Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Marsfjällen Trek

July 30 to August 5, 2016

The mountain hiking was my boss' arrangement for his family. But then, he invited hubby and me to join them, knowing that we too love hiking adventures. That meant that I had to apply for a week of paid leave again just a couple of weeks after my recent major summer vacation leave. No sweat! My boss was more than willing to approve my application just so we could keep them company.

And so, on July 30, we set forth on this exciting trek to the mountains that I haven't trodden before. My boss and his family led the caravan made up of his car and a trailer and our car. I almost couldn't contain my thrill for this new stroke of wanderlust, when for the first time, I was going to use my new hiking backpack.

This is a whole week adventure, but I'm trying to put everything in a nutshell, though I'm afraid this would be a giant nutshell due to the astronomical pictures that I have taken.

We arrived in a familiar place where travelers in these mountainous parts of the country stop by for a refreshing view and snacks or lunch. We've passed this a few times during our past travels but never had the chance to stop by this close for a picture-taking.

We proceeded to find the hikers' parking place where we had planned to pitch our tent. There were no parked cars at the time we arrived there, but they started to come and go later on. Some who hiked long distances had to leave their cars for a few days while others went on a day-trip hike and left the parking place in the evenings.

We, on the other hand, made that our base for the entire journey. My boss' family stationed their car and trailer on one side of the parking lot while hubby and I set up our pop-up tent on the other side. The parking place was kind of wild in that it had no complete amenities save for a picnic table with long benches. No water supply and toilets too. So we had to find a store to get our drinking water. No problem with food because we took with us an ample supply. As to answering the call of nature, hmm....we had to do it the "wild" way to the effect that what belonged to nature went directly back to the wild...☺✌

We went to rest in our tent that first night, my sleep a bit perturbed due to the chilly air that night. The day came with an uncertain weather condition, the erratic mountain weather that kept shifting between cloudy, rainy and a bit sunny. We decided not to go hiking that day but rather take it easy.

I saw this hawk perched on a tree in our camp. I couldn't get a clearer shot due to poor lighting. 

While our companions were lazing in their trailer, hubby and I took a drive in the vicinity to dispel a growing ennui from being stuck in our tent or car. We got to see the Trappstegsforsen in Saxnäs again and took more pictures.

That evening, hubby and boss sauntered to a nearby lake to see if they could catch fish. I trailed behind, scanning the area thoroughly, enjoying the scenery and shooting away.

FIRST HIKE  (August 1)

We were all set for a day trip to a nearby mountain, a sort of try-out first before taking a bigger leap. We took that trail that starts from the parking where we were based.

SECOND HIKE (August 2)

It looked like a wonderful day to hike this time as the passing scenery affirmed.

This time, we started out from Fatmomakke and followed the Marsliden (trail) with the Marsfjäll's "kåtan" as our target destination, about 7 km. away. It was pouring when we set out but the rain gradually abated in the course of our trek.

The trail was expectedly long but not formidable. The longer we've walked though, the farther the destination seemed to take. We've become exhausted and famished as the afternoon hastened to evening, but we just kept walking resolutely, sometimes stopping for a little rest and a drink from the creeks and rapids.

The sight of the "kåtan" or mountain hut up ahead perked us up, the exhaustion from the long strenuous journey quickly fading away. Our power was renewed, our spirits buoyed up. We just kept moving on, and then we were there at nightfall. A typical bright summer night.

This was supposed to be another day trip, going back to our base that same night, but which became impossible due to our being totally exhausted and time insufficiency. We had no choice but spend the night in the shelter without any sleeping bags, pillows or whatever stuffs that could keep us warm. The comforting thing was that it was not occupied that night, otherwise we had nowhere to sleep. And so the six of us crammed ourselves into this cramped space, reclining restlessly,  shifting sides, shivering. We kept the wood burning stove (kamin in Swedish) in the middle of the shelter ablaze the whole night, though at times, we neglected to put in new firewood which sent us quivering at times. We were so grateful for that "kamin" and an abundant supply of firewood that kept us warmed in this chilly summer mountain air. But I didn't sleep a wink due to the pain caused by lying down on a bare flat narrow wooden bench.

the structure in the upper right photo is a toilet and the one in the lower left is a storeroom for firewoods

The previous night's inconveniences were completely forgotten when we got up in this beautiful morning and luxuriated in the sunshine while sipping our coffee.

The following day, we unanimously chose to hike to one of those not-so-distant mountains before leaving the area and going back to our camp. We packed all our stuffs and left them in the hut while exploring the mountains.

"Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the mountains shout joyfully together."
-Psalm 98:8

Summiting the mountain, I sat down on a rock and viewed the sweeping mountainscape in all its wildness and splendor. I looked down on the other mountains before my eyes, which are actually about 500 meters higher than our location. Kind of optical illusion or image distortion.

Having fed our mountain-loving self to satisfaction, we descended back to the "kåtan". Before we finished off cleaning the place after us, a couple of hikers arrived to seek shelter there too.

"He is watering the mountains from his upper rooms.
With the fruitage of your works the earth is satisfied."
- Psalm 104:13

The journey back seemed shorter this time. Back to Fatmomakke, we dropped by an outdoor museum and explored the amazing surrounding of a place where the early settlers chose to dwell.

At this point, I think I'm going to break this post after all in two parts instead of cramming the whole journey into one nutshell which I originally planned.

So stay tuned!  More exciting adventures and stunning vistas are coming up.

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