Tours › 2006 › Around Sylarna › Day 9

Tuesday 14/3

Stage map 9

Blåhammaren – Storlien

Horizontal distance:18 km
Vertical distance:-500 m, +180 m, -200 m, +60 m, -40 m
Time:4 h 45 min
Lunch break:1 h 30 min
Dinner:Pizza
Night accommodation:
Stage classification:Easy/Medium (comment)
The Medium part comes from the initial descent, which was anything but trivial.
Map points:Blåhammaren, Gräslidfjället

The night was pretty calm, but the morning came with strong southerly winds, albeit not fully as fierce as the day before. The sky remained clear, but there were some smaller clouds at the horizon. Since the stage of the day would be an easy one, and because I didn't need to be at the train station in Storlien until 18:27, I took it very easy, staying in bed reading until 08:00. I went out to the auxiliary building, where the guest kitchen is, and made breakfast, again taking my time. This was followed by another period of slack, before I finally readied myself for departure at 10:30.

Sauna 1
View from inside the sauna in the morning
Blåhammaren fjeld station 7
The stone corridor between the two wings of the building
Sylarna 39
Sylarna...
Snasahögarna 6
...and Snasahögarna...
Sun 38
...in the bright morning sun

With the hard wind at my back, I began gliding down the mountainside, which after the first moderate slope turned into an arduous affair. The extensive abrasion had produced a base layer which was as near pure ice as snow can come and still be called snow, with conglomerations of hard-packed drift on top in most irregular patterns. What with both the relentless wind pushing me along and the substantial incline, I had to pick my way carefully, and I came close to falling several times. At the Gräslidfjället shelter some kilometers down, there was a snowmobile the driver of which apparently was a maintenance worker checking up on the building. From there on, the condition of the trail was better, so that I could hold a more direct course downwards.

Down in Enan's vale the wind was all but nonexistent, and the clothes which were barely enough to keep me comfortable up in the tempest were now too warm instead. As a result, I proceeded slowly, exerting myself as little as possible, until I was up on Rundvalen where there was a fair wind again. I met two other skiers while up in the flat region, and then another three when the trail started descending. There were also a pair sitting in a camp beside the trail just before the trees restarted, and shortly thereafter I spotted an abandoned camp site a bit to one side and decided that it was time to stop myself.

Just as I was settling down at 12:15, an elderly chap came walking (!) up the trail, and not long after that the camped pair I had just passed by passed me by in turn; they must have been on the verge of getting up. There was a light breeze at first, but it gradually petered out. I had my lunch and then just relaxed, reading a bit in the glaring sun. While I was sitting there savoring the delights of an existence devoid of demands, two middle-aged women came down the trail – one of them looked me over and made the following appropriate remark to her companion, loudly enough for me to overhear: "That looks awfully nice... some people sure know how to enjoy life!"

Sylarna 40
Smoky Sylarna
Fjelds 1
Stora Härjångsstöten wearing a cap
Blåhammaren fjeld station
Leaving the station...
Fjelds 2
...and leaping down the mountainside
Shelter 1
The shelter beneath Gräslidfjället
Sun 39
The lower part of the trail...
Bridge 3
...not long before another bridge over Enan
Top view 13
Blåhammarfjället in all its splendor
Åreskutan 1
Åreskutan rearing its mighty crest far away
Snasahögarna 7
The Snasahögarna massif in its entirety
Fjelds 3
Blåhammarkläppen and Sylarna behind...
Storlien 3
...and Storlien ahead

About a quarter to two in the afternoon, the discontinued breeze grew back, so I found it preferable to pack up and continue. Just a bit further down, the envious women were searching for a camp site of their own beneath a crest, after which I had a great downhill run to the crossroads above Storvallen – there's a whole bunch of skiing tracks and marked trails around there, but the main touring trail I was following made a bend around the village. In the forest, where it was calm again, I met a single gentleman before another nice downhill portion, but otherwise I didn't see anyone else before reaching the highway.

I crossed the road, and began zigzagging my way up Visjövalen, between all the private cabins scattered about the slope. It was very warm, and everything – including the snow – had the character of well-advanced spring. After an overly hot climb, I was relieved to find the top plateau somewhat windy, and set a direct course for Storlien, eventually coming onto a snowmobile trail where I met a dogsled. Having reached the railway I found it to be snowy enough to permit crossing with skis, and so was the following street, and I was able to follow a snowmobile track for a bit before the snow ran out. I then took off the skis, bundled them up, and walked the remaining (short) distance to the train station, which I entered at 15:15.

Storvallen 1
Storvallen appearing below
Storvallen 2
Houses in Storvallen, with Snasahögarna in the background
Steinfjellet 1
Steinfjellet on the other side of the border
Fjelds 4
Some other fjelds to the southeast
Snasahögarna 8
Snasahögarna again
Storlien 42
Finally approaching Storlien

I was alone inside, and removed the excessive clothing at once. I went on to read for quite some time, before stuffing my stuff into a corner and going to the restaurant in the adjacent building to have a pizza. When I came back there were two Norwegians waiting for the Trondheim-bound train, and I played some solitaire before my train from Trondheim arrived – on time.

Eve 3
Eve 4
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