Almost Helags

Early wakeup call today to catch the setting full moon. When I got to my spot, it was a no-moon, as there was an annoying bank of clouds in the western horizon on an otherwise clear sky. But, not to waste the morning, I skied a couple of km to a nice spot to catch the sunrise.

Frosty birch and Mittåkläppen
Frosty birch and Mittåkläppen

Then it was off to Kläppen in Ljungdalen and ski to Helags. I wanted to do this in the morning because the sun will shine on the “front” side of Helags, providing the nicest photo ops. As I was driving to Kläppen, I was a bit worried about the road. Now in the morning it was frozen, but it was evident that later in the day it will turn into a mudpit. I was grateful for the generous ground clearance of my Qashqai so I didn’t have to worry about scraping the bottom of the car.

Since it was only 8am when I started skiing towards Helags, I had the trail pretty much to myself. An occasional snowmobile went by, but I didn’t see the first skiiers until past halfway, coming from Helags. The trail was well used and wide though and I had trouble finding angles which didn’t include any tracks.

Trail to Helags
Trail to Helags

When I got to the sign which said 4km left, I felt that my legs didn’t want to carry me that far. Or rather, they would carry me there but it was the 12km back that gave me concerns. I continued a few hundred meters but my skis felt too heavy so I sat down to eat and wondered what to do. I hate giving up like that but I just didn’t see a point with going all the way to the station so I spent some extra time shooting the mountain instead and then turned back. Which I think was the right decision… I was really worn thin by the time I was back at the car! Maybe I should have skipped that short trip at sunrise… but I think in the end it’s just a fact that I’m not in such a shape as to have energy for the long trips.

With snow patterns
With snow patterns

Since I had started so early, it was still only early afternoon. The sun had started to work om the road, the surface was wet but it hadn’t completely thawed yet so I got through the mud pits without problems.

Lines
Lines

In the evening I got a second chance with the full moon, and this time the clouds didn’t spoil it. There were some clouds very low in the horizon but once the moon was above them, it was all good. I didn’t have a particularly scenic place to shoot the moon though so I used telephoto this time to get up and close.

Full moon rising
Full moon rising

Another great day in the mountains!

Full moon
Full moon

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