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Posts Tagged ‘Blåhammaren’

Yep, that pretty much sums up our Easter. As I mentioned briefly as the train pulled out of Stockholm Central Station, A and I were due north for a bit of XC skiing. I should perhaps mention that A hadn’t skied for the last 15 years, and even before that he didn’t have much practice (he’s from the end of the country that barely ever gets snow). So, with this knowledge, I still booked us in for a full three day XC skiing “adventure”, between three different mountains, totalling just under 50 km. Some girlfriend, eh?

Upon arrival at Storulvån it took forever to get our rented skis, poles, boots and skins (?), but we finally set off around lunch time. We knew we had 16 km of skiing ahead of us, and that it might be even longer by the time we reached a river crossing, as the sunny warm weather was causing the waters to open sooner than expected. So off we went! A reminded me, very much, of Bambi (even if Bambi was on ice) – bless! He did not seem at all comfortable with the skis, and I was, and still am, so impressed with him for coming with (though his own comment was that he was stupid in the head to come with 😉 ).

Glorious views towards Sylmassivet.

We arrived at Sylarna late afternoon, the sun still beating down on us. We “checked in”, and found our room that was shared with some 15 others – perfect! I took my boots off and realized I’d lost one toenail (ugh!), and on the way to our sleeping quarters I slipped and twisted/sprained my thumb (ouch!). Except for the intense snoring, the night was peaceful and we got our well deserved rest.

In the morning, A was sore from the first day of skiing, and my thumb still hurt, but after putting the gaitors on we were ready to get going again. We’d gotten up extra early to be sure we’d make it across the water before the snow started to melt, and because we knew we had a long distance to cover. This also meant that the crust on the snow was still frozen, which in turn meant it was a lot harder for us amateurs to break on our way down the mountain… I fell several times, one of them hard, forwards, hitting my water bottle up my chin – ouch! Hello bruise…

Yep, XC skiing is THAT much fun!

It was a long, second, day, but even A found that he was enjoying himself. Down a mountain, up a mountain, down a mountain and up another mountain, and bam – we were at our destination; Blåhammaren. This is my favourite mountain “hut”, and for the evening we’d booked ourselves a part in the Easter buffet they put on – yum!

Again we spent the night in a room with 20+ others, and again we were totally knocked out from exhaustion – sweet!

The forecast for the third day was a bit shakier, but again we were rewarded with an amazing, sunny day. I made sure A understood that we can never go back and do the same trip again, as we’ll never have as nice weather as we did this Easter! On our final day we only had 12 km to ski, mainly downhill – our weakest technique. But we took our time and even stopped to have one last coffee break with our goal, Storulvån, in sight. In fact, we made it in such good time, we had time to shower, have lunch and meet a friend who gave us a ride to Åre, instead of us waiting for the bus and train – score!

In Åre my best friend had booked us a room at Holiday Club which was an extremely un-Swedish hotel – but much cherished by these two skiers all the same! All in all we had a fantastic Easter long weekend, and on the last day of skiing A even mention that next time, he’d like his own boots. Or at least that’s what I think he said, as I stopped listening after the words next time… 😉

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…which turned out to be the great white open. I had the most amazing weekend up in the mountains! As you know I set off on Thursday night – I spent almost 10 hrs on the sleeper train, where I slept so-so next to a snoring lady… A contractor I’ve worked with during spring set off on the same route a day earlier, and I received an mms from him with a pic from Sylarna before I got off the train. It was white. Completely white! So I guess I should have been prepared for what was about to follow…

The transfer dropped us off at Storulvåns Fjällstation, and after using the washroom and filling my thermos I set off. On my own. In the snowmixed rain. I had 16 km ahead of me to reach Sylarnas Fjällstation, and as the day progressed, so did the snowfall. It was a good thing I’d already been, as I saw nothing of the views I knew where there, hiding between low, snowfilled, clouds. I had a few people ahead of me, somewhere, and was able to follow their tracks in the snow. Quite soon I realized that my boots were in fact not waterproof, very much the opposite of what I’d tried to achieve by waterproofing them an extra time before departure. “Uh-oh”. Oh well, not much to do but to trek on, and so I did. After 8 km there was a hut in which I caught up with the people ahead of me, and had lunch. The 11 people I met in that hut turned out to be the ones I’d see the most of throughout the weekend, funny how that works!

