Past mountain weeks



During the summer of 2020 the Clemens Reutter Hut was available to SOS children, and their caretakers, from various SOS Children´s Villages from all over Austria. This is the 10th year that the Clemens Reutter Stiftung has been working in cooperation with SOS Children´s Villages. More than 300 children, and their carers, have had the unforgettable experience of untouched nature and mountain scenery at the Clemens Reutter Hut.

We have been lucky to find an excellent new caretaker for the hut, Kurt Schwager, as, very sadly, two of our very valuable supporters died unexpectedly last year. Kurt Schwager comes from Steinfeld, and spent the whole summer in the small hut. He organised the arrival of the groups of children, explained the electrical and plumbing systems, the water supply, and was responsible for the replenishment of supplies. He also accompanied the groups on hikes up to the top of the Gaugen mountain. All of our groups were enthusiastic about his care. We too are full of gratitude and praise and hope that Mr Schwager will be prepared to help us for many years to come to allow children to have unforgettable weeks in the mountains.

The water supply from the spring was once again a challenge. The new 6m3 high level reservoir has proved it’s worth and has saved our guests from water shortages. The large amounts of snow during the winter damaged the solar panels so badly that they had to be replaced. Fortunately the insurance paid for this. As a result there were no larger investments necessary during 2020.


This year the Clemens Reutter Hut was made available to the SOS Children´s Villages for 6 weeks during the summer. Their travel costs and all food were sponsored by the Clemens Reutter Memorial Fund. During the week before the start of the summer holidays, some SOS families with pre-school children were able to come, and during the first week of the school holidays a group of SOS carers also stayed at the hut. During the rest of the summer holidays we had 4 weeks of SOS groups.

Experience has shown that it is necessary to keep a week free between the groups so that the water supplies can regenerate. We have also learnt that the Clemens Reutter Hut is not suitable for families with very small children. It is not possible to go for walks with a pushchair, and the real experience of undisturbed nature, so palpable with the older children, is unattainable with the very little ones. Therefore we will not be inviting families with very young children up to the hut next year.

Our Hut “Landlord”, Kurt Schwager and his wife Stefanie, once again, did an outstanding job. All the SOS groups were full of praise and gratitude for their work. Here are a few quotes from the letters we received:

“We have now been home a week and we are still full of the memories of the wonderful experiences and adventures we had in Carinthia. The children had a wonderful week and felt at home immediately on arrival at the hut. Kurt accompanied and supported us brilliantly during the entire week.”

“Our week at the hut was sooooo fantastic for the children. The children and I are still raving about it! Just like last year everything worked perfectly and was well organised  (Transport, catering etc)    THANK YOU, KURT!”

“The holiday at the hut was excellent, but especially thanks to Kurt who looked after us and cared for us over and above expectations.”

Thanks to Kurt Schwager ´s excellent care and maintenance of the infrastructure of the hut no major investments or repairs have been necessary this year.


Summer 2022 was hot and dry, so a short stay at the Clemi Hut in the mountains above Steinfeld was a welcome cool down for some of the 5 SOS groups who visited this summer. In total there were 62 children and their carers from 6 different SOS villages.

The general feedback that we received was again extremely positive. It usually takes a day or two for the children to settle in and get used to the “new” experience of being without a television/Netflix/computer games/mobile phone. But by the end of the week all of them can appreciate the benefits of “downtime”. Games are played, as often as possible outside when the weather permits, and when not inside. We have been very fortunate and are grateful to have received a lot of donations of in- and outdoor games from local friends and families. Unfortunately the children are sometimes careless and uncontrolled and we had a lot of breakage and damage this summer. Puzzle pieces are missing and parts of games have gone astray.

Once again Mr Schwager and his wife excelled in the maintenance and care of the building and contents before during and after the SOS groups visits. A lot of organisation and preparation has to be done before the children can be welcomed. Chopping and stowing the firewood, checking the water levels for the WC´s, getting the Widder into action for drinking water, buying gas cannisters (for the cooking and heating) mowing of the lawn, checking light bulbs and other fittings, making of the beds and buying supplies, to name but a few.
Mr Schwager also guided the groups on long hikes and accompanied them to look for mushrooms and berries. His input and patience is invaluable and appreciated by all.

It is fair to say that Summer 2022 was a more challenging year than most, but all the SOS groups had enriching and educational experiences that they will never forget, and without exception were grateful for the “quiet” time spent in the mountains.


At the beginning of July Anita and Karl Marte arrived to make themselves at home in the new “little” hut and prepare for the arrival of the SOS children.  Anita and Karl were the couple we had chosen to take care of the hut and the children and their carers during the summer months. Very experienced mountain people, used to living off,and with the land was second nature to both of them, with their wide knowledge of herbs, flowers, trees, animals etc They were the ideal couple for the job, and soon made many local friends.

