The Norwegian mountain trekking association DNT (Den Norske Turistforening) is reporting more double-digit increases in the number of people pouring into its mountain lodges during the Easter holidays this week.
“During the Palm Sunday weekend, we had a 26 percent increase in visitors compared to the same weekend last year,” Nils Øveraas, secretary general of DNT, told newspaper Dagsavisen. “At Finsehytta, which has 150 beds, we had 210 people spending the night.”
Norwegian mountain lodges have a tradition of never turning away people seeking shelter for the night. That means many end up sleeping on the floor, but most accept the situation with good humour.
Even though many Norwegians travel abroad or stay home during the country’s traditional påskeferie, the numbers of skiers and hikers continue to rise, as reflected in DNT’s membership and guests at its lodges that are found nationwide. The popular organization that promotes active use of the great outdoors has been breaking records for several years, both in terms of its membership roster and overnight guests, which Øveraas said surpassed 400,000 last year.
Armies of volunteers from both DNT and the Norwegian Red Cross have also been out in force before and during the holiday week, preparing and marking ski trails, preparing and maintaining the lodges (called hytter) and standing by in case of accidents. More than 16,000 new trail markers and signs were set up last year, to make the outdoors more user-friendly.