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Alpine Cosmology Workshop 2015 

Welcome to the Alpine Cosmology Workshop website. Tervetuloa, Gruss Gott!

This is an annual workshop organized since 2009. The conference is supported by the University of Helsinki and the University of Innsbruck. 

The concept of the workshop is to combine a scientific part, in which each participant delivers a review on their topic with a group activity in which every participant is engaged. To this end we have selected to conduct the workshop at several huts located in the Alps, connected by hiking trails. Each day has approximately 6 hours of the workshop and 6 hours of hiking, during which the participants usually continue the discussion of the scientific topics and establish new collaborations. The no escape principle, and no contact to outside (poor cell-phone reception is however available), possible during the workshop, are unique attributes of the conference and allow participants to concentrate entirely on the subject of the conference, which includes:

  • Theoretical and observational cosmology
  • Physics of galaxy clusters
  • Coevolution of galaxies and black holes
  • Environmental effects in galaxy formation

  The current list of participants and their talks!

SOC:       A. Finoguenov, S. Schindler, K. Enqvist, N. Kaiser, E. Komatsu, E.Egami, V.Faraoni, C. Sarazin, J.-P. Kneib, M. Voit, M. Donahue, S. Colafrancesco, C. Raeth, M. Haider
LOC:       A. Finoguenov, M. Haider, F. Pranger, D. Steinhauser, A. Hiemer, C. Raeth, E. Carpentier, V.Faraoni

The participants are given the full instructions regarding their preparation, pack list, insurance coverage as well as risks of the workshop. For logistical reasons the participation at the conference is limited to 30 people. To register, please write an email to alexis dot finoguenov at helsinki dot fi

The dates of the workshop are July 20-24 2015. 

The selected route is a part of the famous  Silvretta route and futures

  • a moderately challenging main route with a weather-secure access to the first hut and escape possibility on each day 
  • alternative hikes on several days, which allows participants to adjust the hike for their own needs 
  • alternative routes provided are suitable for mountain biking and some are part of a popular transalpin mountain biking route. When registering, please notify us if you are interested in this option.

For people traveling from abroad, it is recommended to arrive either to Innsbruck, or to  Landeck-Zams or even to Galtür a day before the conference starts. Use this link to plan your trip. You can just specify your final destination.


day 1:

  • Meet in Munich or Innsbruck. Travel to the conference destination. Or arrange your own travel to Landeck-Zams and take a bus to Galtür.
  • Munich group takes a train that leaves 6:44am in direction of Kufstein, where at 8:14am they take a train to Innsbruck, arriving at 8:54am. Take your breakfast with you!
  • Both groups take a train IC118 to Münster, which leaves the Innsbruck main train station at 9:02am and drop-off at Landeck-Zams.
  • Both groups take a bus 4240 at 10:05am towards Galtür. 
  • People who travel by car should park at Piel (the point of return) and take the same bus at 11:09am or simply hike to Galtür (for the easy route).
  • There are two access routes to the first hut. Participants will join one of the groups.
  • Easy (also the bad weather route).  3h hike to Jamtalhütte from Galtür (bus arrives there at 11:15am). Participants arriving a day early are encouraged to stay at the hotel Post or Zontaja and meet the rest at 11:15am at the bus stop. Lunch at the hut. Take a small snack.
  • Hard. 4.5h hike to Jamtalhütte from bus stop Bielerhöhe Gh (=Gasthof) Piz Buin (bus arrives there at 11:45am). Participants arriving a day early are encouraged to stay at the Gasthof Piz Buin and meet the rest at 11:45am). Take your lunch with you.
  • here is how difficult route looks like (yellow marker)

  •  In case of bad weather, they should take a bus back to Galtür at 10:48am (arrival to Galtür at 11:18am).
  • Upon arrival to the Jamtal hut: getting the rooms, registration. 4h of conference talks. Dinner at the hut.

day 2:

  • Breakfast at the hut starting 7am.
  • (Moderately difficult) hike to the summit (Westliches-Gamshorn) and back, 5h, take a snack with you. Alternative is to wander around. Lunch at the hut. 6h of talks starting at 2pm. Dinner at the hut.

day 3:

  • 7am breakfast. 7:30am hike to Heidelberger Hütte via Kronenjoch, 6h. Take a snack with you. Lunch at the hut. 6h of talks start 2pm. Dinner at the hut.
  • Picture of the Kronenjoch pass

  • Alternative is to go down via Jamtal valley, to Ischgl and up to the Heidelberger hut via the Fimbatal valley. 8h. Lunch in Ischgl. To shorten the duration of hike to 5h, we will order a taxi.
  • picture of the Heidelberger hut

day 4:  

  • 7am breakfast. 7:30am moderately easy tour to see Stammer Spitz from Chöglias valley, 4h. Take a snack with you.