In July and August the hut hosted 5 weeks of SOS children, from Lower Austria, Vienna, Upper Austria and Carinthia. 83 people in total, children and carers. The feedback that we had was extremely positive.

When the last children left at the beginning of September, Anita and Karl handed over the keys and we took up residence for two nights in order to pack up, tidy up and close both huts for the winter.

Anita and Karl had done a magnificent job. The hut was clean and ready, all the stores in the cellar in order. As usual they had worked not 100% but 200% to have everything shipshape.


The last 2 weeks of August saw the Clemi Hut filled with lots of happy children and their carers! They came from SOS Pinkafeld, Burgenland and SOS Rechberg, Oberoesterreich and ranged in age from 7 to 15.

Once again we were hugely lucky to have an amazing group of volunteers, Ludmilla, Fiona and Kassian. Kassian is an old hand, having been with us for 2 weeks last year, and knows the hut, with it´s water containers in the cellar, sun panels on the roof and water container up the hill, like the back of his hand. Ludmilla and Fiona were not only excellent cooks but imaginative and creative with the activities and games they played with the children. Their experience at the Pfadfinder proved a great asset.

The weather was fine, fortunately, and there were lots of games outside. Plenty of walks, including the Gaugen Gipfel walk (2200 meters) which is always a highlight.

Annemarie kindly invited the children to tea and they are always fascinated by her small hut, with wood burning stove and outside loo. The simplicity in which she lives and the bare minimum that she needs for her 2 months alone at the alm always astounds the children. Her one luxury is her little radio!




Two groups of children came this year, from Moosburg and Pinkafeld. The Moosburg group kindly joined us at the last minute as the original group had had to cancel.
The warm weather was a bonus and so lots of time was spent outside with excursions to Annemarie, the top of the Gaugen and to the little stream near the hut. Chanterelle mushrooms were turned into a delicious Gulash (with dumplings) and freshly picked blue berries transformed a strudel!
The downside of the hot weather was a lack of water….. but with careful management and lots of visits to the spring, we managed to get through the 2 weeks without mishap. For next year we already have larger containers for the rain water (6000 liters) and plan to add another 3000 liters to the drinking water supply.
Our helpers, Francesco and Anezka, were brilliant! They played games with the children and also provided plenty of excellent food, and even succeeded in baking lots of delicious bread!  Well done and thank you!



This year 4 groups of children came to the CR hut, from Upper Austria and Carinthia.

We were lucky with the weather and our CR volunteers excelled themselves with their activities for the children. The “Alm Olympics” was a highlight, as was the visit from our “Steinfelder sewing ladies”.


The Clemens Reutter Hut again hosted 24 children, from Upper Austria and Carinthia, over a period of 2 weeks during the last 2 weeks in August. For most of the children it was their first real experience of living in the mountains.

There were walks to the little stream, and the longer hike to the summit cross at the Gaugen. A highlight was the visit from 3 kind ladies from Steinfeld who came with sewing machines, fabric, threads, zips and buttons and spent a whole morning creating cushions and key rings, pillows and small gifts!


Great Excitement! For the first time we were able to host the children at the Clemens Reutter Hut in the Drau valley in Carinthia. In total 24 children came with their carers and spent 2 wonderful weeks in the mountains.

There were lots of walks including a hike up to the Gaugen summit cross, and plenty of mushrooms and bilberries to be picked and eaten! The children also planted a small herb garden next to the hut with chives, thyme, sage, parsley and rosemary, and even wrote their own little song!


Summer 2013 we again had several groups of children. The first group were 11 children from Vienna, with their carers. The second week was really special as the children were so young, aged between 4 and 12, and this was their first opportunity ever to experience life in a mountain hut. It was interesting to observe how they learned to play in the woods, and got closer each day to the horses and cows. We made an effort to treat each child individually and care for his or her needs. During the week the children became more helpful and kind to each other, looking after each other and motivating one another.

They had lots of wonderful experiences and were able to go home with a newfound energy.



Several rented huts in Lavanttal housed a total of 29 children and their carers during two trips in August 2012. The children were wonderfully looked after by our resourceful volunteers.

“The week spent in the mountains was a huge success – but even more than that! We, the CR volunteers, were so happy to witness that the positive experiences and the newly found energy that the children had would be taken on into their daily lives.”


An ancient farm house at the foot of the Hochschwab was the destination for 11 children and their 2 carers in October 2011. From there they hiked up to the Gasthaus at 1500m, they also visited a local farmer and made their own butter, went fishing, carved pumpkins to make Halloween faces, and looked at the night sky through a telescope.