This article is part of the series
“2020-02: Ski tour Jämtland I”.
Tuesday, 25 February – calming down
Midnight has passed. Arne, Jonas and I are sleeping in the tent, somewhere between the mountain cabins Gåsenstugan and Vålåstugan in the mountains of Jämtland. After ten tour days and nights with very stormy weather it finally seems to have calmed down.
Half past one – BANG! BANG!! Three people wake up, red lights from three headlamps appear. What was that? The tent was just hit by two storm squalls. A new storm again? An unpredicted one? We leave the tent and Arne and Jonas tighten the tent lines. Back in our sleeping bags we carefully listen a while, but it has calmed down again.
Interruption from the blog author: I apologise. Until now I used the word “storm” 38 times in this tour report. You may call it bad style but we had a lot of weather with high Beaufort levels. Until now. Spoiler: the rest of the tour was calm and I won’t mentioned the s-word in this article again. And now back to the 25 February!
When I wake up at 7 o’clock the sky is blue and the air is crisp and clear. -10 °C. Soon the sun rises and illuminates the snow covered mountain tops.
We have a lot of time. We have three more days to ski and it’s only 25 km to my car. So we take a detour. Although it’s -10 °C the sun is so warm that we take of our jackets.
We approach Vålåstugan where we have been a week ago. Now the main building is shovelled free and we can take a sun bath on the terrace.
After our break we continue north until the way forks. We decide to take the detour over Stensdalen but to continue tenting. And another tent night it is, between some trees and with the view over the beautiful fjäll. The sun goes down, followed by the new moon. And there are more lights to see: stars, planes, the planet Venus, satellites and in the distance the lights of Vålådalen – the gate to civilisation. -15 °C.
Wednesday, 26 February – into the forest
Another beautiful morning. Sun and blue sky. -16 °C. So calm that we can eat outside of the tent. And brush our teeth as well.
We take a break at the Stendalsstugan. We are welcomed with hot berry juice, the traditional welcome on the STF cabins. The old building burned down in 2010, so a new one was built and inaugurated 2014. It’s huge and very modern. It looks very practical but less cozy and we are not sure whether we like it or not.
We continue the way down to Vålådalen. Single birches become birch forests, spruce trees become spruce forests. Moorland appears and huge pine trees. With the snowy mountains in the back this land looks Canadian to me. (I’m an expert, I’ve never been to Canada.)
We find a nice place to camp with the hope for sun in the morning. The temperature has dropped to -21 °C, the coldest temperature yet. This will be our last tent night. Tomorrow it’s only 10 km to go the parking and then we have booked rooms in the near hostel Vålågården. I’m always sad to bid the fjäll farewell but I’m looking forward to a hot shower and fresh clothes. I guess I smell like a wet fox.
Two course dinner: the main dish is couscous and for dessert chocolate creme.
Thursday, 27 February – back to civilisation
Blue sky again. Our sleeping hang or lie outside for drying. Yes, it is possible to dry a sleeping bag in -16 °C. The ice round the opening sublimes.
The last day is a day of last time activities. Melting snow the last time. Dissolve milk powder the last time. Dismantling the tent the last time. Packing the pulkas a last time. And starting a day on skis the last time.
Relaxed we ski back. Today we meet more skiers than the 12 days before. Some start a longer tour, many are doing day trips. A fallen tree invites both for a rest and a tour photo of all us three (there aren’t so many).
And that’s the last of more than 120 tour photos I published in this four-part tour report.
Dear readers, thanks for reading. You are very welcome to comment the articles. (Or pay me a winter holiday in Canada)
Dear Arne and Jonas – tack för turen! Thanks for the tour. I’m looking forward to the next one!
P.S.: Here’s a link to a map with our overnight stays and some of the breaks: Google Maps – Skitour Jämtland 2020.