Clear and sunny weather and an abundance of snow resulted in some huge increases in the number of overnight stays last week at the Norwegian mountain cabins and lodges known as hytter and operated by the national trekking association DNT . “The visitor numbers confirm that Easter in the mountains is a tradition that lives on,” Nils Øveraas, secretary general of DNT, told news bureau NTB.
The mountain areas of Rondane, Sylan, Breheimen and Femundsmarka reported the largest increases, with Rondane reporting a 70 percent increase over last Easter. Visitors in Sylan were up 42 percent, Breheimen hytter reported a 39 percent increase and the popular Svukuriset lodge in Femundsmarka, not far from the Swedish border, logged a 54 percent increase in overnight guests.
Hardangervidda remained the most popular area despite an outbreak of the novovirus that spread among several hytter and left a total of 49 people ill with severe stomach upset. “We are of course sorry that some visitors got sick,” said Henning Hoff Wikborg of DNT. “At the same time it’s good to see that the majority could enjoy fine days on the vidda (mountain plateau).”
Jan Tyssebotn, who manages DNT’s Sandhaug hytte on Hardangervidda, admitted that the holiday period was especially demanding this year. “We had some days where we cleaned the hytte both day and night and had to evacuate sick guests,” Tyssebotn told NTB, “but the staff worked like heroes and I’m very impressed by them.”