Etikettarkiv: hiking

3 day hike in Sälen with friends

I love mountain hiking but I have not had much time to do it in the last few years so when I heard from a friend in Walesthat is also keen on climbing and mountaneering I thought that it would be brilliant to go hiking in one of the most beautiful places I know.

Now the Sälen Highlands is not a very remote place, actually it is smack in the middle of one of the most touristy parts in Sweden (for outdoorsy tourism that is) and therefore all the trails are well marked and some are even properly paved with blacktop to minimise the wear on the sensitive terrain. But even so, the last time I was there it was breath taking beautiful and the trip is just a long trip of nicely shifting landscape.

I am therefore planning a nice and not to strenous trip where slow walking, stopping to admire the view or taking a photograph or even just sitting in the sun is well planned. And of course, after setting camp it would be very much possible to go on a night hike to one of the peaks, I have planned this for day 2.

All days have been divided into two stages of about 2-3 hours of walking, suitable between breakfast and lunch or lunch to dinner. But I think we will actually make good time the first stages so there will definitely be time to get the binoculars out and view the surroundings.

Expect altitude cooking about 1 km MSL which should not really have that much impact on the cooking temperature. Water boils at 96°C at this altitude.

Route guide

We are starting on the south end and walking north the first day, then west the second day and north again the third day. We are passing the following peaks:

  • Köarskarlsfjället 870 m
  • Östsfsjället 840 m
  • Källfjället 903 m
  • Synddalskläppen 880 m
  • Lägerdalsfjället 890 m
  • Stornärfjället 920 m
  • Östra granfjället 940 m

Not all peaks are climed to the top, but these are: Köarkarsfjället, Källfjället and optionally Stor-Närfjället.

Day 1: Högfjällshotellet to Källfjället summer farms

Distance 8 km Altitude variation +230/-205
Highest 892 m Lowest 736 m
Peaks to climb 2 Difficulty Easy

The entrance is well marked with a portal and information sign about Kungsleden (the King’s trail). It starts here and ends up in Abiso in Lapland, a thousand kilometers from this place… it is a grand trail and not a lot of people have walked the whole thing.

We start by walking the well paved road up the Köarskarlsfjället (grouse mountain) 1.5 km where we will pause and perhaps make tea and coffee and admire the view. Best view is to the east and to the North. After that there is a descent towards Östfjällsdalen (east mountain valley) and the Östfjällstjärn (East mountain tarn) where there is a hut that can shield us from wind and rain if necessary. This is a good place for lunch and a good place to refill water for the second stage.

The second stage starts by taking us west 1 km through a more wet area and then takes us through a birch forest up again on the peak of Källfjället 900 meters above sea. Again if not too windy a good place for a snack and a beverage before descending down to the old Källfjället summer farm. A number of scattered old houses here. We will set up camp here likely tent is the best option, the hut open for wanderers can be a bit crowded this time of year.

Day 2: Källfjället summer farms to Närfjällstugan

Distance 10 km Altitude variation +300/-170
Highest 890 m Lowest 663 m
Peaks to climb 2 Difficulty Medium

First stage is going through Synddalen (sin valley), crossing Syndalsån (the sin valley river) on a small bridge. The river sinks down in a large ravine called Lördagsgraven (the saturday grave) but we are taking the other route,  preparing to ascend the Syndalskläppen mountain.  Just before the ascent is a wind shelter which could work for lunching in, but if we want to lunch out we can give it another hour and ascend to the top of the mountain before doing lunch. I say it depends on the weather. Some spectacular views from the top is guaranteed if it is not too cloudy.

Second stage is a descent again into the next valley called Lägerdalen (Camp valley) but we will not set up camp here but walk through the valley and then ascend about 100 m or half-way up the Stor-Närfjället. Here is another hut and a good place to make camp. Plenty of water both in the valleys and in on the mountain here.

After setting camp in a suitable spot we might want to do some evening hiking shedding the backpacks and just get straight up to the peak. It is about 1,5 km so it is not that far.

Day 3: Närfjällsstugan to Görälvstugan

Distance 9 km Altitude variation +100/-400
Highest 885 m Lowest 410 m
Peaks to climb 0 Difficulty Medium

Fiurst a small ascent but we will miss the peak of Granfjället (Spruce tree mountain) mountain and just pass by on the east side. Then we will follow the ridge to the north and start the descent down to Granfjällsätern where there is a nice hut we can stop for lunch. This is probably one of the most beautiful parts nature wise.

Second stage after lunch is passing through the forest until we meet and cross Görälven river. There is a place we can stay there as well waiting to be picked up.


Use terrain or satellite image for more details.

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Suunto Core Outdoor Watch

Some of you already know my fascination for wrist watches and therefore I thought I should share with you my latest aquisition, the Suunto Core outdoor wristwatch. Suunto is Finnish and means direction and this is a good name for these watches. There are many different models to chose from and I decided to get the Suunto Core model which seems to get you lots of functions for small money and the most all-round watch there was. Or, sorry, wristtop computer as these watches are sometimes referred to.