My fantastic weekend on the mountain summed up in a few shots 🙂

I reached Sylarna around 4 pm, feet thoroughly wet, but not the least bit sore. Since this was a “luxury” hiking trip, I’d decided to stay indoors, and not in a tent, mainly because I didn’t want to carry the latter. I checked in, and immediately ran into the contractor, with whom I sat down for coffee. We also had dinner together, before I decided to call it a night at ten(ish). Naturally I slept like a log, and only had to share the room with two others – yay!

The second leg of the “triangle”, from Sylarna to Blåhammaren, is 19 km long, and since the visibility was poor, we’d decided on an early start. At 9 am we set off, first posing for a photo with the mansized snowman that was standing right outside the door 🙂 We started and finished the hike in snowfall, but in between were moments of sun and the occasional sprinkle of rain, all in all a glorious day. This is my favourite leg – the views are just incredible in every which way you look. After 10 km there’s a hut where you can hide from the wind and have your lunch break, and from that point you have a view of Endalen (a valley) which, unlike the higher elevations we came from, had escaped the snowfall and showed us an amazing display of fall colours – the very thing most of us had come to see! Mission accomplished.
From there we hiked up, up, up to Blåhammaren where I checked into a dorm with 25 mattresses on the floor. Luxury, like I said! I headed straight for the sauna, after having put my boots and wet socks in the “drying room” of course, and enjoyed the gorgeous view towards Storlien whilst making new friends when sharing stories from our hikes. After dinner it was time for the famous, and fabulous, Blåhammaren three course dinner – the last one of the season. We were served grav lax, reindeer cutlet and a berry pannacotta – yum! They have table seating up there, so we remained chatting with the people at our table until almost 10 pm, when I headed for my mattress, and the hardcore hikers went out to their tents.
The morning was…religious. What I mean? Well, it was so incredibly beautiful and clear, there’s really no other way to describe it. The views had finally opened up, 360 degrees, and one could see every peak possible. And the light at sunrise…wow. I quickly got ready for the day, treated myself to the brekkie sold up there and downed porridge, fresh baked bread, coffee, juice…the works!
The last leg’s actually the shortest one, only 12 km,  but since I had the transfer bus to catch at 4:20 pm, I figured I had best get back to Storulvån asap. Again, I walked with the contractor, and we kept a slow pace to make the views last longer. We still made it back to 1:30 pm, so could have a shower and a beer from a local brewery before getting on the bus. All in all, this was one of my best weekends – ever. I feel refreshed, inspired, tired; simply put – happy!
Feel free to check out some more photos from the entire hike, from snow to sunshine, here. And hey – why don’t you come with me next time?!

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I realize I never wrote anything about my hiking trip with dad and Alex in early August. It was wonderful – the views were stunning, and the whole experience quite something. In fact, I loved it so much I’m going back to do it again. In 2,5 hrs. That’s when my sleeper train departs Stockholm, and on Friday-Saturday-Sunday I’ll be hiking Jämtlandstriangeln again! This time on my own. It feels both exciting and a little scary. I mean, there’ll be loads of people on the trail, but still, none of them is there with me. You know?

I’m doing it less hardcore this time – no tent. I’m sleeping on the train both north and south, but I have two nights at the mountain stations Sylarna and Blåhammaren. Quite luxurious, eh?! It certainly feels that way, even if I’ll be sleeping on the floor 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend, mine will be cold but crisp. The forecast calls for temperatures around the freezing point, and rain mixed with snow…

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