Will Coldwell, The Guardian, August 21, 2014
Jutting out of the mountain, as stark as the landscape in which it sits, the Rabot Cabin is the latest addition to Norway’s collection of spectacular refuges for hikers.
Located in Hemnes, in the north of the country, the contemporary structure, which opened to the public this week, is a welcome retreat for those trekking across the difficult terrain.
The cabin, which is only accessible on foot or skis, was designed by Jarmund/Vigsnæs Arkitekter, who drew inspiration from the rugged surroundings. The shape of the chimneys deliberately mimic the outline of the mountains behind it and huge windows overlook the Okstindbreen glacier.
Fittingly, it is named after Charles Rabot, a French glaciologist and geographer known for his explorations of the mountainous area. And the remote location is not without its risks; a rescue hut is located 50 metres away should the main cabin be destroyed by extreme conditions.
Rabot is just one of 500 affordable cabins offering basic shelter and accommodation to trekkers and skiers that is operated by the Norwegian Trekking Association. We’ve rounded up five more amazing hideaways run by the organisation that you can stay in.
Mount Skåla Tower
Located on a 1,843-metre peak, with views over the fjords and glaciers that surround it, the Mount Skåla tower was recently voted the most original tourist cabin by visitors according to the Norway tourist board. The 20-bed, self-catered tower was built in 1891, the brainchild of Dr Hans Henrik Gerhard Kloumann, who conceived it as a place for visitors to rest body and soul. The tower is also a welcome sight for athletes competing in the brutal Skåla Up race – Europe’s toughest uphill race, which takes place on the mountain every August.
With a distinct Middle Earth feel, the Breidablik Cabins (there are two at the site) are a unique pair of constructions built from stone which was lugged up the 1,160m mountain. The grass-roofed huts enjoy panoramic views and are only open during the spring and summer; in winter the risk of landslides means it’s unsafe to visit.
Preikestolen Tree Camp
A bit like a Nordic take on the futuristic jungle homes from the film Avatar, the Preikstolen Tree Camp consists of five pods that can each sleep up to three people. Constructed from steel frames wrapped in canvas, with wooden floors inside, the pods are connected by a hanging walkway.
Preikestolen Mountain Camp
Another dramatic accommodation option at the Preikestolen base camp, the mountain camp is a vertigo-inducing construction of mesh and metal rigged to a cliff face. Up to 15 people can bed down for the night in what resembles a lobster trap from the inside – but looks remarkably minimal from the outside, blending in with the stony mountain. As for those who toss and turn at night, fear not; there are nets around the edge too, so you don’t need to worry about rolling out of bed.
Exposed to the elements on a mountain ridge, the builders of this pair of cabins between the Horndalen and the Kjøvdalen valley were forced to come up with new solutions, constructing them without the use of nails. Described as so solid “it’ll stand till Doom’s Day”, the first of the two cabins has stood on this spot since 1974.
Cabins can be booked through the Norwegian Trekking Association . Prices for self-catered cabins include basic food (crispbreads, tea, coffee) and cost £18 a night for members, £28 for non-members. A dorm bed in a serviced cabin, where you need to bring all your food, start at £13 for members and £18 for non-members. Membership is £55 per year and can be bought at turistforeningen.no.
Most cabins cannot be booked in advance, apart from those in and around Oslo , but no one is turned away, even if the cabin is full. Still, if you’re using a serviced cabin it is worth contacting it in advance to make sure it is open.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
This article was written by Will Coldwell from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.