Many many years ago I heard about a geological formation called Pyramiderna (the Pyramids) in the Vålådalen nature reserve. I’ve wanted to see them ever since, but as always, I just don’t get it done. About four years ago I even drew a route, but I still didn’t get the actual trip done. And when I finally was going to do it a month ago, I wasn’t physically fit so I had to cancel. So it’s safe to say that the trip was long overdue, but now it is happening – for real!
There’s a couple of other things I wanted to see while in the area, the Lunndörren U-valley and Issjödalen. So the plan is to hike from Tossåsen through Lunndörren to the Lunndörrstugan mountain cabin and stay for two nights, do the Pyramids/Issjödalen hike on the second day and hike back to Tossåsen on the third.
I had been nervously checking the weather forecast all week and it didn’t look good for the weekend. But then on Thursday a miracle happened, it would rain on the first day but improve after that. I was ok with it, I didn’t mind getting wet on the way to the cabin. So I packed my gear accordingly, rain proofed myself and the backpack and relied on the Tough to get me some pictures despite the weather. As for the system camera, I agonised for a long time if I should go with the A7 and wideangle, or the lighter and smaller A6300 and normal zoom. In the end I went with the wideangle, knowing that if I had luck with the conditions, I would be kicking myself for not having a wideangle.
I drove to Tossåsen in pouring rain, but it wasn’t all bad when I looked north (where I was heading). Visibility was quite good and only the peaks were covered in clouds, which was a relief – one of my concerns for this hike was that visibility would be poor, which I don’t like when I’m hiking in an area I have never visited before.
Sure enough, just a couple of km after Tossåsen, the raining almost stopped. For the rest of the day, it was mostly drizzle, and it never became on issue. I didn’t even need my rain trousers, the weather proofing of my hiking trousers was enough.
When you leave Tossåsen, the first 2.5 km go through a forest, and then you hike on the tundra, all the way to the valley and halfway through it. The really nice thing is that there is not much altitude difference on this hike at all, and when you need to take altitude, the trail is rising so gently that you barely notice it. The highest point of the trail is at 880m, about one km south from the Lunndörrspasset shelter. The lowest point is 760m, which is about 2 km from the mountain cabin.
My second concern about this hike was a creek I knew I needed to ford. Early in the summer, I read about some hikers who were stuck here, there was so much water that they couldn’t get across and needed to be rescued. Logic dictates that this ford is normally not very challenging, considering that this is a well established route. I have neoprene shoes for this purpose, so I don’t need to walk barefoot. Firstly, my feet are insanely sensitive so I wouldn’t even be able to walk on rocks. And secondly, they protect my feet from cuts and scrapes. So when I got to this creek, I was in for a surprise – it was no problem at all. I didn’t even need the neoprene shoes! But then… I discovered that the creek has branches. And the second branch was a whole different ballgame! But it was not deep (just a little bit too deep for my boots) and it was not flowing fast, so now I finally got to use the neoprene shoes and got over without problems.
Overall, this was a very easy hike. The terrain is relatively flat (to be in the mountains), especially the northern half of the valley is a pure highway. There are only two places where you need to slow down a bit, a patch with rocks near the shelter and then the ford. All the signs indicate that the hike is 22 km but my GPS said 21.11 km (I’ve noticed that the trail signs almost always indicate a longer distance than it really is). I did it in less than 6 hours, giving me an average speed of 3.6 km/h. It’s probably the fastest I’ve ever hiked, partly because of the easy terrain and partly because I didn’t need to stop for pictures!