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 Sun Jan 24, 2021, 6:26 am
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Dear rando-lofoten.net,

for you being possibly the best web-site on hiking in lofoten islands, I’m publishing here below the email of complaints I’ve sent to the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT, Oslo head office) and to the Lofoten tourist office for the episode of discrimination I’ve been victim of in the Lofoten Islands one month ago.

Unfortunately, due to the previous report of the travel agency I’m cooperating with, I’m quite sure that this is not a single case, but an illegal policy held since years by the local branch of the DNT Lofoten (and the Tourist Office in Reine Village), which systematically prevent “unknown” foreign people the access the Munkebu hut.

The Lofoten tourist central office (Svolvaer) had the decency to reply promising an internal investigation on this. The only feedback I got from the to the Norwegian Trekking Association instead is the “I don’t understand what you’re blaming for” here below. There isn’t worst deaf that who don’t want to understand...

You can read my whole conversation here below.

To those interested in sleeping at Munkebu hut I can only suggest these steps:

1) Go to Reine info point, ask for the aggregation service . that is: to ask overnight in the hut in case a DNT member do the same in the same date, and get consequently the hut key). Leave a phone nr. or email to be contacted and get the contacts of the DNT member just in case. You should kindly ask the officer name (or identification Id) and warn her/him that refusal to provide the aggregation service is illegal, and would have legal consequences. You might register the conversation.

2) In case no feedback is provided, hike to Munkebu hut the morning after your required check-in date. Verify if somebody slept there, and take picture to proof it – ideally get in and take a picture of the register book).

3) Press charges against the Info point officer who denied the aggregation service. The closest police office should be the one in Leknes: Phone:+47 77 04 36 00; Address: Storvollveien 45, 8370 Leknes, Norway

Good luck and best regards,

Paolo Dalla Palma

Italian Alpin Club

----- Messaggio inoltrato -----

Da: Paolo Dalla Palma <paolo_dallapalma @[at] yahoo [dot] com> A: "Post @Destination Lofoten" <post @[at] lofoten [dot] info> Inviato: Giovedì 3 Settembre 2015 16:32 Oggetto: Re: SV: Access denied to Munkebu hut: the illegal, discriminating policy held by the Turlag Lofoten and by the Reine InfoPoint

Dear Sigve,

many thanks for your reply, and for your determination to investigate.

As said, I’m not interested in a legal process, but beware sooner or later somebody will follow this way, if the problem is not solved.

Personally I’m more interested in sharing my experience with people willing to visit Lofoten islands, which I find more useful than hiring a lawyer.

Unfortunately, unattended huts can be easily vandalised all over the world - and it happens also by us, on the Alps.

And I'm not here contesting the regulation adopted by DNT Lofoten to prevent it in the future.

The problem is that DNT Lofoten is applying this regulation in a discriminatory, illegal way - that is to say, they just don't want to apply it at all.

Please let me finally reaffirm that, on my opinion and experience, the madam at the InfoPoint Reine simply prefers, for her quiet life, to comply to the pressure of the “near” Turlag Lofoten discriminating whishes than to the “abstract” Norwegian law. So it’s not about misunderstanding, nor about un-professional answers: both local offices (DNT and InfoPoint) are deliberately preventing the access to Munkebu to foreign people.

Best regards,

Paolo Dalla Palma

Da: "Post @Destination Lofoten" <post @[at] lofoten [dot] info> A: Paolo Dalla Palma <paolo_dallapalma @[at] yahoo [dot] com> Inviato: Giovedì 3 Settembre 2015 13:14 Oggetto: SV: Access denied to Munkebu hut: the illegal, discriminating policy held by the Turlag Lofoten and by the Reine InfoPoint

Dear Paolo,

I find your email shocking and embarrassing on behalf of the Moskenes InfoPoint and especially the Norwegian Trekking Association (herby referred to as DNT). Hiking in the mountains of Lofoten is supposed to be accessible, safe and even encourages by the local Turlag and people living here. And I am very apologetic that you and your entourage experiences such difficulties to accommodate in the DNT hut. I personally believe that all humans sharing the same respect and values towards nature and activities done in nature should have the opportunity to accommodate in any public hut across nations.

