The days are getting longer and definitely warmer, when the sun shows up like it did today. The only way to spend these days is on the mountain, so I put on my skis and started towards Ånnfjället. I was going to follow the prepared ski trail up, but when I passed the unmarked snowmobile trail going towards Lillvallarna, I changed my mind and took the shortcut. I thought this shortcut would save me a little bit of distance, as it goes straight to Lillvallarna while the ski trail goes around Vedbodåsen until passing Lillvallarna.
So yeah, a great idea. Until the snowmobile tracks went in the wrong direction. The tracks branched out at one point and I decided to follow the tracks which seemed to be more used. But pretty soon I had a feeling that this was not the right way, so I checked the map and sure enough, I was heading west, not north. But those snowmobilers sure like to freeride on the mires, so I had plenty of tracks to choose from to get back in the right direction. So it worked great, until to the point where all the snowmobiles had turned back at the edge of the forest. My only option at this point was to make my own tracks in the deep powder, and oh boy it just got difficult. I knew I was quite close to Lillvallarna though so I checked the map again, and discovered to my joy that I only had 350m left. But what was even better – I only had 150m to the prepared ski trail! Guess which way I went. But those few hundred meters I did in the deep snow, it probably cost me ten times the energy I would have spent on following the ski trail in the first place. So, a crushing blow to taking shortcuts for sure!
They still haven’t prepared the tracks all the way up to the tundra like they did last year. They seem to have started though, but turned back after a 100m. Very strange. But it didn’t matter, the same snowmobile tracks that carried me last week were still good, but by now I had been skiing for 7 km, all of it up and with a short stretch of very high intensity work, and my legs were feeling it. For a moment I got a bit worried that my legs would fail me, but then I sat down to eat a little and that did the trick, I felt much better.
And then I was up there. My goal had been to reach the Ånnfjällstjärnen tarn, and I did it! How awesome is that! All that was left now was to follow the small snowmobile trail westward, until it joins the big trail which follows the Orman creek down to Ljusnedal. So 575 m altitude gain, 5 hours, and 20 km later, I got home. I think that’s the biggest altitude gain I’ve ever done on skis! And overall, a wonderful trip, despite the small lapse in judgement. But then again, when have I ever done a long trip without those lapses… 😉