 the meeting of the CAI members approved to build a climber accommodation and research station at about 4500 m altitude. Because of the need for a relatively short access and safety from avalanches, alternative locations such as the Mont Blanc (4810 m), the Dufour Peak and the Matterhorn (4478 m) had been excluded. Construction of the first hut on the Signalkuppe began in 1890 with blasting operations. The 35 square-meter building from pitch pine was timbered by Benedetto Pfetterich, then then transported to Gressoney-Saint-Jean in 1891 and temporarily assembled. The next step was the baptism by Queen Margherita of Savoy. In the fall the items were transported up to Hochliecht at 3140 m. Before the final assembly could be realized in 1893, these about ten tons of building materials had to be carried in the summer of 1892 at the foot of the peak. During the building of the hut, it was anchored in the rock and provided with a copper cladding against lightning. On 18 August 1893 the Queen ascended the peak of the Signalkuppe and spent the night in the hut. The official opening took place on 4 finally September. The costs totaled 17,094.55 liras at that time. At that time the focus was on a scientific use. After the fifth International physiologist Congress in 1901 in Turin had decided to set up an international physiology laboratory in the Alps, the hut was expanded in 1903 under the leadership of Angelo Mossos, and on 14 August it was given its new function. It now consisted of seven rooms and a terrace for outdoor observations. That same year Nathan Zuntz from Berlin and Arnold Durig from Vienna examined here for three weeks the influence of altitude climate on the human organism.

In 1980, the current modern mountain refuge was built. The three-story timber walled building is provided justs as its predecessor with a copper jacket. Thus, the cabin is protected by the principle of the Faraday cage from electrical fields at the impact of lightning. The supply of the hut is done by helicopter, a goods lift does not exist. A snow melting system provides water for the functional needs, there is no water available for sanitary purposes.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Va gur jvagre ebbz. Va gur phcobneq.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)