  • 12pm lunch at the hut. 8h of talks starting 1pm.


day 5:

  • Breakfast at the hut starting 7am. 4h of conference talks. 
  • 11:30am lunch at the hut.
  • 12:00pm hike back to Piel (near Galtür) via Ritzenjoch, 5h. Take a snack with you.

  • 5:39pm Last connection to Munich using public transport. Arrival to Munich at 10:26pm.
  • Alternative is to hike to Ischgl, 4h, easy.5:54pm last connection to Munich from Ischgl.



Last minute changes dictated by the weather are often required. Typically, all the talks will be given, but not all the hikes can be done. We hike both as a group or by a few mini-groups (with 3 people or more), with control over the participants.


Alternatives include

  • Reaching the huts by going back to the valley (if the main hike is too challenging).
  • Adjustment of hiking route based on the LOC evaluation of individual's experience. 
  • Personal trainer program. 
  • Cancel any part of the hike due to increment weather. 
  • Use of the multiple access and escape points. 
  • Alpine rescue is covered by the provided insurance.

Practical details:

  • Huts provide both accommodation (only own sleeping sheet is required by the huts), showers (bring your own light-weight towel, soap and shampoo) and full meals including vegetarian option. We will order both the sleeping sheets and a light-weight towels for interested participants as a part of the registration fee. Sleeping sheet weights 100g and has 7cmx15cm in size:
  • Backpack shall be 10% of your body weight. 50l backpack (with rain-proof cover) shall be enough. We can store your extra travel stuff either at Innsbruck or in the car. Here is an image of a 35l trekking backpack.
  • Water will be refilled at each hut (watch the signs - not every tap serves drinkable water, avoid "kein Trinkwasser"). Bring a light water container like this:
  • remember that you need water also for the first hike
  • You can dry (and eventually wash) your clothes.
  • Bring your talk on the USB key. LOC will carry a laptop and a projector. If you prefer to use chalk, we will find a rock for you.
  • Hiking shoes, breathable clothes. Nylon T-short and a rainproof softshell is a minimal functional combination.
    Here is how hiking shoes should look like:

    You need to have them in order to participate. This is strictly enforced for your own safety and comfort and the image of the group. The later is important to get access to certain hikes from the rescue men (hut owners), who will first examine our boots before letting us go. The shoes should cover your ankle. We can provide advice on how to select them. 
  • People planning to do more challenging hikes on glacier (on days 2 and 4, but also an alternative hike on day 3) can take advantage of renting the snow equipment at the hut. Please notify us, so we can reserve it.
  • Hiking poles 
  • flip-flops to walk inside the hut
  • sunglasses, sun protection, hat
  • hiking pants - long or at least covering the knees - some rain-proof protection is a great bonus.
  • personal medicine. If you like to hike alone - bring your own first aid kit.
  • earplugs (for the night)
  • prepare for zero temperatures - in addition to the softshell take fleece, warm hat, gloves
  • plastic bandage for you feet, some people put it prior to hiking. And on the hike: if it hearts - stop and put it on.
  • light snacks for long hikes
  • hiking/skiing socks (and a change)
  • knee/ankle protection if you use it
  • Personal medical insurance valid in Austria is advised (we only cover the transport to the hospital).
  • Personal costs are ~300 Euro, covering meals and accommodation (receipts are given). Huts often do not accept cards. 
  • Participants are expected to bear the costs of travel to the first and from the last access points of the route.
  • Typically, to arrive to the meeting point, participants join the groups starting from Munich or Innsbruck. It is possible to arrive to the conference site using the train.

The conference fee is 150 Euro and includes: obligatory Alpine insurance and Alpine membership, map of the area, reserved funds for fees related to unexpected changes of the route. The fee is the same for every participant, no reduction is possible. Coffee breaks during the sessions will be supported.

Deadline for registration: May 15 2015. The registration to the conference is closed.



Hiking is a potentially dangerous activity. The hike descriptions provided by the conference organizers intended to help plan outings, but conference participants are wholly responsible for anticipating potential hazards and evaluating their physical ability to follow a particular hike. Hiking is a personal choice and requires personal responsibility. Hiking exposes you to risks. Risks are mitigated, but NOT eliminated by training and skill. Conference organizers, UoH and UoI assumes absolutely no responsibility, including but not limited to injury and loss due to use of information, or participating in activities related to the Alpine Cosmology Workshop. 

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