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Hut-to-hut hiking in the glacier-scoured mountains of Norway.

Mountain walking, a national pastime for hardy Norwegians of all ages, is easy to sample when you take advantage of tourist huts and chalets, conveniently spaced about a day's hike apart throughout Norway's mountain regions.

You'll gain appreciation for this glacier-scoured landscape as you follow cairn-marked trails that zigzag over rocky peaks and into shrub-covered valleys, and gaze into the mirror of the fiords below. Plan your trip for a few days or a few weeks; some trailheads are within a day's drive or train or bus ride from Oslo. Huts are open for hikers from June through early September (some are also open for cross-country skiing in late winter).

In summer, nighttime temperatures often drop below freezing. You'll need warm clothes, rain gear, and good walking shoes or boots, but you won't have to carry tent and sleeping bag.

Den Norske Turistforening (Norwegian Mountain Touring Association) runs the network of more than 200 accommodations. There are three types: staffed chalets where all meals are available; self-service huts, which are fully stocked with bed linen and kitchen equipment and sell provisions; and unstaffed huts, which are fully equipped except for provisions.

The facilities are rustic, with bunk rooms of varying sizes. Ordinarily, no one is turned away; when all beds are taken, you can still get a mattress, blanket, and floor space. At all huts, you'll need a sheet sleeping bag; carry your own or rent one at the hut.

Except for self-service huts, membership in DNT is not required, but it's more convenient to join (about $18 per person per year; family membership available), either by mail at the address below, at the DNT office in Oslo, or at a staffed hut. Members get a discount and first bed assignments and can participate in guided tours and courses. Depending on the type of hut and number of beds in a room, prices are $6 to $11 per night for members, $9 to $15 for nonmembers.

The best planning resource is Mountain Touring Holidays in Norway (Nortrabooks, Norwegian Tourist Board, Oslo, 1983). Send a check or money order in dollars for the equivalent of 51 Norwegian kroner (about $6 at our press time; check your newspaper for current rates) to Den Norske Turistforening, Postboks 1963 Vika, 0125 Oslo 1, Norway. Price includes postage.

Or plan your trip when you reach Oslo. At the DNT office there, at Stortingsgaten 28 (telephone 02/418020), knowledgeable English-speaking employees can suggest routes as well as provide maps and information.
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Date:Jul 1, 1985
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