However. The policy on how to get the key for the Munkebu hut is worked out by Lofoten Turlag, and I am certain that their conclusion concerning the policy is the necessary decision. Because I am not part of the decision making I can only guess the incentives, but I can imagine that the vandalism and people not paying for their stay is the main reason for the policy. It is correct that you do not need to be a member to visit or accommodate in the hut. And this information should definitely be better communicated from the local InfoPoint.

The policy for the Munkebu hut is a bit different from most of the other DNT huts. It is usually not a specific key for each hut, but a standard DNT key that you can use on almost all of the huts in Norway.

About the response of the woman in the InfoPoint: Fair enough that you are frustrated and even irritated on the way it was handled, but remember that the person working there is only human. She can, as well as everybody else, have bad days and feel overwhelmed by the huge amount of questions and inquiries coming every day for the whole summer season. I agree that it is not very professional, but I honestly believe that communication the problem and trying to solve it without conflict (or confrontation in a courtroom) is the most efficient way of solving this.

The rescue episode you mentioned in your email I find shocking. Everybody who needs shelter in the mountains should obviously get it. Allowed by rules or not. And I agree that the act of the two madams was in fact shameful and unethical (and even a criminal offence as you suggested). It saddens me that this episode happened because of the wrong information given by the local InfoPoint.

I am personally really thankful for your email, and I will investigate on the episode and make sure that the InfoPoint and the local Turlag from here on out gives away the right information. Because you have made me aware that not doing so could have serious consequences.

I also hope that you will be returning to Lofoten so that we (the local tourism bureau) can get a second change on making sure you get a successful visit to the Lofoten Islands. And as far as mountaineering goes here, it is paradise J

Best regards

Sigve Elstad

Svolvær Tourist information

Destination Lofoten

Tel: +47 76070575

www.lofoten.info

dl logo

Fra: Paolo Dalla Palma [mailto:paolo_dallapalma @[at] yahoo [dot] com] Sendt: 3. september 2015 11:34 Til: medlem @[at] turistforeningen [dot] no; info @[at] turistforeningen [dot] no; Post @Destination Lofoten <post @[at] lofoten [dot] info> Kopi: Carmine Lampitelli <lampicarmine58 @[at] gmail [dot] com> Emne: Access denied to Munkebu hut: the illegal, discriminating policy held by the Turlag Lofoten and by the Reine InfoPoint

Dear Madams/Sirs,

I’m an experienced member of the Italian Alpin Club and a tour leader of the travel agency Viaggi nel mondo srl. This August I’ve been an happy guest of a couple of Turlag huts in Saltfjllet park (belonging to your Bodø and Mo I Rana branches).

I also wished to do the same by the Munkebu hut in Moskenesøya, but it turned out to be impossible.

Before leaving for the travel, I sent the request to the Turlag Lofoten branch. Mr. Sigfús Kristmannsson provided the answer here below, showing the current rules for the access - informations only partially available in English in their site: http://lofoten.turistforeningen.no/cabin.php?fo_id=9163

For the access to every locked DNT hut, some member of Bodø member explained to me, an aggregation praxis is applied: the only key is given to the first who entitled to get it, the additional persons willing to overnight in the same day have to contact him/her by phone to agree the timing of the visit.

So the only peculiarity for Munkebu is that the key can be given only to a DNT member. However even non-members have the right to access. The Reine InfoPoint holds the key, so they have to provide the aggregation service.

I’ve tried to require this service, asking to be aggregated to the group lodging on August 22nd evening, but:

August 20th.: The madam operating at the Infopoint that week told me to ask to a Turlag Lofoten a preventive agreement (why?)

Same day: I therefore contacted Mr. Sigfús Kristmannsson by phone. He agreed to let me and my friend Carmine (in copy to this email) to be a guest if a member would asked for the key. He told me he would have immediately phoned to the InfoPoint to explain this

Aug. 21st: I phoned again to the InfoPoint: the madam said Mr. Kristmannsson didn’t call, and that without his permission he wouldn’t have allowed me to aggregate to the group. Then, irritated, added more or less these words: “You must be stubborn Mr. Paolo – if you want to sleep to Munkebu hut, why don’t you get the DNT membership?” I couldn’t believe to my hears! The person in charge for easing life to visitors showing that my legitimate requests where just a source of concern for her! It become at that moment clear that Turlag Loforten and Reine Infopoint straightforwardly agree not to access any foreign person to Munkebu hut unless, I suppose, the person is an intimate friend or relative of a DNT member!

