The energy and water supply on the Faulhorn has always been a major issue. It takes a particularly innovative, creative approach on the part of the management to run the hotel.
All supplies needed by the hotel are delivered and waste taken away for disposal by helicopter. This may mean up to four flights per week in high season.
From the very beginning, rainwater and snowmelt were collected in large wooden barrels – today in chrome steel tanks. However, these water reserves (approx. 50,000 litres) are quickly depleted in dry summers. So additional water from the glacier was initially carried up to the hotel in “wooden churns”. An ingenious invention from 1796, the hydraulic ram, made it possible to pump water mechanically from the glacier – below the summit – to the hotel, an altitude difference of over 80 metres. (4 to 5 litres / minute, efficiency approx. 20%). At sub-zero temperatures, however, the ram had to be turned off. Unfortunately, the glacier has increasingly become a victim of climate change. In 2010 the time came to build a new storage reservoir. Regrettably this meant replacing the environmentally friendly ram with an electric water pump. The water loss would be too great for today’s needs (to obtain 20 litres of water, it takes 100 litres to produce the necessary pumping energy to operate the ram).
Wood, propane gas and oil are needed for energy production. Solar cells provide for room lighting