Part 1

Skitouring in Sälen, Sweden



übernachtung im Auto

On the evening of February 1st after dusk I arrived at the well known ski resort Sälen in the south of Middle Sweden. On a small place cleared by a snowplough I spent a quite night sleeping in my California van at the very low temperature of -12° C.


In the region of Sälen there were many little huts where I could find a bed for the night.


However, I decided upon the well-known Högfjällshotellet. This sporting hotel is the meeting point for downhill skiers, touring skiers, cross country skiers, hikers of Kungsleden and snowmobil drivers.


Big as the hotel was, I could only get a room in one of this adjoining buildings. I enjoyed getting a good price as January was rather early in the season.


At first I explored the beginning of the most famous hiking trail, the Kungsleden. It was very amazing for me to see huge masses of snow below the gateway. Bypassing the gate and looking for the Kungsleden I finally found him.


I estimated that the Kungsleden was covered with 2 meter of snow. The marking signs on the ground of the trail were covered with snow and only on the rocks free of snow you could discover marks. There was no usable trail yet.


Near the forest of pines the wind had dropped and I felt a wonderful silence around.


On the elevated plains the wind had pressed the snow.


Sälen and his environment is known for his fine ski runs. As a downhill skier you would expect the runs to be rather short and not very steep. But you can easily be mistaken here. Some of the runs have a difference of elevation of 400 to 600 meters. Every day I went uphill with my ski at the edge of the run and downhill with long passages through the forest.


One time I was entirely surprised to be surrounded by thick fog. I had to find the way back at dusk. But it was no problem as the lights of the skilift started to light up. So I had a good orientation.


Here you can see the run next to the center of Sälen in the evening. On brightly illuminated run skiers and snowboarders rushed down rapidly into the valley until late at night.


I tried to test my pulka with all my equipment and food on a snowmobile trail running from Lindvallen to Stöten.


I hauled up my pulka 8 km there and back on hilly ground with a weight of 45 up to 50 kg. After this first test I was very content.


Skitouring in Trysil in Norway


After 6 days around Sälen I decided to drive to Norway and particularly to the ski resort Trysil there. While driving it was snowing intensively and so I was happy to have a four wheel drive for the snowcovered roads. Eventually I could get an accommodation at a reasonable price within a camping hotel on the eastern edge of the town. Here you can see my next neighborhood from the window of my room.


Every day I skied uphill to the top of Trysilfjellet. Here you can see the view from the road to the sunlit mountain summit.


At the edge of the runs a trail went 600 m up to summit.


Sometimes I could ski through the lower forest in finest powder.


Now the top of the mountain seemed within reach. But it would take more than another hour up to the summit.


With every meter to the top the wind was getting stronger.


On the top of the mountain I was shaken by a strong and freezing wind. I had to struggle pulling the skins off my skis and preparing my run down.


The sight on the valley of Trysil.


Car Ride to Femund Lake


It was Monday, February 12th, when I set off to the Femund lake with slight snowfall and mild temperatures of -2,5° C.


For a long time the road was accompanied by the river Trysil.


When I made a little break I realized with some surprise that not far away from me was a dog race. Watching dogs drawing a sledge at a high speed along the trail was a pretty sight.


The frozen Femund lake

The little boat with two fishing men on the lake put me in great astonishment as there was the lake covered with ice. But as I looked exactly I discovered a weather vane on an old cottage near by the lakeside.