Record season in the mountains

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Despite lots of rainy and unseasonably cold weather last summer, hikers headed for the hills in Norway like never before. The national mountain trekking association DNT reports record numbers of overnight guests at the cabins and lodges, along with record-high membership.

Some areas of the mountains still had lots of snow early in the summer, but hikers came anyway to enjoy the scenery, like here in the high country above Aurland. PHOTO: Morten Møst

Cabins in the Rondane National Park, which was celebating its 50th anniversary this year, were especially popular, with around 12,500 spending the night at the Rondvassbu lodge in the heart of the park. That’s up 30 percent from the summer of 2011, according to DNT.

Others like Grimsdalshytta logged nearly double the amount of visitors this past summer, compared to last year. Lots of snow in the mountains led to some declines at lodges that had to delay opening, but most of DNT’s overnight accommodation was extremely busy, also at Fondsbu, Gjendebu and elsewhere in Jotunheimen.

DNT’s paying membership has also increased, to a record 242,631, reported newspaper Aftenposten.

“The membership numbers give a good indication of how many people are in the mountains,” said Mette Habberstad of DNT. “It seems Norwegians are more fond of their mountains than ever before. Even though more people own their own cabins now, we still have more members, and that’s very positive.”

newsinenglish.no staff