In the video above, you can see a bit of my impression and thoughts of the cabin itself. It is a cabin located far up in the mountains in Stranda Kommune, and the only way to get there is on foot or, in the winter, by skiing.
The Patchell Cabin location in relation to Stranda.
Speaking of walking there, you have three main routes to choose from. There is the long, but easy climb I chose, which can take about two and a half hours to walk if you walk at a constant pace, easily passes three hours for most, and if you need many breaks and slow down signifficantly towards the end it can become four hours. It starts from Liasætra.
Liesætra-Patchellhytta long route.
There is a shorter route, which also has steeper climbing at various points, starting from Urke. It is mostly adviced for experienced hikers and can take a little bit longer than the route from Liasætra due to its higher difficulty.
Urke-Patchellhytta, medium route
The third route is the shortest, but also by far the steepest. It starts from Lye and will take you over two hours to climb, and it’s more climbing than hiking at times. Anyone can do it, but if you’re not experienced you are adviced to bring someone with you.
Øye-Patchellhytta, short route
But I’ve only talked about how to get started. Once you’ve actually gotten there, what you will find is that it’s a cabin without plumbing or proper electricity. The solar panels can only supply a tiny bit of power, and only if it’s sunny out. You will mostly find yourself using what little power it produces to light the electric lightbulbs.
Cooking is done with gas stoves, and if you run out of gas at the cabin, there are also wood-burning stoves. There are also fireplaces for heating the cabin or individual rooms.
Also, did I mention that once you’re up there, you will feel very isolated? Not because it looks remote, but because it is remote enough to actually not have phone reception. Not even for emergency calls. There is nothing at the cabin in terms of phone service. And yet despite this (or perhaps because of this) many people actually come here, especially on nice sunny days.
You can also sleep there. If you bring a sleeping bag (or pillow and duvet covers if you wish to use what the cabin can provide) you can sleep there. It will cost you, however. Once inside, there is a registry for guests where you write your information so the Norwegian Trekking Assosiation (who owns the cabin) can send you a bill. And if you haven’t brought your own food, there is plenty of dry food you can buy at the cabin. Prices are listed, though there is nobody there making sure you actually pay. It is almost completely a trust-based system, with only the occational inspection from the assosiation.
As for what you can find around the cabin… well, since it’s in a valley between lots of mountain peaks, there isn’t much of a view to speak of. You basically have two options.
1: Spend your time relaxing, leaning back in front of a fireplace and read a book you brought or one that you find at the cabin.
2: Do what most people seem to do, go climb one of the peaks. Or multiple peaks. Depending on which peak you choose and how experienced you are, it could take anything from 1-2 hours to a full day to walk to and from one of the peaks.
Now, I won’t lie. It wasn’t a bad hike. It’s a nice change of pace, the scenery is nice, and the Patchell Cabin is very decent for being a place with minimal electricity and an outhouse. But I still think this trip is meant mostly for those who are eager to get away from modern life or those who just like hiking. But no matter who goes there, I would advice making time to sleep over for at least one night, because going to and from the cabin in one day can be a bit much. The beds and mattresses provided are plenty comfortable, and while cooking might be slow, the gas and wood stoves and the kitchen utensils provided will still let you cook any meal you want during your stay, provided you buy from the cabin or bring it yourself.
I do honestly believe, though, that the best part of a trip to the Patchell cabin is the hike down as you leave the cabin. It’s easier, quicker, and the end goal is much more motivating in my opinion.
Finally, at the end of this long blog post, enjoy some calm, scenic views from a 360-camera, filmed in and around the Patchell cabin. If you are at your computer, drag the video screen with your mouse to look around. If using your phone, hold it in front of you and turn around to take in and enjoy the view.