The Sunmountain

I have stopped counting the times I was in Solberget, the beautiful wilderness retreat in Swedish Lapland. This time I was asked if I want to join a three day first aid course in Solberget. Since my last one was long ago I accepted gladly.

The course, arranged by the German Outdoorschule Süd, was both intense and fantastic and I’m glad that I was able to participate. I stayed another day after the course to make a ski tour. It has snowed quite a lot in Lapland in November and round about 60 cm of snow covered the forest soil. I started the tour at 8:30 – an hour before sun rise. The air was crisp and cold with temperatures round -15 °C. I borrowed a pair of wooden Tegsnäs skis. They are long and broad and fit to every boot which makes them ideal for the powdery snow in the Northern forests. I crossed the street and entered the narrow forest path that leads to the hill which bears the same name as the wilderness retreat: Solberget – the Sunmountain. I crossed the Solbergsvägen, which was covered with a half metre of snow and soon went slightly uphill through the old forest with its mighty spruce and pine trees.

Even though I didn’t take the smoothest way up it didn’t take long until I arrived at the top of the Solberget, which is 459 meters above sea level. I ignored the cozy mountain hut and went straight to the old fire lookout tower which provides a unique 360 degree view over the landscape.

As fastly as I arrived at the tower as slowly I climbed it, since the handrails and the steps of the three ladders were covered with a thick layer of hard and crusty snow. Finally I was on the top of the tower, just in time to see the sun rising above the hilly horizon.

I stayed on the tower for more than an hour, happy to see the snow covered trees in the warm and ever-changing light of the low hanging winter sun. First the sun got free of the clouds and started to illuminate more and more of the scenery. The colours changed from a pale pink to shades of orange and many other colours I don’t have any name for. After a while a cloud layer approached from the north changing the mood of the landscape again. At the end almost the whole landscape was shadowy beside of the fog that still hung above the swampy areas in the southwest.

Finally the sun vanished behind the cloud layer. I climbed down the three ladders of the tower and continued my ski tour. First I headed southeast, then I turned more and more to the right while I descended the hill. After a while (and a bit of squeezing through the pathless thickets) I reached the Solbergsvägen again, however more in the south. This part of the path was completely untouched beside of a track of a hare that you still could guess under the fresh snow of the last day.

After a while I came to the turn-off to the swamp Solmyran which I followed a bit. The sun was low again and illuminated the snow in bright orange colours, while the snow in the shadows looked more blueish. There are many colours in winter, you just have to go out to spot them.

The photographer and his studio:


I can highly recommend both a stay at Solberget and the first aid courses of the Outdoorschule Süd. In February you can combine the two, if you can speak and understand German.

8 comments to “The Sunmountain”

  1. Santosh 2016-12-02 23:15

    I felt I was right there witnessing and experiencing every moment! Amazing colours beautifully captured.

  2. way-up-north 2016-12-03 07:34

    Thank you, Santosh.

  3. Ricarda 2016-12-04 18:12

    WOW ! Das nenn ich mal Winterwonderland !
    Traumhaft ! Nun bin ich richtig neidisch……..will auch sowas haben.
    Toll, daß Du die Möglichkeit hast diese Pracht zu genießen.
    Ich muß nun gleich mal ein ernstes Wort mit Frau Holle reden… ;-)
    Wünsch Dir noch eine schöne Adventszeit

  4. way-up-north 2016-12-04 18:40

    Die wünsche ich Dir auch, Ricarda – und natürlich Schnee.

  5. Janah 2016-12-05 15:13

    Hallo Olaf ! Da sind sie wieder: die Fotos, bei denen man noch staunen kann über die Natur. Du hast wieder sehr schöne Fotos gemacht !
    Vor 3 Wochen hatten wir in Lüneburg auch über Nacht viel Schnee bekommen. Aber die Bäume hatten z.T. noch viel Laub, dazu der nasse, schwere Schnee. Im Stadtgebiet sind 3000 Bäume ganz oder teilweise abgebrochen/abgeknickt. Und 2 Tage später war der erste Schnee wieder weggetaut.

  6. way-up-north 2016-12-05 20:18

    Janah: Das ist natürlich eine der wenig schönen Seiten des Winters, wenn der Schnee so schwer ist, dass er Bäume abknickt.

    So schön schneebepackt wie an jenem Tag sind die Bäume dort aber auch nicht immer.

  7. Annika 2016-12-05 22:26

    Wunderschön! Und wunderschön eingefangen.

  8. way-up-north 2016-12-05 22:50

    Danke, Annika. Ich würde am Liebsten gleich wieder hin. Für hartgesottene ginge das ja: Dreieinhalb Stunden hin, zwei Stunden Tour (dann hat man keinen Stress), dreieinhalb Stunden zurück.

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