I know what I did last summer

With the lack of anything better to do, I had a look back at the pictures from the hiking season. It was really one of the best summers ever, even though it got off to a bad start. First I had to wait for my knee to recover from the injury I sustained during the Easter break. Then when it was good enough for hiking, I was hit by some kind of an overtraining backlash and from there it was just a race against time to be 100% fit for the exciting vacation in the Italian Alps. Which turned out to be a whole lot more than I bargained for, but I think it gave me a physical and mental boost like nothing else before, and put me in a permanent hiking mode for the rest of the summer and autumn.

Now that snow is falling outside, the hiking season is definitely over and it makes me a bit sad. The skis are waiting for me in the hall, but for the first time, I’m not looking forward to using them. I’m sure the joy will come back when I’m actually out skiing in the transformed landscape, but at the moment… god I just want to put on my hiking boots and hit a trail somewhere!

There were a lot of memorable highlights last summer, including some long standing bucketlist items that I was finally able to check off.

  • Seeing Njupeskär in sunlight at 4am
  • Seeing the Alps (and standing on top of one)
  • Visiting the Pyramids, Issjödalen and hiking through Lunndörren
  • Doing a via ferrata (first in Italy, and then our local one in Funäsdalen)
  • Hiking Romsdalseggen
  • Hiking to Syltjønna

One thing I did not do last summer was to check off more ”60 toppar” from the list. I only did that one to Rödsjövålen which got me sidelined for a couple of weeks. I summited a lot of mountains though (and some mountains multiple times, like Funäsdalsberget!), just not any new 60 toppar. Maybe next summer, but at the moment it’s not a priority. Because you know me, always planning! And I found a new thing to do.

In the past years I’ve had a theme for the year. It started with the 365 project, then I became a vegetarian for a year (and then permanently). Last year I wanted to have new experiences (I think I succeeded!) and in 2018, I will explore Sweden. I have two different projects lined up: 1) Visit the extreme points of Sweden 2) Highpointing with the aim of summiting the highest point in every province.

Highpointing is an actual thing, I didn’t make it up! I’ve created a page for it to keep track of my progress, and so far I have only one point – Helags, which is the highest point in Härjedalen. Some provinces have high points which are barely discernible from the surrounding landscape, others are obvious. Kebnekaise will definitely be a challenge, while you can drive a car to some other points.

This is a great chance for me to learn Swedish geography. I have a pretty good idea about Norrland, but the southern half of Sweden is largely a white space to me. I’ve just never seen a reason to go south, apart from visiting Gotland and Gotska Sandön. I had a trip lined up to Skåne in April anyway, so now I can pick up a couple of extreme points and high points en route. Perfect! And then in the summer, on the way to visit the other two extreme points, I can do some northern high points as well. I’m planning to have at least half the points done next year, and the remaining in 2019. Kebnekaise is the big question… I will do that when I find someone to do it with!

russian comfrey
Just can’t get enough of the spiral of the russian comfrey
In the summer, you can see these black cows along the Mittådalen road
In the summer, you can see these black cows along the Mittådalen road. Right now I have them as my neighbour, I can hear them mooing!
This is July in the mountains
This is July in the mountains – the snow can still be very much a thing in some places
I live at the rainbow's end!
I live at the rainbow’s end! Or almost, anyway. I couldn’t find a good place to shoot it when the rainbow pointed right at my house!

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