On August 23nd I hiked to Munkebu hut and I saw the two woman who had slept there in the previously night – the night I asked for (one of them is shown in my picture here attached). Before reaching the hut I met 4 young German boys and girls, that slept near the hut. They were shocked, and they explained to me why: because of the strong wing their tent broke during the night. They knocked to the Munkebu door asking for rescue and hospitality. Please note that it’s not up to the rescuers to question whether the people asking for help are experienced, equipped and in good health conditions enough to bear bad weather, they just must provide help. But those madams refused hospitality, arguing that the weather wasn’t too bad. I then quickly spoken to that woman; and even if I didn’t asked about this episode, she spontaneously declared to me that the wind had been extremely strong that night.

Bear in mind that if this story is true it would be a case of missed help: not only a shameful, inhuman behavior, but also a serious criminal offence under any western jurisdiction.

That morning I also met another small group going downhill with the tent, they slept between Munkebu hut and Hermannsdaltinden peak. One of them (Andrea, an Italian temporary working for the Youth hostel in Å) told me that he had previously asked by email to the Reine InfoPoint how to access to Munkebu, only to get the deliberately partial (and therefore false) information that you need to be a DNT member to get there!

I know that in recent years Munkebu hut was victim of a vandalism act, that’s why is locked now and the key can be required only by a DNT member. But the regulation allows non-member to access to DNT huts - in order to be compliant with the Norwegian law, I assume. Therefore also the Lofoten Turlag and the Reine InfoPoint section must guarantee this right, by providing the aggregation service - that is, just giving to non-members the phone contact of the member with the key for that night.

The evidence collected is to me enough to accuse the Turlag Loforten and Reine InfoPoint of deliberately conducting a shameful, xenophobic, discriminating and therefore illegal practice of preventing foreign people the access to the hut – at least if they aren’t already intimate friends or relatives of some DNT member.

Were I a lawyer, I would considered to contact a colleague in Bodø to bring these people in front of their legal responsibilities.

Instead, I prefer to wait 10 days from now for an answer by you. That is, to see first of all if the Turlag Headquarters and the Lofoten Main Tourism Bureau admit the issue – for sure I’m not the first guy pointing it out. And to hear from them which tangible actions they intend to quickly implement in order to revert this shameful and illegal situation.

After 10 days I’ll send both my protest with you answers (if any) to my travel agency, and to the Italian Alpin Club (which might share it with all other Alpin clubs).

And I also post it on TripAdvisor, on rando-lofoten.net, the most popular hiking web-site for Lofoten islands (in English, German and French) and on the main Facebook pages devoted to mountaineering - to share my experience with people willing to visit Lofoten islands.

Kind regards,

Paolo Dalla Palma

member of the Italian Alpin Club

and tour leader of the travel agency Viaggi nel mondo srl.

ATTACHMENTS:

Here below: my original email to Mr. Kristmannsson

Attached: Munkebu hut, picture taken on August 23nd morning, depicting one of the two persons who slept there the previous night and who denied rescue and hospitality to 4 young hikers after the strong wind broke their tent (according to what these 4 people declared to me).

----- Messaggio inoltrato ----- Da: "post @[at] lofoten-turlag [dot] no" <post @[at] lofoten-turlag [dot] no> A: Paolo Dalla Palma <paolo_dallapalma @[at] yahoo [dot] com> Inviato: Venerdì 31 Luglio 2015 12:54 Oggetto: Re: Overnight in Munkebu hut

Hi Paolo! There is a special key for the cabin Munkebu, and you have to get it at Moskenes turistinformation at Reine:

http://lofoten.turistforeningen.no/cabin.php?fo_id=9163

Moskenes Turistinformasjon

8390 Reine Tlf.: (+47) 980 17 564 - Fax: (+47) 76 09 24 25

Epost: tour-off @[at] lofoten-info [dot] no

At least one of you must be a member of DNT:

https://www.dnt.no/medlem/

The price for the cabin is 150 NOK/night, person for members of DNT, 300 NOK/night, person for non members

Best regards Lofoten turlag Sigfús Kristmannsson On Fri 31/07/15 12:44 PM , Paolo Dalla Palma paolo_dallapalma @[at] yahoo [dot] com sent:

Dear Madam/Sir,

I’m a member of the Italian Alpin Club (C.A.I.) and I’ll visit the Lofoten islands in August.