I am a guy who like walking in the woods, hiking, trekking and just generally being outdoor when possible especially in the summer time. I try to make at least a few day trips and if possible an overnight in a tent as well every summer as a minimum, it is something special when you are cooking in the wilderness, sleeping in a tent and generally having to struggle a little more than you normally do every day to and from work. If nothing else you appreciate a nice bed when you come home again :)

On top of that I am an unchangeable gadget-guy, and I really enjoy knowing the altitude I am on right now, the bearing I am walking in, my position, the time, when the sun rises and sets on the latitude that I am right now and many other things. So my latest addition to things I won’t leave home without now is a Suunto Core wristwatch.

This little gem can do a lot of things and it is a watch specially designed for outdoorsmanship more than anything else. This is not the first ”trekker’s watch” I have owned, I also have an ”Origo” watch but after a particularly rough outing in the United Arab Emirates a couple of years ago the altimeter broke on that one. So I have decided to get myself a new watch and now I recently bought it.

The Suunto Core watch keeps two times, good for traveling and it has what you expect from a modern digital watch, countdown (99 min max) and works wel as a stopwatch (24 h max). On top of that you can program it with the closest city and it will show the time the sun rises and sets for the date, something that changes drastically right now, the day becomes longer with about 6 minutes every day now and the nights shorter here in Stockholm.

The watch also contains three interesting functions for the hiker not normally found on wrist watches and they are altimeter that shows how high over the sea you are at the moment, barometer showing the air pressure (sea level equivalent) and an electronic compass.

Suunto Core
Suunto Core, outdoors sportswatch

The altimeter and barometer are actually two faces of the same coin here. You can select the profile yourself, if you want the watch to be in altimeter mode when you climb, then you can set it to barometric mode when you stop for the night and the watch will tell you the air pressure and assume that you are staying on the same level. You can not get both at the same time though because both the barometer and the altimeter works from the same air pressure sensor. If you climb a mountain the air pressure lowers with every meter you climb, the watch senses this change in air pressure and can therefore know how many meters you have scaled. In barometric mode you fix the altitude and the watch instead registers the changes in air pressure that preceeds an oncoming storm or weather front.

The watch can automatically shift between altimeter and barometer mode, it understands when you start climbing because the air pressure shifts too fast and then it switches to altimeter. If you stay it will after 12 minutes of no change in the altitude (or very small changes) shift back to barometric mode. Brilliant. Over a full days walking around I generally don’t have to recalibrate it for more than 20-40 meters error by the end of the day.

In barometric mode it can also tell you if there is a sudden drop in air pressure. This might signify an oncoming sqall or storm and you can set an audible and visible alarm on the watch to go off if this happens. There is also a 24 hour trend graph that will show you the changes in barometric pressure over the last day and night. There is also an arrow indicator showing you if the air pressure is stable, tends to rise, tends to drop and the attitude for the last 3 and 6 hours. Great for checking if the current weather is stable. I have observed the barometric pressure alarm go off twice. In both accounts it started snowing heavily hours later so I believe it is working pretty well!

The last function of the pressure gauge is the ”snorkeling feature” where it can tell you when you snorcle in the hot waters of the Maldives or some other nice place how deep you have been as maximum and how deep you are now. Not quite a diving instrument (watch should not be submerged more than 10 meters really) but it is still a pretty fun feature.

A logging function can be used to keep track of your climbing and descending over time if you want. It will log the altitude and the current time as often as you want and you may also save the log for a later review. You can also set a reference altitude and the watch will show you how much above or below your reference you currenly are.

You can also have it show accumulated inclines declines, something that I thought was pretty neat in a ski slope…

There is also a temperature measurement but since the watch is warmed by your arm it generally does not show air temperature. If you take your watch of and leave it for 30 minutes or so it should give you a pretty good temperature reading though. The temperature is also necessary for the accuracy of the air pressure measurement.

The compass is great, works well but uses battery more than other thngs and because of this the watch will turn it off after one minute of operation; you will then have to press a button to turn it on again for another minute. If you have the backlight lit during compas operation it will flash as it goes dark for each measurement that is done – about 2 per second. The compass can be set to try to stay in a certain direction, it will show with arrows how much in error your current direction is and point you in the right direction and the precision is actually pretty good in the woods. Calibration is simple, turn it on, slowly spin a full circle clockwise and it will recalibrate itself. In urban environment there are sometimes problems where there are heavy electrical machinery and other ferro-magnetic materials at work that will confuse it – try looking at it while a metro train in the underground drives past… but most of the time it can be used there as well.

All in all I really love this watch. I recommend it for everyone who loves to be outdoors, hiking, fishing, hunting, climbing, skiing… this is for you!

I rate it 5/5.