Flatruet is a long plateau in an east-west direction with Messlingen lying at the foot of it in the south-east. There are some peaks rising from Flatruet, Ruändan is where the plateau ”ends” in the east and in the middle there’s a few other peaks. Today’s target was to conquer one of those middle peaks, Väster-Stoljan. I did its smaller neighbour Öster-Stoljan in the winter a couple of years ago and it is actually the only peak I’ve done in the winter at all, that time with snowshoes.

Origins of Fiskhålsgraven way up on the tundra

Väster-Stoljan is a little bit too far to get to on foot, so I took the bicycle. The way up to the plateau was not fun, steep up on a rocky trail with mosquitos buzzing around, absolutely no chance of cycling up so I just pushed the bike and kept thinking about how good it will feel to start pedalling on the plateau. Unfortunately I found that the trail was extremely rocky above the tree line and it didn’t flatten out either, just kept going up even if it wasn’t steep. So if I thought I would get off easy, those thoughts evaporated quickly. I still had to push the bike over the worst parts.

Since the trail only took me as far as Öster-Stoljan, I left the bike at the foot of it and then it was an easy hike to Väster-Stoljan. The plateau is already high above sea level and these peaks are not very big, so there was not a lot of vertical metres I had to do. Coming up to the plateau was harder than going up Väster-Stoljan!

Peak of Öster-Stoljan with Väster-Stoljan in the background

The weather was certainly not beneficial for photography, with rain in the air and low clouds so I barely saw the mountains in the north at all. Which is a pity, because this would be otherwise one of the best viewpoints towards north. Maybe I’ll do another trip one of these years…

On the way back, I decided to take another route. I noticed that Öster-Stoljan had a very mild profile when approaching from the west so I figured why not go up there while I’m here. Even the weather was improving a little bit but the clouds still wouldn’t lift, obscuring most of the mountains around.

Mountainbike where it belongs – the mountain

When I started biking back, I got the rewards for taking the bike up. As long as I kept a slow speed which allowed me to find a way between the rocks, it was almost a free ride down to the forest and it felt good after all the hiking! The trip was over 20 km, hiking and biking combined. Thanks to the bike, my feet are not killing me… am I too old to get into mountainbiking?

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