Can I spend one night in the Munkebu hut in Moskenesoya?

In case the key can be given only to members of you club (as I’ve heard), it could be however possible to be a guest, in case one of you sleep there in the same night? Who should I contact to arrange this?

Thanks in advance and best regards,

Paolo Dalla Palma

Italian Alpin Club

Dear

many thanks for your reply, I hope my questions be seriously considered and actions will to be taken to solve it.

As said, I’m not interested in a legal process, but sooner or later somebody will follow this way, if the problem is not solved in the meantime. Personally I’m more interested in sharing my experience with people interested in visiting Lofoten islands, which I personally find a more useful and effective contribution to change than hiring a lawyer.

Please just let me reaffirm that, on my opinion, the madam at the InfoPoint Reine just prefers, for her quiet life, to comply to the pressure of the “near” Turlag Lofoten discriminating whishes than to the “abstract” Norwegian law. So it’s not about misunderstanding, nor about un-professional answers: both local offices (Turlag and InfoPoint) are deliberately preventing the access to Munkebu to foreign people.

Best regards,

Paolo Dalla Palma

Write to DNT Norwegian trekking association medlem @[at] turistforeningen [dot] no

info @[at] turistforeningen [dot] no

cc post @[at] lofoten [dot] info

http://lofoten.turistforeningen.no/index.php

http://lofoten.turistforeningen.no/cabin.php?fo_id=9163

Access to Munkebu hut: the illegal, discriminating policy held by the Turlag Lofoten and by the Reine InfoPoint

Dear Madams/Sirs,

I’m an experienced member of the Italian Alpin Club and a tour leader of the travel agency Viaggi nel mondo srl. This August I’ve been an happy guest of a couple of Turlag huts in Saltfjllet park (belonging to your Bodø and Mo I Rana branches).

I also wished to do the same by the Munkebu hut in Moskenesøya, but it turned out to be impossible.

Before leaving for the travel, I sent the request to the Turlag Lofoten branch. Mr. Sigfús Kristmannsson provided the answer here below, showing the current rules for the access - informations only partially available in English in their site: http://lofoten.turistforeningen.no/cabin.php?fo_id=9163

For the access to every locked DNT hut, some member of Bodø member explained to me, an aggregation praxis is applied: the only key is given to the first who entitled to get it, the additional persons willing to overnight in the same day have to contact him/her by phone to agree the timing of the visit.

So the only peculiarity for Munkebu is that the key can be given only to a DNT member. However even non-members have the right to access. The Reine InfoPoint holds the key, so they have to provide the aggregation service.

I’ve tried to require this service, asking to be aggregated to the group lodging on August 22nd evening, but:

August 20th.: The madam operating at the Infopoint that week told me to ask to a Turlag Lofoten a preventive agreement (why?)

I therefore contacted Mr. Sigfús Kristmannsson by phone. He agreed to let me and my friend Carmine (in copy to this email) to be a guest if a member would asked for the key. He told me he would have immediately phoned to the InfoPoint to explain this

Aug. 21st: I phoned again to the InfoPoint: the madam said Mr. Kristmannsson didn’t call, and that without his permission he wouldn’t have allowed me to aggregate to the group. Then, irritated, added more or less these words: “You must be stubborn Mr. Paolo – if you want to sleep to Munkebu hut, why don’t you get the DNT membership?”

I couldn’t believe to my hears! The person in charge for easing life to visitors showing that my legitimate requests where just a source of concern for her! It become at that moment clear that Turlag Loforten and Reine Infopoint straightforwardly agree not to access any foreign person to Munkebu hut unless, I suppose, the person is an intimate friend or relative of a DNT member!

On August 23nd I hiked to Munkebu hut and I saw the two woman who had slept there in the previously night – the night I asked for (one of them is shown in my picture here attached). Before reaching the hut I met 4 young German boys and girls, that slept near the hut. They were shocked, and they explained to me why: because of the strong wing their tent broke during the night. They knocked to the Munkebu door asking for rescue and hospitality. Please note that it’s not up to the rescuers to question whether the people asking for help are experienced, equipped and in good health conditions enough to bear bad weather, they just must provide help. But those madams refused hospitality, arguing that the weather wasn’t too bad. I then quickly spoken to that woman; and even if I didn’t asked about this episode, she spontaneously declared to me that the wind had been extremely strong that night.

