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Alpine Cosmology Workshop 2014 

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, 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


(Pictures of the conference site)
SOC:       A. Finoguenov, C. Raeth, M. Haider, E. Egami, S. Schindler, K. Enqvist, N. Kaiser, C. Sarazin, J.-P. Kneib, M. Voit, M. Donahue, E. Komatsu
LOC:       A. Finoguenov, C. Raeth, M. Haider, F. Pranger, A. Hiemer, E. Carpentier, D. Steinhauser

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. The registration is closed and the conference is full.

The dates of the workshop are July 21-26 2014. 

!!!NEW!!!NEW!!!NEW!!! The detailed program of the workshop is available here.

The selected route is situated in the Gschnitztal and futures

  • a challenging main hike  
  • an alternative moderately easy route 

The route is a  part of full route:

day 1:

  • Meet in Munich or Innsbruck. Travel to the conference destination. Or arrange your own travel to "Steinach am Brener" and a bus to Trins. 
  • Munich group takes a train that leaves 6:00am from the main train station. Take your breakfast with you!
  • Innsbruck group takes a train that leaves 8:52am from the main train station.
  • Both groups take a bus at 9:18am from Steinach am Brenner to Trins.
  • we arrive to Trins bus stop at 9:30am
  • Hike to Padasterjochhaus (2.5h). Lunch at the hut. Easy hike, accessible on most weather conditions.
  • Registration. 6h of conference talks. Dinner at the hut.

day 2:

day 3:

  • We will need 2 parallel sessions, alternating hiking and talks with 8-11 and 13-16 conference time slots (facilities are restricted). 
  • Hike: climb Habicht, 3277m  (3h to climb, 1.5h to go back, moderately difficult hike) or take a break and attend all the talks; Starting either 8am or after lunch at 12pm.
  • Stay at  Innsbrucker Hut
  • 3h of conference talks in the evening.

day 4:  

  • Breakfast at the hut starting 7am. Hike to the  Bremmer Hut (6h). Sandwiches can be bought at the Innsbrucker Hut. (Lunch during the hike or a late lunch at Bremmer hut). Moderately difficult hike, popular route.
  • 6h of conference talks.Dinner at Bremmer hut.

day 5:

  • Breakfast at the hut starting 7am. 6h of conference talks. Lunch at Bremmer hut.
  • hike to Tribulaunhaus (6h); moderately difficult hike. Farewell dinner.
  • Adjourn to Innsbruck/Munich for some. Last bus for the train station leaves Gschnitz at 6:50pm. 

day 6

  • Breakfast at the hut starting 7am. Hike back to Trins (6h). Late lunch in Trins.
  • Adjourn to Innsbruck/Munich.


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 needed), showers (bring your own towel, soap and shampoo) and full meals including vegetarian option.
  • Backpack shall be 10% of the body weight.
  • Water will be refilled at each hut (watch the signs - not every tap serves drinkable water)
  • You can dry (and wash) your clothes.
  • Hiking shoes, breathable clothes. Nylon T-short and a rainproof softshell is a minimal functional combination.
  • A detailed pack list will be provided.
  • Personal medical insurance valid in Austria is required and provided by organizers.
  • 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 and led by one of the LOC. It is also 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. Coffee breaks will be supported this time.

Deadline for registration: May 1 2014. The registration has been 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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