One of those

Without the car, I needed a plan B. There’s a shuttle bus service between Fjällnäs and Ramundberget so all I needed was a lift to Funäsdalen to catch the bus, the idea was to go to Bruksvallarna and then ski home. My landlord was kind and drove me to Funäs, so there I was at the bus station, wondering why the bus hasn’t already showed up. A closer look at the timetable revealed that the bus doesn’t run between 10/1 and 7/2. With today being 17/1, it was obviously an issue! So now I needed a plan C, and quickly, and it wasn’t very difficult to come up with one. There are a lot of ski trails I could pick in Funäsdalen, and I chose the transit trail to Högsta Hållan, where I could continue to Vivallen and then back to Funäs and further to Ljusnedal.

If you’ve ever driven from Funäsdalen towards Norway, you know that there’s a long uphill from Funäs up to Högsta Hållan. Now I was doing that on skis, and the first 9km of my trip was a steady climb. The only time when it didn’t go up, it went across a big mire where I had the wind right in my face. The wind has really picked up, and you can see the effects on the trees – the snow is falling from them, and the landscape suddenly didn’t look so pretty any more. Anyway, I made it to Högsta Hållan just fine and had a short break to eat my energy bar and drink warm blueberry soup (=liquid sugar with blueberry flavour). With renewed energy, I tackled the next stretch to Vivallen. Which wasn’t very difficult, really, because it’s almost all downhill. What did give me a bit of a problem though was that my boots were chafing, again! And this time it was both boots, which has almost never happened. I think the problem is that my feet got really hot going up and when the socks were wet, they started chafing. It wasn’t as bad as it has been at its worst though, so I managed to ignore the sting.

I had a photo stop at Vivallen and as I was shooting there, a skier stopped by me and asked if I could take a picture of him in action. So I did (with his phone camera) and I asked him to check if the pictures were ok because we could still re-do it. He said it was fine, but otherwise didn’t seem overly impressed by my skills though, I guess he thought I was a lousy photographer when I couldn’t even put him in the middle of the frame! (I composed the shot with the three barns (see below) on the right and the skier coming from the left.)

I thought the trail from Vivallen to Funäs would also be downhill, but alas, it wasn’t. And my energy reserve was seriously depleted, I mean with this improvised Plan C, I had to work harder and longer than I would have needed if I had come from Bruksvallarna. I only had a bit of blueberry soup left so I drank that, and then I had nothing. When I arrived in Funäsdalen, I wanted to buy something to eat but I made a fatal error in choosing my trail. I followed the sign towards Ljusnedal, but since I have never skied these local trails in Funäs, I didn’t know exactly which way it would go. And it turned out that the bloody trail actually went up a bit, high above the village and the grocery shop! When I finally had a chance to get back down on the road, it would have made for such a de-tour that it wasn’t worth the trouble, so I pushed on.

I can tell you that I was really running on fumes by the time I got home. Runkeeper says that I burned 2425 calories, I think in reality it wasn’t quite that much, but a small energy bar and some blueberry soup only marginally covers it! Note to self: Always have more snacks than you think you need on a trip. Just in case of an improvised Plan C…

Enter
Enter
The trail and three barns
The trail and three barns
Three barns closeup
Three barns closeup

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