Tours › 2018 › Storulvån-Vålådalen › Day 2

Friday 30/3

Stage map 2

Gåsen – Stensdalen (via Gåasa)

Horizontal distance:16 km
Vertical distance:+310 m, -440 m, +50 m, -250 m
Time:4 h 15 min
Lunch break: 45 min
Dinner:Bacon with pasta and cream
Night accommodation:Cottage
Stage classification:Easy/Medium
Map points:Gåsen, Sjtäntja, Stensdalen

My roommates were aiming for an early start, having chosen the somewhat far-off Kläppen as their destination for the day, and I was therefore awoken earlier than necessary on my part. I stayed in bed until the sun rose above the eastern ridge, when I went out to catch some of the light of another glorious (but cold) morning. After resting some more I moved over to the kitchen for a calm breakfast, and then just as calmly packed up and cleaned the now vacant room. As expected more people were heading towards the Gåsen summit, and after finishing up inside I did the same at 09:45.

Morning 1
Morning 2
Morning 3

All the others were taking the long way around, going up the way I had come down the day before, but I opted for a more direct route, following a set of tracks heading obliquely up the slope. Even though the air had been rather chilly shortly before, things quickly got warm in the glaring sun as soon as I started moving. The snow was OK for the most part, but gave better grip beside the tracks than in them. I made some zigzag moves until I had cleared the steeper portion of the climb, from where I saw the rest further up the following rise. I passed a section of harder snow, but then it got better again. I met two of the early risers going down, and then found myself on rough, craggy snow just before reaching the flat summit. There were two other people still up there, and we admired the perfect view together. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Gåsen is the Jamtlandic vantage point!

Gåsen cottages 5
Helags 5
Gåsen 2
Summit ahead
Handölan 1
Clockwise from the summit: Handölan and Snasahögarna, ...
Västra Bunnerstöten 2
...Västra Bunnerstöten, ...
Bunnerfjällen 1
...Bunnerfjällen, ...
Härjångsdalen 2
...Härjångsdalen, ...
Härjångsfjällen 1
...Härjångsfjällen, ...
Helags 6
...Helags, ...
Sylarna 5
...Sylarna, ...
Fjelds 1
...and the Norwegian fjelds beyond
Fjelds 2
Distant fjelds
Sylarna 6
Hung out to dry
Kalle 1
Happy mountaineer

Eventually I set off down the eastern slope, carefully negotiating the roughness before finding extended swaths of wind-planed snow that offered easy routes of descent. As I got lower the snow turned softer, and towards the end I didn't have to mind my balance particularly much. Having reached the Stensdalen trail I was almost immediately hit by colder air, especially in the following downhill slopes. I slowly gained on two others ahead of me, and just as I was about to pass them there started appearing bare, stony hilltops in the terrain – the first of the tour, what with all the snow. Shortly thereafter I suddenly caught sight of the Sjtäntja shelter at 11:45, close to which the earlier summit visitors were having lunch.

Östra Bunnerstöten 1
Zoom on Östra Bunnerstöten
Lill-Stensdalen 1
Going down towards
Tjallingdalen 1
Tjallingdalen over there
Trail 1
Upon the trail
Tjallingdalen 2
Tjallingdalen opening up
Sylarna 7
Sylarna rising again

I sat down on a nearby patch of bare rocks and heath myself, and was soon joined by the couple I had just passed on the trail. Then a group of four arrived from Stensdalen, also choosing this spot for their lunch break, and my companions from the summit rushed past without stopping. Before leaving I checked out the buildings, which had also been replaced in the semi-recent upgrade effort in the area, and then set off along the route of the summer trail, finding excellent snow. After a bit I maintained an altitude between the summer trail higher up and the winter trail at the bottom of the valley, passing more resting people by at a distance, eventually coming to a point where I had to decide whether to ascend or descend.

Skiers 2
New arrivals
Sjtäntja shelter 1
Communal break at the shelter
Tjallingklumpen 1
Tjallingklumpen behind me
Sjtäntja shelter 2
Sheltered view
Gåsen & Sylarna 1
Last look at Gåsen and Sylarna...
Lill-Stensdalen 2
...before starting the descent

I chose the latter, gliding effortlessly across fields which would otherwise (such as: with complete edges) have been fun to telemark down, spotting several pairs of people moving up the trail across the valley. I ended up near the start of an interesting ravine made by the central stream that I had not noticed before and followed said water course from there, at times taking detours when it was indeed watery, following old ski tracks on and off. I came back to the trail where it crossed the stream (duh), and shortly met two members of the fjeld rescue service on scouting business. A bit further along I met two skiers and then, after 14, arrived at the Stensdalen cottages.

Skiers 3
Skiers on the trail
Lill-Stensdalen 3
Down at...
Sun 2
...the ravine
Lill-Stensdalsfjället 1
Trail 2
Well-utilized trail
Fjelds 3
Fjelds across the Vålådalen basin
Lill-Stensdalsfjället 2
Classic view...
Stensdalen cottages 1
...from the Stensdalen cottages...
Stensdalen cottages 2
...enjoyed by everyone

A good bunch of people were sitting outside on the porch of the new cottage, for two reasons: 1) the nice weather, and 2) the wardens were out on a day tour because of 1). I therefore sat down myself for a while, watching more people arrive from Vålådalen, until one of the wardens appeared among the trees. This triggered a general entering of the cottage, followed by check-in and bed assignments; since the guest count was expected to exceed the available capacity by a fair amount all bottom beds were shared, but I got a top bunk to myself in the 6-bed room. I had a sturdy snack in the kitchen and then relaxed as more people poured in, eventually going down to the sauna when the allotted time arrived.

Easter 1
Easter spirit
Stensdalen cottages 3
Warden's cottage
Stensdalen cottages 4
Main cottage
Bunnerfjällen 2
Some clouds in the sky

It was only moderately good this time around, however, the stove not nearly burning at capacity, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Upon my return the kitchen was nearly full, but I managed to secure both utensils and space for my dinner. In fact, everything worked pretty smoothly considering the number of people present, but I still retreated to my bed after I had eaten to escape the babble and heat. There it was quiet and cool, and I read for a good while before going out to photograph in a weak but chilling wind. Back inside I continued to read and then had my evening snack in a much calmer kitchen before turning in around 21:45.

Evening 1
Evening 2
Evening 3
Evening 4
Evening 5
Evening 6
Evening 7


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