Going for the top?

Sunday 17 January 2010 Åre SV, Jamtland County, Sweden

We got up early to eat breakfast and clean out the apartment so that we could leave the keys before 9:30. I didn't really like to check out that early...
After this the others wanted to go for some shopping and I wanted to go to the top and hopefully get a nice suntan. It was warm in Åre city only 9 degrees minus. I bought a ticket for the cabin lift to the top. When I looked at the weather station display it said 11 degrees minus at the top but due to the wind chill factor the temperature was equal to 27 degrees minus, holy Moses. Not really what I had imagined in my mind, but why not get some alpine training at least there is supposed to be a cabin on the top, just in case.

Once up with the lift I was the only one that had planned to climb the top, I tried to walk in skiing trails since it was very easy to sink down deep in the snow and I hadn't brought my gaiters with me. It was nice and chilly and the sun was on its way up and far away I thought I saw a cabin. But closer up I realized that it was a stone, eh surprise. I guess I didn’t take the easiest way I tried to go for the southern ridge but it seemed that the wind was increasing now. I took a quick break and drank a cold soft drink I felt the coldness in my stomach but as long as I was moving there was no problem with the warmth. Once up at the top I tried to make a short documentary video film before I entered the top cabin. It seemed that I was the only guest for today? I wasn’t allowed to eat from my backpack so I ordered a cup of coffee and a chocolate ball it was nothing special then I spoke a little bit with the owner of the place. He told me it was the coldest time of the year now. The wind was increasing even more outside I guess it was time for me to find my way down.

I loved the challenge to find the way down I was walking down at the western slope now. It was a little bit painful to feel the strong icy wind in my face (sometimes I had to turn my back towards the wind because it was so painful in the face) but my balaclava and sunglasses helped me a lot, once down at the lift I sat down and waited for the next lift but it never came so I walked into the restaurant and asked the staff about it. They told me it was now wind gusts up to 30 m/s (can that really be true?) so they had closed the cabin lift, ehh (I wonder what that equals according to the wind chill factor?). Just relax and wait was their words to me, in the worst case we will drive you down with a snow mobile. But you can also walk down if you prefer, one of the guys told me that he planned to walk in an hour.

But I was impatient and eager for another alpine challenge so I just started to walk down sometimes just sliding down the steep slopes sometimes slipping sometimes running in the ski tracks. But I wasn’t really sure about the right direction on the left there was signs warning for the ravine and avalanches so I went a little bit to the right. Which led me to a cliff where I could see the next lift system but I couldn’t see where I was supposed to climb down, ehh great. Maybe this adventure were getting a little bit too dangerous? Maybe it wasn’t so good to be out here alone? Why the f**k do I always have to chose adventure before plain convenience?
When I was about to give in for a moment, I just happened to glimpse some tree stick in the snow so I thought I should check it out? When I reached the stick I could see something that looked like metal handles for some kind of stair but I couldn’t see the stairs because of the snow cover so I tried to climb my way down while holding to the metal handle it was a little bit difficult since my right wrist was still hurting from yesterday, this was not good to rely on just one hand if I had to act quickly.

But it all went well and I got down to the lift station and asked the staff if a could take the lift down, f**k it was high and it was a little bit scary to look down this lift even crossed above another lift system it was really cool now since I had taken of my balaclava before I went down and I didn’t dare to bring it on while I was trying to hold a steady grip on the lift seat. I got off the lift safely and asked the staff again for guidance to the next lift down. I had to walk through the steep wood for a while before I came down to the last lift, it was more like a train. Now I could feel the tiredness in my body, I guess I allowed myself to relax a little bit now.

I had agreed to catch up with rest of the group at the bath house at the holiday club. But once at the desk I didn’t know what kind of tickets they bought so I bought the most expensive one 200 SEK which included Sauna world, ehh?

It took a while to see the others because they sat in the corner and read books? Ok not so much swimming and playing here, so I went to the sauna section and explored everything they had, I even took a voluntary dip in small pool with a water temperature around 6-8 degrees it was very refreshing. Then I had to try the water tunnels it was very funny and a little bit scary because after a while it went totally dark and you didn’t know anything about the direction, I could only try to relax before I splashed into the pool. They also had a lot of bubble pools with massage effects and at another pool you could even swim outside and walk or roll in the snow. I was satisfied by just walking in the snow before I went into the water again. It was a nice closure for this weekend.

Now it was time to fetch our luggage and get on the train. It went well except that we chose the wrong wagon but the cabin number was right this time it was a little bit more primitive with six sleeping berths of the rougher model, let me say this, it was not IKEA/;)
Now I just have to try to get some sleep before we arrive 07:33 in Helsingborg (ETA).
I woke up in Halmstad so I had some extra time to snooze before I got off in Helsingborg, to my surprise there was still snow but it was not so nice to see all the Monday people go to work stress/:(

Once at home it felt a little bit strange to not go to bed but to just continue the day...
It was nice to come home to a newly yellow painted room so it was quite fun to make a new start, cleaning and refurnishing the entire room in a new and refreshing way.

Ragnar Asker
Last active at - from Varberg, Halland County, Sweden

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