Winter in the Okstindan mountains

A beautiful experience on a fine weather day, but not for everyone – and certainly not every day!

The Okstindan mountains are sometimes referred to as “the roof of Northern Norway”. Its highest peaks are at almost 2000 metres. Without a moment’s notice the weather up here can change dramatically. While the village below can be enjoying beautiful weather, hurricane winds may be ravaging the Okstindan. A mountain journey in winter demands far more of you than a summer hike, requiring thorough preparation and well-chosen equipment. Always bring a map and compass, lots of warm clothes and plenty of food – and check the weather forecast.

If your destination is the Rabothytta cabin, park at roads end at Melkarhella in Leirskarddalen. From there, the ski trek up to the cabin will take several hours. Please be aware that on occasion Rabothytta cabin may be so encrusted in ice that entry is impossible. Before embarking on your ski hike, be sure to check the status of the cabin by contacting the local Hemnes chapter of the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association (DNT). You will find helpful information here: Planning your hike in the Okstindan Mountains.

The road to Kjensvasshytta cabin is not open during the winter; in fact, the road doesn’t open until around midsummer’s eve. This means that if you want to visit Kjensvasshytta in the winter, it’s best to start from Leirskarddalen. As for Rabothytta, drive to Melkarhella, at the end of the county road. Fortunately, from February you should be able to follow the marked snowmobile trail almost all the way up to the cabin.

In the winter and any other season, Gråfjellhytta cabin is best reached from Inderdalen Farm.

The photo above shows how winter can transform Rabothytta cabin and the emergency cabin Klemetstua into ice castles. (Photo: Svein Arne Brygfjeld). Below are additional winter photos from the Okstindan mountains.