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Funäsdalen – Norwegian Mecca


View Summit hikes in Härjedalen on bejjan's travel map.

Length: 4 km
Height difference: 200 meters

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Woke up to occasional heavy rain, temperature was only +12° Celsius outside, so a little chilly inside the cabin.

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The red squirrel now had a friend, so two red squirrels sat in the spruce outside when I had breakfast. Took the car down to the grocery store for some shopping. Once back in the cabin I packed for today’s hike to the mountain Svanjökläppen. It stopped raining and the weather forecast showed fairly good weather in the village of Funäsdalen.

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Started driving along the road Lofsdalsvägen towards the village Sörvattnet. The road maintenance was really neglected and road damage reoccurred every now and then. The road was narrow, winding and the hill crests were sometimes so steep that your stomach tingled when you passed over them. So overall, a really bad road. So bad that I managed to get motion sickness even though I was driving myself – which I never got before.

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Once in Sörvattnet, I turned onto County Road 311. The road led through mountainous and forest landscape and straight through reindeer pastures, which is why you need to watch out for reindeer crossing the road. Also, this road was narrow and curvy, but not as the road Lofsdalsvägen. Along County Road 311 you passed through the village of Högvålen, Sweden’s highest village at 830 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.). The highest peak along the road was at 854 m.a.s.l., which was marked by a small yellow sign, before gong downhill again and you eventually arrive in the village of Tännäs. Here, I turned onto Highway 84, a nice wide road where you could drive at the permitted speed. Not long thereafter, you arrive in Funäsdalen. The traffic congested, people in motion along the main street. Quite the opposite to Lofsdalen, which can be described as peaceful. In Funäsdalen are several grocery stores, gas stations, a police station, health center, large hotels and of course a lot of cabins. One thing that struck me the most was how many Norwegian registered cars there were here. Every other car actually. A lot of German and Dutch cars as well.

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But I had my mind set on the small village of Tänndalen and the mountain Svansjökläppen, so I drove by Funäsdalen and Hamra and turned left onto the road Svansjökläppsvägen. Here, for a small fee, you can get up to the Svansjökläppen’s parking lot. It is a toll road and costs 40 SEK which can easily be paid by cell phone according to the instruction to the specified number (another option is to take the ski lift – which costs even more – and you have to hike significantly longer).

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The road was – despite paying a small amount – really bad, narrow and bumpy. Where does the money go really? At the bridge crossing the river Tännån, it was posted a sign that you are crossing the bridge at your own risk. SCARY! Further on, the graveled road got even steeper and you were urged to drive in 1st gear. After this adventure, only to reach the parking lot, then the vastness of Svansjökläppen stretched out in front of you. It took about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get here from Lofsdalen.

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Here starts several trails. To the right of the parking lot, rose the summit of Svansjökläppen at 1125 m.a.s.l.

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Looking to the left, you could spot one of Europe’s 236 Big Bench Project benches. The American designer Chris Bangle has designed the bench that makes any adult feeling like a child again.

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You had to hike for about 15 minutes that ended with a pretty steep ascent to reach the bench. It was windy and cold up here, luckily, I had packed both a hat and gloves!

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A little tricky how you were supposed to get up on the bench. There was no ladder or anything like that, to help. But I swung myself up like mounting a horse. Okay, that was that then. Took the same trail back, over spans and along the rocky path back to the parking lot. Now, time to climb the summit of Svansjökläppen! The trail up is steep, so I managed to take alternative path around so I hiked up from a less steep side.

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Along that trail, I spotted a small reindeer herd peacefully grazing the heathland. Photo opportunity of course!

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Right at the summit of Svansjökläppen (1125 m.a.s.l.), the sun broke through the clouds for a while. For some time, I had the whole peak for myself, no one else was up there. My cell phone operator thought I had crossed the border to Norway and sent me a welcome text that I was now able to phone and text as usual.

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From up here, on one side you could see the lake Svansjön and the Hamra Mountain Massif on the other, with a glimpse of the waterfall of Anderssjöåfallet and its wooden stairs among the trees. The waterfall didn’t look much to the world from up here. I went down from the summit the nearest way, i.e. the steep trail. A good workout for the legs and I went slow and careful, you don’t want to wreck your knees first thing. Along the way down I met many people fought their way up, some with their dogs.
Got in my car and carefully started driving downhill the graveled road of Svansjökläppsvägen again. It didn’t feel as steep as on the way up.

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The bridge is crossing the Creek Tännån.

I didn’t have to throttle once before I reached the bridge and the road leveled out. Turned left onto Highway 84 and drove maybe 500 meters before arriving at the parking lot next to the waterfall Anderssjöåfallet. You could hear the rushing water as soon as you opened the car door. Here were real toilets with sinks, but no lights. Only a small window (about 10 x 40 centimeters) that let daylight in, but it was pitch black before your eyes had adapt. But if you still bother to draw sewage and water to the toilet, why not electricity as well?

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Walked further along a small path leading up to the wooden stairs. The stairs have 303 steps and runs parallel to the waterfall. I pushed myself to walk all the steps without paus – but after maybe 60 steps lactic acid were literally squirted out of my ears. I didn’t count the number of steps (assuming many others already done so) but suddenly they just ran out and the trail continued through dense arctic downy birch forest. You can continue through the birch forest up to the flower meadows of the Mountain Hamra and further hike other trails. But I sat down on the ledge at the last step and ate my packed food. Then soon the mosquitos became very close, so I packed up and walked down all 303 steps.

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Began the returning journey to Lofsdalen at 4.30 pm by going the same road back. Saw several reindeers along the way and the clouds started gathering. The rain was literally in the air. With just a few kilometers left the rain poured down. But it also ended pretty soon. Made a quick stop at the grocery store to bye some vegetables for the girls.

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After a shower and well-needed dinner, the clouds dissolved.

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A thin crescent moon appeared in the sky and the rain left a nice rainbow. According to the weather forecast temperature would drop to only +2° Celsius tonight. So, I turned up the heat on all radiators in the cabin.

Posted by bejjan 00:00 Archived in Sweden Tagged waterfalls mountains lakes hiking summit_hike

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