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In February 2012 I was hiking through the
Swedish winter in Jämtland with
two friends on a beautiful part of the famous Kungsleden. Eight days on
took everything to be fully independent for seven days in the snow
(food, clothes, tent, stove, fuel, ...). At the end we found perfect
never had to really on that stuff. Still, it was a great feeling to
go as far as you want and have everything with you, i.e. not needing to
the hut. It was an awesome trip!
I would like to summarize some of the impressions gathered. Partly to tell the story of the trip, partly to give a record for those who plan something similar.
|We travelled to Sweden
from Munich by train. This was (rather!)
convenient and cheap. Moreover, since we had lots of luggage (all the
winter gear, skies, the pulka, and food for ten days) flying was not
really an option. We started the trip at the STF Vandrarhem
in Storvallen (lat: 63.287027, lon: 12.120022). Due to
copyright issues i sadly can't post a map, but i will give
coordinates (WGS84) for everyone to be able to follow the route (e.g.
In Storvallen we spent the first night, sorted our equipment and stored all the food and extra gear in the pulka.
|Early the next morning we
headed off for Blåhammaren Fjällstation
(lat: 63.186895, lon: 12.168731). However, we were too
slow and the weather got too bad (heavy headwind, and heavy drifting
we decided to spend the night after just 8 km (but 6 hours hiking tho)
(N63°12'24.8'', E 12°09'49.8''), a small, unserved hut
about 5 km short of Blåhammaren.
The next morning, the weather was not better, but wind had turned by 180° (tailwind now) and we headed on Blåhammaren. We arrive there only one hour later and stayed briefly for a hot coffee. Then we went on to reach Storulvån Fjällstation (lat: 63.169700, lon: 12.362279) after 12 km this day. Storulvån is an enormous resort with all kind of comfort. We relaxed in the sauna, enjoyed good food and (as became usual) had an early sleep at 7:30 pm.
|The next day we headed on
for Gåsen Stugorna (lat:
63.039475, lon: 12.518062) 15 km
ahead. However, once again we were not fast enough and only reached
Gåsen Raststuga, another unseved (emergency) hut 3 km short
of Gåsen Stuga at dusk. Because we were quite
exhausted we decided to stay there for the night, although the
kind of huts are actually not meant for staying the night. Yet,
sleeping in the hut seemed much more appealing than setting up our
tent. So we stood there, and although the hut
is next to a river, it was difficult to find water. All was covered
under 1.5 m snow. At the end we were lucky and found the river under
the snow quite quickly - melting snow would have
been the alternative.
next day we took it easy, doing just a very short leg up to Gåsen Stuga. We spent a
relaxed afternoon there in the
And in the evening i took a short two hour trip up to the summit of
Mt. Gåsen and
had a beautiful ride down in the sunset.
Since the cabin was very crowded and the weather was favorable two of us decided to spend the night in out tent. An exciting experience since the weather turned stormy with heavy snowfall that night. In the morning we had to dig the tent (and ourselves) out of the snow...
day of rest recharged
our batteries. Hence we headed off to cross the pass and
down to Stensdalen Fjällstuga
(lat: 63.126124, lon: 12.772293)
in severe weather: headwind, blowing snow, minimum vision. It was quite
a struggle and an extreme experience: you, yourself, the wind and the
cold. Still, walking all the time, it felt quite comfortable under a
thin wind jacket and behind the face mask. I felt like the bad weather
is outside while comfort is closely around me. Strange: usually one
needs a firm house for that feeling.
Like this we made the way to Stäntja Raststuga (probably N 63°02'51.1'' E 12°37'14.0''), where we had a brief lunch and then went on.
In the afternoon, once we left the treeless high mountain area behind us, the wind eased and even the sky cleared. We had a beautiful afternoon in a lovely forest and reached Stensdalen Fjällstuga after 12 km not too late. In the evening a wood fired sauna relaxed the sore muscles and the pains from days of walking and dragging the pulka. Once again we went to bed early (7 pm).
meantime both my mates were suffering pain from not being used
walking in ski boots (one massive blisters and the other no more skin
shins). Hence we decided the next leg being the last for the tour and
final ten kilometers to Vålådalen at the next day.
There we spent
the last two nights at the hostel. I did a 30 km daytrip up to
63.033793, lon: 12.796669), and one to Mt. Ottfjellet. At
latter i had to return just a couple of meters short of the summit due
(once again) severe weather, but still had a beautiful ride down.
Finally we took the bus back to Undersåker ant then the train back home.
| It was an epic experience! Not much more then
walking and sleeping - it
was awesome. The beauty was breathtaking. Although sometimes it was
nothing more than all white all around, it was great, minimalistic!
Just as was our life these days: walking, eating, sleeping, surviving
the wind and the cold, doing one step after the other, and the next. No
problems, nothing to care for, nothing to deal with but to life. You,
your body and the nature. I loved it!
Thanks to my friends Michi and Sören for planning this trip and pushing through the adventure!
This is our packing list (for three guys, being out there for 8 days): s
|More photos available on my Facebook page.|