Lake Femunden, day 1
|Gränjåsvålen (Idre Fjäll)||891m||216m||Älvdalen, Sweden|
We checked into our rented cabin at Femundstunet on Sunday evening (the 16th). We had booked the best cabin they had to offer, but there was nothing impressive about it. Quite disappointing, actually. But as this would be our base-camp for close to a week, we decided to make the best of the situation, and had some fun moments outside before calling it a day.
Gränjåsvålen (Idre Fjäll)
The first thing we did on Monday morning, was to drive to Sweden to shop groceries and to bike up Gränjåsvålen. Karma had to stay in the cabin, because taking a dog into Norway is a serious hassle. And the reason why Norwegians go to Sweden to shop is money. Food, alcohol and tobacco – all much, much cheaper. Close to half the price.
We drove towards the skiing center on Idre Fjäll and parked in the outskirts.
After passing the centre, we followed the main road to the top. The distance was 4,5km and the vertical gain was 275m from our starting point. It was big fun to my first top in Sweden with Anne. This was my Swedish top #4, after the Sweden high point Kebnekaise and a couple of tops on the Kebnekaise massif.
What we didn’t know is that there are prepared biking routes on this mountain. As we were to head down, we chose the blue route. There was also a red route, but as Anne is not too familiar with mountain biking, I felt that would be a wrong choice. Perhaps there is also a black route. I don’t know. But the blue route was the perfect choice for Anne.
Shopping is something I really hate, and especially in Sweden – in a store packed with Norwegians. But I survived, and the upside was four bags packed with food for a week, besides the bags from “Systembolaget” – the place where you buy wine, beer and stronger stuff. The latter is never on our shopping list…
Back at Femundstunet, Anne decided to go kayaking in Femunden while I took Karma and the car and drove to Galten Gård to hike Galtåsknappen. The maps we bought when checking in was a good investment…
The trailsign informed me that the path to the top was 4km. After the 1st km, I regretted not bringing the bike, as the path in the beautiful pine forest was perfect for biking. But as the terrain got gradually steeper, it was OK to be on foot. Having said that, it would have been perfect to bike down all the way from the top!
35 minutes after leaving the car, we climbed above the tree-line and had great views all around. Karma and I reached the top 3:50pm, 50 minutes, 335 vertical meters and 4km after leaving the car.
The map presented a good option for a round-trip hike. This involved a 1,1km off-trail hike down the forest, which is never a problem in a pine forest. The only hick-up was that the map wasn’t accurate, so when I got to the point where I expected to find a forest road, no forest road was to be seen.
This is however a familiar problem, so after a few zig-zags, I located the forest path and followed it back to the car. The entire hike was 7,8km and took 1h:37m.
I called Anne, still on Femunden. She had still some distance to cover in her kayak, so I decided to drive to Drevsjø and hike Vardeberget.
I relied on the (handheld) GPS to locate the forest road I had decided to follow, but at Drevsjø, the GPS gave me a “no signal” message. I didn’t pay enough attention, and ended up on the road to Trysil. The GPS told me so once I felt this was the wrong way. I drove back to Drevsjø, and got another “no signal” message once I reached the centre of the village. “What is this?”, I asked myself. Is Drevsjø a “void” in terms of the global positioning system? I had to switch over to the Iphone, which guided me to the Nybubekken road that I planned as my starting point.
This road was closed by a gate, which purpose was to keep the reindeer in – or out – I’m not a local, so I can’t say for sure. But the gate completely collapsed when I touched it, and I had a hard time reassembling it. But it would still open if a reindeer sneezed on it, so I decided to park down by the main road and take one of the bikes instead.
I left the Nybubekken road after 0,9km and biked a couple of hundred meters on the trail before leaving the bike. The remaining distance was done on foot, and on my way up I got a text message from Anne, who had called it a day (due to a strong wind and current) with her kayaking project and wondered if I was in the neighbourhood to pick her up.
I wasn’t, but fortunately she had brought her kayak trolley along, and decided to walk the main road back to Femundstunet. After reaching the top of Vardeberget, I only stopped for pictures.
Then, Karma and I ran back to the bike and returned to the car 45 minutes after leaving it, and drove back to pick up Anne. But we arrived our base-camp at the same time, which was quite a perfect timing, considering the number of hours we had been apart.
By now, we had learned to enjoy our new base-camp at Femundstunet and had a brilliant afternoon, sharing mutual experiences…
Pictures from Femundstunet, July 16:
Pictures from Idre Fjäll bike trip, July 17:
Pictures from the Galtåknappen hike, July 17:
Pictures from the Vardeberget hike, July 17: