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Sonfjället with summit hike to Högfjället 1278 m.a.s.l.


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

Length: 11 km
Height difference: 560 meters

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Woke up to sunshine and clear-blue sky with occasional light clouds. But cold. Outside temperature hade definitely been close to zero degrees Celsius last night. The weather forecast suggested the best weather would be between 5 am and noon today. Which was perfect as it is good to be early to the most popular hiking trails, partly to get a parking space but also to avoid crowds of people. So, the plan was to leave at 7 am, which I did.

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Drove along the road Lofsdalsvägen to Linsell.

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Felt very lonely on the road, which was nice. Met a few company cars most likely heading to their jobs. Turned left onto Highway 84 towards Hedeviken. A wide nice road with speed limits up to 100 km/h. Amazing views along the road and the clouds continued their absence. The sun warmed in attempt to raise the chilly outside temperature.

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Once in Hedeviken I turned left, signed Sonfjället National Park. Passed through the village and in the outskirts, just before the narrow bridge begins, is a perfect view of Sonfjället Mountain Massif, a must to stop for photos. The bridge crossing the river Ljusnan was so narrow that two cars weren’t even able to meet. Just before the small village Sörviken, turn right following the signs to Sonfjället and then accessed the graveled road with the sign “Public Road ends here”. The graveled road was on and off pretty bad and you had to drive 15 kilometers before arriving at the parking lot at Nyvallen.

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The winding road leading up to Nyvallen offered some really nice views over probably the most known and photographed silhouette of the Mountain Sonfjället, which is really “just” a side ridge. The highest point of that side ridge is still 1247 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.) and is thus not something to belittle in any way.

Time was just 9 o’clock as I parked at Nyvallen’s parking lot. Only some campers and few other cars had made it before me. Perfect! Then I made it before the bigger crowd of people arrives and the mountain turns into a sea of people. There were dry toilets for the needed. Put on my hiking boots, backpack and took a deep breath of the clear chilly mountain air. Let’s go!

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The hiking trail started right next to the information cabin and continued through a beautiful arctic downy birch forest. After 1,5 kilometers you reach the tree line and met by endless views. Somewhere here, the trail took a course to the right (keep an eye out for when the orange markers stop!) and started to wind itself uphill towards Lillfjället. I missed that completely, and kept going uphill in the steep ravine.

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The energy began to wane, but the unforgettable views made it worthwhile.

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At the top of the ravine, I turned right and followed the trail over the heathland to the summit of Lillfjället – the small summit with the big view – with its 1010 m.a.s.l. After 30 minutes of steep ascent, there was a well-deserved break. The silence was striking and the miles wide view of forests, mountains and clear small tarns were amazing.

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From here, you have some kilometers left uphill the side ridge at 1247 m.a.s.l., which was the “summit” you saw down at the parking lot. Here was a trail along the steep slope that now had been closed due tot the risk of falling down. The signage of this was inadequate. The trail had been re-routed and was definitely longer and steeper. But law-abiding as I am, I chose the new trail.

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Tough terrain, rocky and steep – but shame on he who gives up! After a brutal uphill hike, the side ridge’s highest point was glimpsed. But to get there required a tough hike through the sea of blocks that lay before you. The sea of rugged block consists of Quartzite that, through constant change in temperature between plus and minus degrees, is frost blasted to larger and smaller blocks. Sonfjället’s soil is nutrient-poor and coarse-grained which is why only map lichens and low bushes thrives here.

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I jumped and skipped through the sea of blocks and eventually reached the ridge top – 1247 m.a.s.l. Some adults and children had made it before me, maybe they took the closed trail anyway?

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From here, I continued on hiking over the ridge towards the Mountain Summit of Högfjället, the highest summit of the Sonfjället Mountain Massif.

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The sea of blocks seemed to go on forever and the last part of the hike along the rugged ridge was occasionally so steep, almost 45°, that you had to zig-zag your way up. Anyone who doesn’t get tired in the legs from this walk is supernatural. At the very last part of the rocky ridge, the trail became very vague and you had to jump and skip your way forward among the rocks and blocks. But with the summit in sight, you can’t go wrong. High up at 1278 altitude meters, it was impossible to not get mesmerized. The amazing 360° panoramic view of the mountainous landscape offered views of the mountains of Helags, Funäsdalsfjällen, Jämtlandsfjällen and even mountains in Norway. Even though the sun shined there was a fresh breeze, the mound of stones provided shelter from the wind. I had a seat and ate some of my packed food. Quiet, calm. No other people in sight. While I was sitting there and philosophized by myself, I heard a silent pitter-patter down in between the rocks. I looked for a while and managed to see something moving.

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Suddenly I felt very watched. A small Arvicolinae was curiously watching me. Just managed to snap a photo of it before it rushed down and hid among the rocks again. It had to be a rough climate to survive up here. Just as I put on my backpack again and started descending, I met four people on their way up. I’m lucky I got up there when I did and was able to sit by myself without anyone else there talking. But they were really nice and had hiked a little different trail that I had. They had hiked trough the valley of Sododalen and now up towards the Högfjället summit.

I changed my plans and aimed for that hike on my wat back. It was physically exhausting to descent through the sea of blocks by skipping and jumping. The rocks and blocks wouldn’t always lie still once you put your weight on them and then you almost fell over. Close but no cigar! I managed to stay on both feet all the way down.

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In the valley Sododalen were lichen covered block and low bushes. I got to a stream delta area, that never seemed to end. I crossed over stream after stream, but new ones just kept coming my way. Although, the sound from the rippling stream was calming, my boots became wet after some time.

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Eventually the trail I had been looking for appeared. It led you back to Lillfjället and the winding trail downhill the Sonfjället slope which faces Nyvallen. Now, the predicted mass of people had begun showing up. When I turned around looking up the mountain, a train of adults and children, some even brought their dog with them, aiming for the side ridge’s highest point. None of them seemed to care about that trail being closed. But on the other hand, it wasn’t well signed about it either.

Once back at the parking lot, 6 hours had passed, including breaks for food. And I didn’t have that extreme pace either. The parking lot was full of cars now so if you want to be sure of getting a parking space, definitely make sure to arrive early in the day. Started driving back on the graveled road and it felt like an eternity before I got back to the cabin. After a well-deserved shower and warm food, the weather started to change; the wind picked up and it started to rain. But it is very cozy to lie down and listen to the rain hitting the tin roof. The red squirrels ran their shuttle route across the terrace. Early in bed, looking forward to tomorrow’s “rest-day”.

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

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