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Two birds with one stone


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

STORA MITTÅKLÄPPEN:
Length: 5 km
Height difference: 350 meters

VOLLDALSHØGDA:
Length: 6 km
Height difference: 250 meters

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Once again, a chilly clear morning. The cabin neighbor had left his flowers out on the terrace during the night – perhaps a bit on the coldest side? The plan for today was killing two birds with one stone – in other words climb to summits in one day. The plan was the mountains Stora Mittåkläppen and VolldalshØgda (Norwegian summit). Would be alternating cloudiness, sunshine and basically no wind today – so in other words, a perfect day for hiking. The mountain Stora Mittåkläppen is also one of the most popular summits to climb, so make sure to be on time for parking and avoid the crowd of people. My goal was to arrive at Djupdalsvallen’s parking lot at 9 am.

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So, I left the cabin at 7 am and started driving along the narrow and winding road Lofsdalsvägen with its steep hill crests. But now, third time is the charmed, I think my body had started to get used to the rollercoaster because the motion sickness stayed away, but still my tummy tickled a bit.

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Turned onto Highway 83 and drove to Tännäs, then took Highway 84 towards Funäsdalen. Right before entering Funäsdalen, I turned right as signed towards Bruksvallarna. Arrived in Bruksvallarna at 8.30 am and turned onto the road Mittåkläppsvägen. This is a toll road and it costs 70 SEK to pass the roadblock with one car and drive to the parking lot, from where the trail to Stora Mittåkläppen begins.

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After the roadblock, a 10 kilometer very narrow graveled road. You were requested to take it easy and that the road is heavily trafficked. But this early in the morning, I didn’t meet one single car.

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That was great, then I could stop exactly where I wanted to photograph in perfect views of Stora Mittåkläppen without worrying about other cars.

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Arrived at the parking lot at 9 o’clock and right next door is a chalet with dry toilet for convenience. No cars were here – so I was first onsite.

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In solitary majesty, I started walking along the trail towards the summit. It started through arctic downy birch forest and then via spans up to a flower heath, with different orchids and small bluebells among others. The closer I got, the more I realized how steep the mountain really was.

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I reached a crossroads, where the trail split into one steep trail (straight up the extreme steep part of the mountain) or a somewhat longer but not as steep trail.

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Considering me climbing to summits today, it had to be the longer easier trail.

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It took just over an hour to reach the summit of Stora Mittåkläppen at 1212 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.). Although it wasn’t very windy, one could feel the air had switched to cold and raw up here. So put on warm clothes, hat and gloves. Stayed for a while and ate some food and snacks. Then people started to show up here at the summit, yet again with their dogs.

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That was my cue to leave. But funny thing was, I had met several of these people during yesterday’s hike to Ånnfjället. One family, with the man who looked just like the politician Mikael Damberg, specifically remembered me too and greeted cheerfully: “Oh, hey, we met you yesterday at Ånnfjället”.

I was down at the parking lot in Djupdalsvallen again around noon and the food service had opened in the chalet. Waffles and other meals are served here if you are hungry. But I started driving, I had one more summit left to climb. The parking lot was full of cars. Lucky me, I was early today as well! Drove carefully along the winding road back to Bruksvallarna. Had the misfortune to end up right behind a camper that thought 40 km/h was the perfect cruising speed… not so much I could do about it. Was hardly any space to pass.

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Passed the roadblock and onto paved road again, back to Funäsdalen. There, I took right and headed for the national border to Norway. It wasn’t many kilometers and I arrived at the small parking lot which is shared between Swedish and Norwegian territory.

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Put on dry and fresh socks, hiking boots and backpack. Walked across the Highway 84 and passed through the opening in the reindeer fence.

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Here starts the trail. It was a small and narrow trail, partially inaccessible path along swamps and big blocks with sharp edges. So steady boots able to withstand water – is a must! I climbed, slid, jumped and crawled my way forward.

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If it had been a better maintained trail with passages over the swamps, it had gone faster. Now, sometimes, I had to take detours around the swamps which took its fair share of time. Yet, I had not seen many cloudberries but here they grew on both sides of the national border. If you – like me – wonder where all the mosquitos had been during the week, I can tell you they were all here! They attacked straight away and mosquito repellent came to handy.

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The trail followed the reindeer fence all the way up to a wooden stairway that took you across the border. It took about 45 minutes to get up here. Now you could clearly see the summit and you got a little extra energy just from being so close.

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It was striking how round-shaped all rock faces were on the Norwegian side, in contrast to the rocky ones in Sweden. So strange! There were not many meters between them. Found a few, tiny chanterelles along the trail. 1,5 cm in diameter at most. It took about 20 minutes more, then the summit was reached.

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A wooden stick, on top of a cairn, at 1103 m.a.s.l. marked the highest point at VolldalshØgda. Despite some wind, it was warm and the view from the summit of VolldalshØgda was amazing with miles wide mountainous views. A couple with their daughter were already here. A lot of energy in that child. She was high and low, talking and screaming.

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Up here, right next to the cairn, was a natural tarn. Tiny waves in the light wind, but yet mirror glossed as soon as the sun shined. Here, you can take a swim in the small tarn surrounded by the magical views. I was hungry, but had no interest in sitting next to the couple’s child. Way too much noise and fuss. Below, there were a few more tarns.

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I found a tarn not far away, no wind and the sun decided to shine. Total silence. Wonderful! The mirror glossed water, the warming sun and some food was the perfect ending of this hiking week. 6 summit hikes in 5 days (Wednesday excluded), all higher than 1100 m.a.s.l.
Started the descent and heard pretty soon a strange sound. I had to stop and look around. What was that sound? Some kind of birdsong?

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After a minute or two, I spotted a grizzled bird, probably a Lagopus. Close, were – what I believed was – two chicks. It felt like the mother Lagopus called for her chickens with that strange sound. Of course, the system camera was unpacked for some close-up photos of the birds.

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I kept on descending. Came rather quickly to the wooden staircase and over onto Swedish ground again.

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Fought my way forward over rocks, swamps and heathlands. The hour had already passed 5 pm as I was back at the car.
Started the moderate entertaining road back to Lofsdalen. Highway 84 took you to and past Funäsdalen.

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Some reindeers had made it out on the road and there was a particular reindeer with a big white blaze in the face that was very nice looking. After a while, in Tännäs, I turned onto County Road 311. Last time during this vacation I had to drive this rugged way. Also, the miserable Lofsdalsvägen with its steep hill crests. I arrived just in time to the grocery store to buy vegetables to the girls before they closed. Reached the cabin and after a shower and warm food, I noticed the cabin neighbor brought in the flowers, the bikes and the car were gone. The blackout curtain was down. Felt like they had left the cabin now. But it felt safe to see the red squirrels running their errands across the terrace – whatever it may be. A rain shower with elements of hail did not stop the squirrels from their shuttle traffic. The evening presented later on a really beautiful half-moon and a clear sky.

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

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