I love planning but only a fraction of anything I plan ever becomes a reality. This weekend was one of those rare occasions of action, but even now the plan would never have left the drawing board had I not had a friend to come along. We were determined that even the bad weather wasn’t going to stop us, just pack in rain coats, rain trousers, rain ponchos and rain guards and we were all set to meet the elements. When we got to the mountains and parked at Kläppen in Ljungdalen, the rain was more of a drizzle so it was already looking better than we expected. In fact, it just kept improving and we even got to see a glimmer of sunshine in between the showers. The variable weather carries with it the bonus of the occasional light show in the form of rainbows, so we were definitely not complaining that SMHI got their forecast wrong once again. After 12 km of hiking – half of it above the tree line – we finally got to the Helags Fjällstation (mountain station), tired but happy.

View towards the Dunsjöfjället mountains

It wasn’t all good though, it turned out that they had misplaced my reservation (I swear I booked the right place and date) so they only had beds in the old cabin at the station, it was kind of like those wilderness hostels I stayed at in Canada – no electricity! It was no biggie though, we’re not so spoiled that we couldn’t survive without all the mod cons.

After a half slept night (the cabin was overheated and were were 8 people in the same small room!), we enjoyed a hearty breakfast and wondered if SMHI got their forecast wrong again, because we were seeing a lot of sunshine instead of the snow (!) they had promised. We even got a quick look at the peak of Helags (which at 1796 metres is the highest mountain in Sweden south of the Arctic Circle), it lasted about 2 seconds but enough for me to grab the camera for a quick shot!

Peak of the Helagsfjället mountain with the southernmost glacier in Sweden

When we set out again, the good weather was holding with sunshine decorating the mountains with splashes of colour and light. Gradually the cloud cover took over, but there was no rain bar a few drops, and certainly no snow. We couldn’t believe our luck… this was definitely far beyond our expectations!

Usually reindeer are very skittish but these two were just as interested in us as we were of them

Another positive surprise for me was that my poor hips were holding up well. I had expected my hips to start displaying the usual stinging pain by halftime and my shoulders to start aching from the backpack. But nix, I got neither, so I’m counting my blessings. I wasn’t even dead beat when we got back to the car!

All I can say is that I hope that I can make many more of my hiking plans become reality in the future. Planning is fun, but nowhere near as good as the actual hike!

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