Bear in mind that if this story is true it would be a case of missed help: not only a shameful, inhuman behavior, but also a serious criminal offence under any western jurisdiction.

That morning I also met another small group going downhill with the tent, they slept between Munkebu hut and Hermannsdaltinden peak. One of them (Andrea, an Italian temporary working for the Youth hostel in Å) told me that he had previously asked by email to the Reine InfoPoint how to access to Munkebu, only to get the deliberately partial (and therefore false) information that you need to be a DNT member to get there!

I know that in recent years Munkebu hut was victim of a vandalism act, that’s why is locked now and the key can be required only by a DNT member. But the regulation allows non-member to access to DNT huts - in order to be compliant with the Norwegian laws, I assume. Therefore also the Lofoten Turlag and the Reine InfoPoint section must guarantee this right, by providing the aggregation service - that is, just giving to non-members the phone contact of the member with the key for that night.

The evidence collected is to me enough to accuse the Turlag Loforten and Reine InfoPoint of deliberately conducting a shameful, xenophobic, discriminating and therefore illegal practice of preventing foreign people the access to the hut – at least if they aren’t already intimate friends or relatives of some DNT member.

Were I a lawyer, I would surely considered to contact a colleague in Bodø to bring these people in front of their legal responsibilities.

Instead, I prefer to wait 10 days from now for an answer by you. That is, to see first of all if the Turlag Headquarters and the Lofoten Main Tourism Bureau admit the issue – for sure I’m not the first guy pointing it out. And to hear from them which tangible actions they intend to quickly implement in order to revert this shameful and illegal situation.

After 10 days I’ll send both my protest with you answers (if any) to my travel agency, and to the Italian Alpin Club (which might share it with all other Alpin clubs).

And I also post it on TripAdvisor, on rando-lofoten.net, the most popular hiking web-site for Lofoten islands (in English, German and French) and on the main Facebook pages devoted to mountaineering - to share my experience with people willing to visit Lofoten islands.

Kind regards,

Paolo Dalla Palma

member of the Italian Alpin Club

and tour leader of the travel agency Viaggi nel mondo srl.

ATTACHMENTS:

Here below: my original email to Mr. Kristmannsson

Attached: Munkebu hut, picture taken on August 23nd morning, depicting one of the two persons who slept there the previous night and who denied hospitality to 4 young hikers after the strong wind broke their tent (according to what these 4 people declared to me).

----- Messaggio inoltrato -----

Da: "post @[at] lofoten-turlag [dot] no" <post @[at] lofoten-turlag [dot] no>

A: Paolo Dalla Palma <paolo_dallapalma @[at] yahoo [dot] com>

Inviato: Venerdì 31 Luglio 2015 12:54

Oggetto: Re: Overnight in Munkebu hut

Hi Paolo!

There is a special key for the cabin Munkebu, and you have to get it at Moskenes turistinformation at Reine:

http://lofoten.turistforeningen.no/cabin.php?fo_id=9163

Moskenes Turistinformasjon

8390 Reine

Tlf.: (+47) 980 17 564 - Fax: (+47) 76 09 24 25

Epost: tour-off @[at] lofoten-info [dot] no

At least one of you must be a member of DNT:

https://www.dnt.no/medlem/

The price for the cabin is 150 NOK/night, person for members of DNT, 300 NOK/night, person for non members

Best regards

Lofoten turlag

Sigfús Kristmannsson

On Fri 31/07/15 12:44 PM , Paolo Dalla Palma paolo_dallapalma @[at] yahoo [dot] com sent:

________________________________________

Dear Madam/Sir,

I’m a member of the Italian Alpin Club (C.A.I.) and I’ll visit the Lofoten islands in August.

Can I spend one night in the Munkebu hut in Moskenesoya?

In case the key can be given only to members of you club (as I’ve heard), it could be however possible to be a guest, in case one of you sleep there in the same night? Who should I contact to arrange this?

Thanks in advance and best regards,

Paolo Dalla Palma

Italian Alpin Club

paolo_dallapalma
1 0
Sun Jul 19, 2015, 4:20 pm
Showing 1 to 1 of 1 entries.

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