1. History of the Martin-Busch-hutte
The location of the Martin-Busch-hütte has a long tradition. Already, in 1877, its predecessor, a small shelter with the name “Samoarhütte” was built here. This cottage was purchased in 1911 by the former Deutsche Alpen Verein (DAV), the German Alpine Association, section Mark Brandenburg. However, this hut was soon proved to be too small.
Therefore, the section began in 1938 with the construction of a new house, which was called the “Hermann Göring House”. The Second World War prevented the completion of the interior design.
After 1945, the not quite finished hut, now used under the name New-Samoar hut, was used by the Austrian customs authorities. However, only in 1952, the completion was succeeded by the provisional administration of the ÖAV (Österreichischer Alpenverein, in english Austrian Alpine Association), headed by Councilor Martin Busch.
In 1961, the “Samoarhütte” was found destroyed by an avalanche. Today, the remains of this originally build hut can still be seen slightly above the Martin-Busch hut.
1.1 The iceman “Ötzi”
On September 19, 1991, the tourists Helmut and Erika Simon were walking off the path between the mountain passes Hauslabjoch and Tisenjoch, in the Ötztal Alps, when they found a body. They believed that the body was of a recently deceased mountaineer. It was transported to the office of the medical examiner in Innsbrück, together with other objects found. On September 24, 1991 the find was examined there by the archaeologist Konrad Spindler of the University of Innsbrück. He dated the find to be “about four thousand years old”, based on the typology of an axe among the retrieved objects. The mummy with the nickname Ötzi is Europe’s oldest known natural human mummy.
Nowadays, his body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaelogy in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy. An Ötzi memorial is made near Tisenjoch. Ötzi was found ca. 70 m north-east of here, a place indicated with a red mark. The mountain in the background is the Fineilspitze. From the Martin Busch Hütte, this memorial can be reached as a comfortable day hike.
1.2 The sheep drive
The sheep drive across the Ötztal alps main ridge enables sheep farmers from Schnals and Passeier in South Tyrol, in Italy, to use their grazing rights in the back of the Ötztal valley, in Austria. In early June, these sheep are driven from the Martin Busch hütte, by three different, partially glaciated pass routes, in the north. In mid-September, the sheep are driven in the opposite direction, back to South Tyrol. Since October 2011, this so called Transhumanz was placed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO.
2. The hiking trail
The trail to the Martin Busch hut is a popular hiking trail in the Ötztal in Tyrol in Austria. It is a trail full of cultural and historical highlights, because it runs through the special protected areas of the Vogelschutzgebiet Ötztaler Alpen and the Naturpark Ötztal.
The trail starts in Vent. You walk along a hillside near the Niederjoch creek on a wide country lane. The “hardest” of this trail is that you always see the long-drawn way up in front of you. Due to the overwhelming panorama, the ascent is very entertaining and in this way you really enjoy to gain height.
As European bird sanctuary or in English “Special Protection Area” (SPA) is called the protected areas, which have been designated on the basis of Art. 4 (1) of the Birds Directive. Together with the protected areas under the Fauna Flora Habitat Directive (1992), the FFH areas, the special bird protection areas make up the European network of protected areas Natura 2000. The size of the SPA in the Ötztal alps is 396.84 km².
The Martin Busch hut also is a base for the 6th stage of the long-distance trail E5 Oberstdorf-Meran, and waymark of the Ötztal Trek/Route 3.
2.2 Starting point
Parking lot: In Vent after the valley station of the Stablein lifts, section P 8 is for hiking people (free parking lot, near the church). Note: You have to pay for the parking lot near the lift!
Starting point of the trail: Turn left at the small church over a wooden bridge and up to the village. At Hotel Vent right slightly downhill to Venter Ache, over the bridge and along the small drag lift upwards. Keep to the left, along the driveway, then to the south in the Niedertal.
After the first steep 20 minutes, you can take a look at the remains of a hunters camp from 800 – 400 years before Christ. At the signpost, over a narrow path, in about 2 minutes up to the hunters’ camp “Hohlenstein”.
How to get there:
By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal valley, take the B171 to Oetz, take the Ötztal exit, drive through the Ötztal (B186) via Sölden to Zwieselstein. Turn to the right through the Ventertal valley into the mountain village of Vent.
By public transport: From Wenns, take the bus to Imst. Change to Zwieselstein. There is no bus connection between Zwieselstein and Vent.
For people used to heights it takes 3 hours from to reach the Martin-Busch-hütte. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking pictures etc. it will take 3.5 to 4 hours.