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A sea calmed in storm


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

Length: 10 km
Height difference: 550 meters

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After a good night of sleep, I woke up to a clear nice morning. I discovered my cabin neighbor has a cat and it sat squeezed in-between the window and the blackout curtain looking out the window. As I was washing the dishes, I noticed the man had woken up and now pulling up the blackout curtain. It was then 7 am. My plan today was to hit the road at 7.30 am to be early onsite for a hike up on the mountain massif of Anåfjället. According to the internet, this was one of the most popular hiking trails in the area of Funäsdalen. So, if you don’t want to be crowded you have to be early in order to be somewhat alone.

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I started driving along the road of Lofsdalsvägen and I felt the motions sickness sneaking up on me. The road had not gotten any straighter and hill crests hadn’t gotten any smaller since Monday. One just had to focus on the road and taking it easy.

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Blue sky and the sun showing off the best side. Turned onto County Road 311 towards Tännäs and not a single reindeer in sight, which always is nice so you don’t have to brake and/or stop.

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But as a turned left onto Highway 84 towards the village of Funäsdalen, where the speed limit is 80 km/hours, the reindeers showed up. Just as you reach Funäsdalen make a right hand turn towards Messlingen and Bruksvallarna.

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After a few kilometers you turn yet again to the right where the signs say Ljungdalen and Flatruet. Now you have to pay attention because after pretty much 5 kilometers, a graveled parking space appear on the right side of the road. The first smaller parking space is used for the winter trail.

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At this location, a posted sign, saying “Sommarled 200 m” points in the direction of the bigger parking space. Drive further to that bigger parking space where you see a sign “Guldtur 350 Anåfjället” telling you the trail starts here. Time was 9.30 am and I was definitely not first onsite, at least 5 other cars was parked here before me. I started hiking the 2,5-kilometer-long trail (350 altitude meters) uphill to Anåfjället that rapidly brings you up to the heathland above the tree line.

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But first, one walked along a graveled road up to Övre Lillåsvallen, a very much alive sheeling and you could hear the cows mooing.

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Then a rugged rocky part of the trail started in dense arctic downy birch forest. But save up on your energy, it is well needed later on during the hike. The trail then transitions into a more and more steep, rough and rocky path. It rustled in the deciduous forest so I stopped. Deep into the birch forest, a herd of reindeers were watching me. But they decided to trot uphill. The reindeers made it look so easy going up – why can’t I do the same? At the end of the birch forest was the most demanding and steep ascent.

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Up to the first heathland, your legs felt completely drained of energy. But the unforgettable view made you forget how tired you really were. Above the tree line, one of the highest in Sweden at 960 altitude meters, the landscape was rocky and barren and despite a lean soil, purple mountain heather grew up here.

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The reindeers owned by the Mittådalen Saami people are herded up here, so show some respect! I had a break, ate some food to restore some energy. Up here, I met with the first people during the hike. Some had brought both dogs and children – SIGH! I guess that’s fine as long as they have the dogs under command. But one company had two Labradors with them, one of which was more wild than crazy barked at all other dogs and even the reindeers in the area.

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Now, the trail levels off and you have reached the mountain Anåfjället when you are at the tarn Ånnfjällstjärnen at 1106 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.).

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It is being said that the tarn is sheltered from the wind and perfect for a pick-nick – maybe even a cooling swim? But today’s wind made heavy waves in the water. So, no human took a swim, however one of the Labradors happily jumped into the water and splashed around. The actual trail to Anåfjället ends here, which is why many people turn around and do back.

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But from here, by another 2 kilometers hike, you can reach and climb the summit of Ånnfjället at 1301 m.a.s.l.

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“A sea calmed in storm”, so Linnaeus described the Anå Mountain Massif during his journey across Sweden, which most likely refers to the wavy profile of the mountain massif on distance. The Anå Mountain Massif consists of 8 summits, where Blåstöten is the highest with its 1332 m.a.s.l., second is Ånnfjället with its 1301 m.a.s.l.

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The magic panoramic view gave lookouts towards the mountains; Helags, Predikstolen, Vemdalsfjällen, Sonfjället and many more. Up here were arctic winds. The gusts were heavy and I searched for shelter from the wind and sat comfortably in lee and ate food. After 20 minutes, more and more people started to arrive at the summit and when I left, at least 4 dogs were up there including the hysterical Labrador. And I met even more dogs on my way crossing the heathland. One family had a black Flatcoated Retriever, and the dad just looked like a Swedish politician named Mikael Damberg. The descent from both Ånnfjället and Anåfjället wasn’t that hard. One thought, a steep ascent equal steep descent – but no. At least it didn’t dell that way.

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When I finally arrived at the parking space, it was full of cars. Also, the other parking space from which the winter trail starts was full. So here too you must be early to get a good parking space for the car. The hiking took about 5 hours all in all, break for food and photos of reindeers included. A thought that hit me was, if the trail is so popular – why haven’t they built some kind of dry toilet at least?

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On my way back, loads of reindeers were in the ditches, standing in the middle of the road and basically sleeping. You need to remember that you are a guest in reindeer land and just let it take the time they need. At this time of year, the reindeer cows have had their calves, so if you see a reindeer cow on one side of the road the calf may very well be on the other and suddenly run out in the middle of the road to reach its mother.
Once back in the cabin, a well-needed shower and some warm food. The wind picked up during the evening in Lofsdalen, so I tried to understand why the cabin neighbor had put out the flowers again. But he just sat comfortable on the terrace with a beer in his hand, today again. A little cold? The squirrels were very busy shuttle across the terrace. I mean, the must be gathering food for winter or something.

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

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