So, I had this really great plan to do two new peaks today. The trailhead is on the Tännäs side which I rarely visit, but I remember driving there about 10 years ago. So I drove off to Tännäs in the morning, and when I got to the last turn – a road barrier. I sat there in my car, first in disbelief and then in total disgust. A barrier was never in my calculations, it wasn’t there 10 years ago and it’s not on the map and it never entered my mind that I would not be able to drive to the trailhead so I didn’t have a Plan B. It was still about 3 km there, so walking this would have given me 6 km extra on my hike and I was having none of it.

But I had driven all the way to here, so I checked the map to see if there was anywhere else I could go. And yes, there was another mountain very close, but it would have meant hiking 200m in altitude through a mosquito infested spruce forest and I was having none of it either. I had been prepared for an easy and fun hike through open spaces and I wasn’t able to adjust mentally to the suffering that the forest offered. I think I sat in my car for about half an hour, until I was finally able to shake off the paralysis. I had completely lost my will to do any hiking at all, but I needed to get some motion so I chose the easiest option, which was to drive to Funäsdalen, walk up Funäsdalsberget and then down and around.

You might be wondering why I took this little setback so hard. Here’s the thing: I have to be on call at work every other week. This seriously limits my options what to do and where to go, so during the weeks when I don’t have to be on call, I try to make the most of my freedom. And this was such a week. Yesterday was spent in the rain, so I had all the more expectations for today. And then that barrier happened. I only have four of these free weekends before September and I just lost one of them!

The very original plan I had for this weekend was to take a day off and conquer the top of the mighty Helags. I had abandoned those plans when the weather forecast didn’t look so good, and I didn’t want to risk going there when the peak was in the clouds. By the time the forecast indicated better weather, it was too late. But there it was, in all its glory… it would have been a great day to be up there.

So those were the thoughts in my head while walking up the mountain. I sat down to eat on top of Funäsdalsberget with a great view towards my beloved Ånnfjället and after a while, I realised that maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. When has it ever been a bad thing to drink coffee on top of a mountain? So what if it wasn’t the mountain I had originally planned, I would still not trade this for anything I had in Hälsingland. I also found a nice spot for an Ånnfjället panorama which I will visit in better light some evening, another thing that improved my mood.

No who am I kidding. I just had 25% of my summer flushed down the toilet. It hurts.

* * *

I got new Muckboots today. My old ones are worn out, the soles look so bad that it’s a miracle the boots kept my feet dry in Svalbard. The new wellies are the same model as the old pair, but the sole seems to be improved, with a deeper pattern and harder material, so I hope they will last longer. Before the Muckboots, I couldn’t find wellingtons that lasted a whole summer. Even the supposedly good brands like Tretorn failed to deliver, and I realised that the solution to my problem was to find wellies with a neoprene shaft. The Muckboots are not cheap, but the old ones lasted over 5 years and I fully expect these new ones to last even longer, thanks to the improved (I hope) soles!

Muckboot Chore boots
Muckboot Chore boots. I think it’s fair to say that the old pair is well worn!

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