Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


Leave a comment

Norway 2017: Femundsmarka

The pictures and full report of last month’s 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka (and a bit of Rogen, on the Swedish side of the border) have been uploaded:

Unfortunately, the trip was cut short since I had to return home unexpectedly halfway through. Nonetheless, this was yet another fine adventure blessed with reasonable weather conditions (contrary to the foul weather further west, that I was luckily able to avoid).

DSC_0659

DSC_0660

DSC_0662

DSC_0664

DSC_0665

DSC_0727

DSC_0734

DSC_0744

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Packrafting the Grøtåa river (Part 2/2)

Towards the end of my 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka I returned to the Grøtåa river for some relaxed paddling on its lower section. In the meantime the weather had turned for the better and I much enjoyed both the river and the camp I had established in the vicinity of mount Kratlvola. Fine weather and low winds unfortunately also mean mosquitoes in these areas, so a headnet was unfortunately in order.

DSC_0784

DSC_0789

DSC_0790

DSC_0804

DSC_0810

DSC_0834

DSC_0837

DSC_0838


Leave a comment

Packrafting the Grøtåa river (Part 1/2)

Grøtåa is a small, remote river in the backcountry of Norway’s Femundsmarka National Park, practically on the border to Sweden. The 3rd week of June I did a 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka, during which I descended parts of Grøtåa by packraft.

The source of Grøtåa is the Grötvallsjön lake, which is situated on Swedish soil, above the tree line. The river starts as a narrow and shallow current that meanders through reindeer grazing grounds and marshland. Afterwards it makes a drop and enters the Femundsmarka heartland with several nice flat and wide sections.

I started the descent of Grøtåa only meters away from its source. Due to the narrow and shallow first section of the river, I was initially in for a bumpy ride, with a need for short portages every now and then. Especially at the fence that keeps the Norwegian and Swedish reindeer herds apart, portaging was inevitable. Although without danger, I guess some might say packrafting this part of the river is a bit crazy, and I therefore wouldn’t be surprised if I were the first to attempt it…

DSC_0334

DSC_0335

DSC_0337

DSC_0341

DSC_0343

DSC_0344

DSC_0348

DSC_0349


Leave a comment

The Scandinavia 2016 trilogy

The full reports of the 3 stretches of my Scandinavia trek in June 2016 have been uploaded:

I have started to use a stylish, more contemporary layout that I’m personally quite happy about, as it makes both pictures and text stand out better. The plan is to gradually move reports from previous treks into this new format as well. Let me know what you think.

dsc_0474

dsc_0557

dsc_0236

dsc_0214


Leave a comment

Sweden 2016: Rogen

My Scandinavia experience in June 2016 started with a 124 km trek on foot and by packraft through a region that is sometimes referred to as “Grenselandet”, as it sits on the border between Sweden and Norway. The core of Grenselandet is made up of a 2000 km² conglomerate of national parks and nature reserves that includes the following areas:

  1. Langtjønna
  2. Femundsmarka
  3. Femundslia
  4. Grøvelsjøen
  5. Gutulia
  6. Rogen
  7. Töfsingdalen
  8. Långfjället
  9. Städjan-Nipfjället

In June 2015 I respectively traveled through Femundslia, Femundsmarka and Rogen. In 2016 on the other hand I crossed Långfjället, Rogen, Femundsmarka and Grøvelsjøen. Focus was mainly on Rogen.

The beauty of Grenselandet is in its remoteness and ruggedness, as one will not find any spectacular fjords, glaciers nor jagged peaks in this area. Grenselandet is to be experienced by being immersed into it, rather than by some superficial sight-seeing.

I spent 8 days in the area and enjoyed lots of dry and sunny weather. Temperature-wise there was a strange contrast between warm days at the beginning and at the end, and a cold snap in the middle where temperature suddenly dropped to 0 – 5 °C.

I crossed the entire Käringsjön lake system by packraft and intended to do the same for the Røa river depression. However, due to cold weather and high winds, I only accomplished part of the latter.

Grövelsjön – Hävlingen – Slagusjön – Storrödtjärnstugan – Tandsjövålen – Käringsjön – Kråksjön – Källsjön – Uthussjön – Öster-Rödsjön – Väster-Rödsjön – Skedbrostugan – Skedbrofjället – Reva – Møllerbua – Litlbuddhåen – Storrundhåen – Kløfthåbua – Røabua – Grøtådalen – Sylen – Grövelsjön

Pictures > Sweden 2016-06: Rogen

8-4-2016 4-55-46 PM

DSC_0327

DSC_10103

DSC_10093

DSC_10117


Leave a comment

Norway 2016: Rondane

The third and last part of June 2016’s Scandinavia experience took me back to Norway’s Rondane mountains, where I already had made treks in September 2014 and June 2015. This time I spent 5 days in the area, made up of two 2-day treks with a day of rest in between. On the 4 actual hiking days I did a total of 91 km. The day of rest fortunately coincided with the only rain episode of my entire 16-day journey!

On the first 2-day trek I climbed mount Veslesmeden, crossed the Rondehalsen pass, camped at Skranglehaugan and returned via the unmarked trail over the Storsmeden pass. The second 2-day trek took me to Bjørnhollia via Musvorddalen, and then back via Illmanndalen.

The first trek was a bit rough in places due to extensive patches of deep wet snow (in contrast to June 2015, no snowshoes required however) and a steep ascent and descent (over loose scree) of the Storsmeden pass. The second trek was generally easy.

I especially enjoyed my camp at Skranglehaugan, which is a relic of the last ice age that is very photogenic if conditions are good. I was lucky to find brilliant autumn colors here in September 2014, and also this time I was not let down. In the evening it was the mix of intense sun and dark clouds that created good photographic conditions. The next morning it were the crystal blue sky, and the reflection of mountain tops in the still lakes.

Spranget – Rondvassbu – Rondhalsen – Veslesmeden – Rondhalsen – Bergedalen – Skrangehaugan – Dørålseter – Dørålen – Langholet – Storsmeden pass – Kaldbekkbotn – Spranget – Musvorddalen – Bjørnhollia – Illmanndalen – Rondvassbu – Spranget

Pictures > Norway 2016-06: Rondane

DSC_0181

DSC_0187

DSC_0267

DSC_0268


Leave a comment

Norway 2016: Trollheimen

During the second part of my Scandinavia experience in June 2016 I hiked the rather famous “trekanten” (or triangle) in Norway’s Trollheimen mountains. Trekanten is a 63 km trek between Gjevilvasshytta, Trollheimshytta and Jøldalshytta that is normally accomplished in 3 days. I did it in approximately 46 hours, not because I necessarily wanted to race the clock, but mainly to get the most out of the splendid weather.

Trollheimen is the most northerly mountain area in the southern 1/3 of Norway and is situated just south of Trondheim. It is considered one of the most picturesque and varied in the country, thanks to jagged snowy peaks in the west, rounded hills in the east and deep valleys with green pastures. The area can have pretty serious snow accumulations in June, but while I was there snow cover was much less than average for the time of year. So, no need for snowshoes (also thanks to light overnight frost that kept snow rather firm).

Gjevilvasshytta – Riarskaret – Riaren – Mellomfjellet – Skallen – Trollheimshytta – Svartådalen – Jøldalshytta – Skrikhøa – Minnidalsglupen – Gjevilvasshytta

Pictures > Norway 2016-06: Trollheimen

DSC_0262

DSC_0264

DSC_0372

DSC_0382