Day 56. Sylarnafjallstation to Blahammaren

Posted by: James on February 25, 2009

Distance 19km | Time 4hrs | Ascent 500m | Descent 410m

Day 56. Sylan mountains finally cleared after I had left themI had a very slow start. It was a reasonably short day and the usually accurate Norwegian weather forecast said it would clear up around midday for a short while. So after breakfast at 0830 I lounged around during which time the spindrift was still flying around outside.

I eventually left at 1000 when the wind had ceased, but there was no sign of it clearing up. My skis had far too much wax on and kept balling up so I had to scrape a lot of the wax off. After that they were a dream with a good glide on the downhill section and sticky enough to grip the snow for the gentle uphill climbs.

I was not the first to leave for Blahammaren lodge so there was already a good trail. I glanced behind me from time to time but the clouds still covered the mountains. Before long I was at a junction where one route headed down to Storulvans fjallstation and a roadhead, while the other started to climb its undulating course to Blahammaren lodge.

It was a long sustained climb for 3 km up the slopes of Enkalen during which time I caught up with 2 of the 3 parties ahead of me. There was the odd bit of blue sky and occasional sunny spot but most things were still enshrouded in mist.

There was a wonderful run down the north side of Enkalen to a small hut used for emergencies and lunch breaks. There was already the first group lunching in here and I squeezed in also. Soon the 3 nice Swedes who invited me for dinner last night arrived. They were only 15 minutes behind and said the skies had cleared. It was exactly as the forecast had predicted.

Day 56. Small mountains to the east of Blahammaren lodgeI went out and right enough the whole landscape was basking in sun. I had not realized the lack of sun in the last 10 days except yesterday as I had been in woods, lanes and farming country. Now back in the mountains again I needed it. I took some photos and set off for the final 8 km.

I was the first now so had to break trail in the variable snow; sometimes deep, sometimes compact. It was hot work in the still air and sun and I soon had to stop to take off my jacket. It was marvellous to ski in the mountains in the sun again.

Much of the final 6 km was up a gentle slope. The skis were just gripping to the snow enough to stop me using excess energy in my arms and poles to stop me sliding back. Up and up I went with the Sylan massif clear behind me and sunny slopes around me.

Eventually I cleared a rise and there was Blahammaren lodge about a km in front. I ploughed through the easy snow and reached the lodge just after 1400. An easy short day. Already the weather was closing in again as the forecast predicted

Day 56. Looking north from Blahammaren lodge to the landscape north of StorlienBlahammaren lodge was run by the Swedish Trekking Association for lack of a better translation. It should have been quite down to earth and simple but had built up a reputation for good food. The atmosphere was however down to earth and simple with a cosy lounge.

Soon the nice Swedish family with twins arrived, then the nice Swedes who invited me for dinner and finally the good fun Dutch trio from Storerikvollen. It made for a sociable time. I could easily have continued to Storlien but a bit of social banter would not go amiss and I would have plenty of long days alone in the next sections.

After a god chat with the other groups I went for a shower. Then the dinner It was a 3 course affair with plenty of salad and vitamins. I sat with the Dutch and we had a very nice dinner. They were all very likable with very interesting jobs.

Everybody headed off quite early which suited me fine as I could go and write the blog and wrestle unsuccessfully with the phone to try and send emails Since entering Sweden the network has been erratic at best. By the evening the weather had deteriorated to a good blizzard.

It had been a great day. The view appeared at last. The 19 km was across good snow in the sun and the evening was spent in good company in a lodge with a nice atmosphere.

In addition I heard from Ovind that he finally had the rucksack but could not get it to Teveltunet in time. In some ways this was a mixed blessing as Teveltunet was a detour where I would lose many meters height to be climbed the next day.

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