I awoke a few times during the night, but slept well otherwise, and remained in bed until after 7. The light of dawn was upon the western peaks, and I went out for another photo round to catch the light. Despite the cold the mere was almost entirely free of ice, but the snow was hard. It was still and nice (–1°C), and walking about I felt an ache in my calves. There was still snow everywhere, and the boots were still damp on the inside, but it was not too bad.
After breakfast the sun rose above the eastern ridge, and I went out to photograph some more. I remained outside for quite some time, and looking northwards I noticed that the northern side of the basin was snow-free up to about 800 meters. No such luck on this side. I settled down with the map for a good while, and after another outside walk I made the final decision to stay for another night and just take it easy. I did, however, intend to go for a shorter day tour to look about, and I packed accordingly. Putting the boots on was somewhat uncomfortable, but I could manage. It was after 09:45 when I left, wearing jacket, gloves and sunglasses.
I followed the southern trail, where the snow was rather scant at first, and then turned off on a smaller path before the next mere. At the subsequent stream I had to look around a bit before I could cross a bit upstream, and then I returned to the path. I proceeded to lose it at the ravine between Stor-Gröngumpen and Saanta, but soon found it again. After ascending for a short bit (this was largely the same way I had skied at the start of the year) I found my own way southwards, and I was now looking at a large cloud bank hovering behind the peaks there. The ground was bumpy but OK (also snow-wise), but there was a chilling wind blowing.
At times I found myself on something which may have been fragments of a path, but on the whole I simply followed the terrain and snow depth, aiming for a rocky rise ahead. Atop this rise I saw that I still needed to walk a ways until I could look out over Lunndörrspasset, so I went on. The sun was passing into some of the southern clouds, and the wind remained. I continued to the next edge in the terrain on stony but gentle ground, and once there I was treated to a great view of the very flat valley below me – which was as white as everything else. The cloud bank was breaking up, and the sun reappearing sporadically. After standing still for a good while I proceeded down the slope to my right to a large stone just above the start of the forest, and sat down against it to eat at 11:30.
The sun was coming out more and more, and the wind had abated, so it was rather nice. As I sat there conditions improved further, but in the end I had to get up lest my feet freeze. I went back northwards above the trees; at first walking was good, but then I came to some tricky bushes and bumps. After attaining a good view of the basin I turned down into the forest, where the undergrowth was showing here and there, which felt good not only physically. I came down to a little plateau where the snow was deeper, but the verdure reappeared in the next slope. I made my way down diagonally and then followed a small path for a while before cutting straight through the forest, which was pleasant. At length I came out to the trail, on which the snow had partially melted, so walking was easy indeed. The landscape at the meres was especially nice, and here more bare ground was showing. I was back at the cottages at 14, where it was thawing heavily.
There were no new traces of visits either outside or inside, and after getting some more firewood I went to the bathing place beside the (locked) sauna to have a good wash. The water was freezing, of course, but it was refreshing rather than shocking – despite the wind. I proceeded to have afternoon tea and then lit another fire to dry my stuff some more. When it had reached self-sustaining levels I went out again, and looking out over the land I could see that the snow line was creeping upwards further off. I took out the map and debated with myself what I was to do next; part of the day's goal had been to scout the conditions south through Lunndörrspasset, but seeing as how any tenting thereabouts would obviously require digging into the semi-hard snow I finally struck that option off the list.
Suddenly I caught sight of someone passing by outside – at first I thought he had just passed, but soon I became aware that he was resting outside, so I went out to talk. It was a single Swede with a tiny chihuahua who had walked from Pyramiderna, and now he extracted fresh information from me about suitable campsites in the vicinity. In the end he went on southwards a bit, wanting to lay eyes on that Lunndörren view, tucking the dog inside his jacket. By this time I had decided to cut the tour short and return to Vallbo the next day – not much else to do given the circumstances (I could have dug out campsites at various places, but I really did not feel up to it) – and that was where he would be headed as well, so perhaps we would meet again. Back inside I read some comics while heating water, and then prepared dinner using said water.
I finished reading and then went out as the sun was setting, going for another photo round. When the sun passed into a cloud bank I returned inside and lay down to read while tending to the fire. There was a fair light on the clouds, and the air temperature was dropping noticeably. I continued to read for a long time, now with the aid of artificial light, and eventually went out in the moonlight, sitting down by the calm mere; the moon reflected in the water, and above the starry sky, the elenath, provided a contemplative backdrop, with a brook mumbling in the distance. This, this is tranquility. It was rather cold, but the interior of the cottage was warm enough, and I entered the bed there after 22:15.