A German tourist in his 50s committed a serious offense in Norway by violating the honor system at the country’s vast network of self-service hytter (cabins) in the mountains. He’s since been arrested, fined and deported.
The cabins are owned and maintained by the national trekking association Den Norske Turisforeningen (DNT), and open to all members and visitors who obtain the standard key from DNT that unlocks them for use. The self-service cabins generally are also stocked with food, and it’s up to guests to arrange payment for their overnight stays and food consumption.
News bureau NTB reported that the German tourist, however, had been skiing and hiking around the Dovre Mountains are since last summer, staying in DNT cabins and eating their food without paying. Suspicions rose earlier his winter and the man reportedly was arrested on a ski trail last week.
He was fined NOK 15,000 (around USD 2,600), and DNT is considering demanding another NOK 100,000 in compensation for his use of the hytter over such a lengthy period. DNT officials point out the serious nature of his offense: The decades-old honor system for use of the cabins can only function if it’s respected. Tourists who don’t pay threaten the future of the program itself.