Every autumn I check the full moon dates for the coming year. When I saw that the March full moon occurs on a Saturday, I made a plan to be somewhere nice for it, and decided on a backcountry skiing trip to the Fältjägaren mountain hut, which is less than 10 km straight south from the peak of Helags and situated high up which guarantees good views all around. I’ve also heard that it’s a great place, but unfortunately it’s kind of out of way, you can’t really include it any kind of round trip, so it’s not the first or even the second choice for hiking or skiing trips. But in this case, it was perfect! And would you believe, the weather also looked promising, even if the clouds would apparently close in at night.
I set off from Ramundberget in warm sunshine and was sweating buckets in no time flat when going up through the forest. I was hoping for some relief when I got up on the tundra, but there was almost no wind and even that little whisper was behind my back. Well, at least I didn’t have the sun on my face either… I had sun screen on but I would probably have burnt my face anyway.
Since Fältjägaren is at over 1000 masl, going there is mostly uphill. The highest point of the trail is just after the halfway wind shelter, then you lose about 100m of altitude going down to Mittån, only to climb back up again. It’s never very steep, but it was bad enough when my right hip suddenly started complaining. Been a while since the last time… not sure why it was an issue now. Maybe a combination of the heavy backcountry skis and the heavier than usual backpack.
The closer to Fältjägaren I got, the more clouds there were in the western horizon, so sunset was a dud. It was clear skies towards the moon though but without the sun really lighting up the foreground, it wasn’t as beautiful as it could have been. But shooting the moon was never the target anyway, I really wanted to get Helags lit by the moon. Inevitably, the clouds were spreading so by the time it was dark, the moonlight was already diffused. But I got something anyway, so it wasn’t completely wasted that I dragged a tripod with me!
In the morning, visibility was very low. There was a fog which was coming and going, and when I set off home, I could only see five trail markers ahead and almost zero contrast in the snow. But it didn’t take long before the fog cleared and the sun started breaking through again. That’s really how I love the landscape most – patchy light which is playing on the snow. Somehow it makes a big landscape just enormous! And the silence… without the wind, the only sound I heard was my skis on the snow. Yesterday it was a constant buzz of snowmobiles (half the distance to Fältjägaren is a snowmobile trail) but with today being a stugbytardag (cabin switch day, when this week’s tourists leave and next week’s tourists arrive), I only met one group of snowmobiles. The feeling of skiing through that landscape in total silence is indescribable! You really have to experience it yourself to understand.
I really like the place and I have to get there another time. Imagine a clear night with aurora, Helags is straight north from the cabin…