Tours › 2016 › Sylarna › Day 4

Thursday 18/8

Stage map 4

Nordsylen – Sylarna

Horizontal distance:7.5 km
Vertical distance:-20 m, +20 m, -40 m, +100 m, -110 m, +20 m
Time:3 h
Lunch break: 45 min
Dinner:Tortellini + chocolate pudding
Night accommodation:Tent
Stage classification:Easy
Map point:Sylarna

I slept fairly well even though the wind ripped powerfully at the fabric for most of the night. When I awoke from the increasing warmth of the morning sun it was weak or absent, however, and the sky was once again clear. I went up at 07:45 and sat outside for a good while, looking at clouds forming around the summits of Snasahögarna and Västra Bunnerstöten, and to a lesser degree Lopmesvaerie, but Sylarna remained wholly in the clear. I also spotted another hiker coming from the east on the trail, obviously having made an early start, but that was the only movement I could see. I had breakfast in the shelter of the adjacent rock again, and now it was mostly warm and still. I made no haste packing up, enjoying another terrific morning in the field, and eventually left at 10:15, this time tying the wind jacket to the rucksack.

Snasahögarna 4
Cloud cap on Snasahögarna...
Lopmesvaerie 1
...and Lopmesvaerie

My body had felt fine all morning – more fine than expected given the exertion of the preceding day – but as I started walking the knee made itself known again, albeit not too prominently. I crossed the stream once more and aimed downwards at a shallow angle, passing several other good potential campsites (but none had a better view), and then came to the next, larger stream which was easily crossed with the help of rocks in the course. The ensuing stretch was very plesant to walk, and I soon found myself on the trail; the path was not that well trodden at places, but the marking cairns were always visible, and just as yesterday the knee liked being part of the long strides I was able to execute.

The wind now was picking up, but not enough for me to put the jacket on. Suddenly the cairns turned confusing, splitting into several lines, and I stuck to the uppermost one, where the path was good. As I proceeded around Vaktklumpen the wind increased further, and was now starting to feel chilly. I soon came onto the clearer and more well-marked trail from/to Storerikvollen, and soon thereafter I met three (1+2) Norwegians, two of whom were having a break in the sun in natural reclining chairs of rock. All of them had walked from Sylarna and were heading for Storerikvollen, and we talked for a bit before I moved on. I stayed on the trail as it rounded the hills making up the base of the northeastern outrunner of Vaktklumpen, and then turned up to the right just before a somewhat larger stream.

Pass 1
Not taking the pass
Trail 10
Upon the trail
Sylarna 9
Leaving Lillsylen/1616 behind...
Fjelds 1 Lopmesvaerie et al
Cairn 7
Trail 11
Still marked
Fjelds 2
Came from over there earlier
Fjelds 3
Reindeer 5
Little one
Bunnerfjällen 2
Trail 12
Going around

I followed the general heading of the multi-armed stream, crossing a course here and there, walking over very nice flat heathland in between. The wind was returning in force as I slowly gained or at least maintained altitude, and it wasn't long before the peaks of Sylarna came into view once more. I passed was must have been the beginnings of the stream and came up onto a hilltop from where I had a superb view of the massif, with the glacier shining brightly in the strong sun. I continued to another low but marked rise and then made my way over to a large cloven rock that sat there in the open like a beacon.

Stream 7
Following the stream
Stream 8
Still following the stream
Stream 9
Stream being followed
Fjelds 4
Bird 1
Sylarna 10
Templet 1
Sylarna fjeld station 2
Goal of the day
Sylarna 11
Sylskalet 1
Sylskalet spreading out
Kalle 3
Panorama 4
Panorama over the Sylarna massif, showing Templet, Slottet, Storsylen, Pyramiden, Lillsylen and Vaktklumpen

It was some time after noon when I reached the rock, and before sitting down on the lee side I took off the rucksack and walked around a bit, looking out over not only the imposing peaks but also the valley of Sylskalet that stretched out ahead. I had my lunch and then just sat still for a good while, really taking the time to enjoy the scenery – and the weather! – since I was in no hurry whatsoever. A couple of people – a father and a son, I surmised – were coming down the well-trodden path that ran right beside the rock, but other than that it was just me and the wilderness (which I could pretend now that the rock itself hid the Sylarna station).

Sylskalet 2
Sylskalet in full
Rock 1
The cloven rock
Herrklumpen 1
Delta beneath Herrklumpen
Vaktklumpen 2
Vaktklumpen from the other side

Eventually I started going down myself, and just as before the knee made this somewhat uncomfortable, but at least the path was much better than the rock fields upon 1616. Towards the end of the slope things turned a bit muddy, and then I came to Sylälven which looked very much fordable at the moment, but since the bridge was in place (it is one of those brought out and ultimately away by helicopter each summer) I just used that. Walking up to the station my beforehand guess of ongoing renovation work was confirmed – the effects were well visible from afar – and the ground had been dug up around the northern wing of the main building as well. I took a path going around that way in order to get a good shot of the place with the peaks as a backdrop, and went inside after 13:15.

Sylarna 12
Walking the path
Sylarna 13
Cottongrass 1
Again, with macro focus
Sylarna fjeld station 3
Nearing the station
Tent 9
Tent alight
Sylälven 1
Easily forded...
Bridge 1
...but I used the bridge
Sylarna fjeld station 4
Main building
Sylarna fjeld station 5
Auxiliary and staff buildings

I paid the service fee allowing me to pitch a tent outside and use all the station's facilities (save beds), and then went back out in search of a suitable spot. This wasn't too easy, since the ground in the immediate vicinity was either uneven, stony, slanting, or all three. Eventually I found a passable one closer to the stream, and after looking around some more but coming up empty I started to pitch the tent. This wasn't too easy either, since the rock content made both aligning the tent and driving the pegs into the ground a challenge, and the considerable wind sure didn't help either, but the result was acceptable.

I went up to a bench with a good view and sat there relaxing for a bit, watching more people coming and going – one of which made a similar spot search and ended up just beside mine. I then went inside the station to book my return journey; unfortunately the wi-fi was down due to a broken antenna, so I had to rely on the mobile net instead. Next up was a longed-for visit to the sauna, but first I paid a non-related visit to the traditional-looking Sámi hut constructed for show a short bit above the auxiliary building. The subsequent sauna was really good, and as expected the heat did wonders with my knee.

Tent 10
The tent finally in place
Hiker 1
Hiker (sg.)
Hikers 2
Hikers (pl.)
Hut 1
The peat hut...
Njalla 1
...and its traditional storage building ("njalla")
Sylarna fjeld station 6
All of the station sprawling out in front of the massif

Outside clouds has started to amass in the sky, occasionally covering the sun, and the wind was rather cool. Since it was almost time for dinner I brought my food pack up to the communal kitchen; there were some people there, but as of yet there was no real bustle, so I had no trouble preparing my meal. I sat close to the large windows overlooking the massif and ate hungrily, topping off with some chocolate pudding I had found in the leftover pile earlier. The clouds were now dominating the sky, and some of them were touching the peaks. I spent some quiet time inside the station, looking about the place since it had been some time since my last visit, and then settled down to read.

Tents 1
Tent village
Panorama 5
Panorama over the massif in the cloudy evening

Eventually it was time for my evening snack, and just as during the previous two evenings I had to rush out when there was a sudden breakthrough of light as the sun sank below the cloud base – and this was the most colorful yet. After that I returned down to the tent, pulling the guylines taut against the gusty wind, and moved inside for the night. The cloud cover was now somewhat broken up, but large masses were rolling low over the peaks. I went to bed around 22, feeling quite content with the day.

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


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