Day 57. Blahammaren to Storlien

Posted by: James on February 26, 2009

Distance 19km | Time 5hrs | Ascent 250m | Descent 790m

Day 57. The quiet birch forest between Blahammaren and StorlienAfter a very good breakfast everybody who had come from Sylarnafjallstation and the three Dutch all prepared to leave. It had been a jolly stay at Blahammaren lodge as everybody got well and socialized.

Outside it was different. There was still a bit of wind, quite heavy snow and very thick mist. It was difficult to see more than 30 metres. The others all left for the short journey east to Storulvan while I headed north to Storlien. Before I set of there were more phone calls about the liberated rucksack and where to deliver it.

Initially the route down the hill from Blahammaren lodge was impossibly thick with mist. It was also reasonably steep so the skiing was difficult. I snow ploughed to keep my speed down as I could not make out the lie of the land despite the copious red marker crosses.

As I descended the visibility improved and soon I could make out the darkness of the patches of birch copses below and the forest beyond that. After a couple of km of descent the route reached a small emergency shelter. As I had just started I did not go in but continued down.

The descent got a tad steeper but with the improving view I could go faster Soon I was entering the birch forest where the snow was a bit deeper and this slowed me down. I weaved in and out of clumps of trees as I descended and eventually this pleasant ski brought me down to the wide valley floor in the midst of a thick birch forest. Mercifully there was a trail through it but it was deep with new snow.

The weather was now still and overcast. Thick snow lay on the branches of the birch and it was a very tranquil scene. I slowly skiied along this trail sinking in to the soft snow. After a km I came to a suspension footbridge over a large frozen river. After crossing it I had to either wax my skis or put skins on for the long shallow climb in loose snow. I went for the skins.

The climb was relatively easy and the scenery very pleasant. There was the odd very thin pointed spruce tree and a smattering of pines which added life to the dull leafless birch trees. Near the top of the climb by Rundvalen I met another skier. He was local and told me he had once seen a wolverine on this hill.

From Rundvalen it was a nice descent through the thickening spruce and pine forest to the village of Storvallen. The spruce were very thin and needle shaped as this allows them to shed snow easily so they are not damaged.

Just before Storvallen I had a simple fall and landed on my bum. This meant the rucksack hit the ground first and I broke the buckle on the waist band Not a big problem as I could tie it, but this will become an irritation.

I passed the youth hostel to enquire about accommodation in Storlien and got some good information about the route north as well. Storlien was another 6 km through an area of leisure cabins and forest.

Again there is little complimentary I can say about Storlien. A border town with a alpine ski development and as mass of ugly buildings. It was pretty down market as a resort. In addition it was full of Norwegians on snow scooters.

I checked into a pub with rooms and had a great shower and tasty meal. Half way through Andre and Morten texted me to say they were camping in the town. We soon met up for a beer in the pub. Andre was also doing Norge Paa Langs and I skied with them a good week ago for a day. We laughed about the route gone and discussed the route to come. We would no doubt meet again soon

One Response to “Day 57. Blahammaren to Storlien”

  1. Fredrik I Says:

    Hey there James!

    Glad to learn you made it to Storlien safe and sound. We changed our minds, took the easy way out and followed the larger group to StorulvÄn from BlÄhammaren. In case you were wondering about our disappearance.

    Your blog is now listen in my rss-feed. I’ll follow your adventures with interest. All the best!

    /Fredrik (of the dinner company at Sylarna)