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The Swedish mountains (aka “Fjällen”) is where it’s at right now. Having hardly done more than unpacked from the trip to Åre it was already time to leave again, for Hemavan this time. This winter I spent quite a bit of time here, chasing summits and powder. I knew from before that the area also holds some of the best trails I have ever ridden, so I was quite excited about this trip. With me came Andrea, Maria and David, a good crew to share a few days in a cabin with.

Directly after we unpacked the car and assembled the bikes we set off for “Lilla Murtsertoppen” at just below 1300masl.

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David pushing up the rocky trail followed by Maria and Andrea

In spite of a quite sketchy forecast the weather was very pleasant with sun and a mellow breeze as we slowly pushed our way up the mountain.

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Getting closer to the summit, the trail is steeper in places and the vegetation thins out

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Andrea starting the descent, around 800 vert ahead on a small, winding trail full of rocks.

The next day we had a classic “big day out” planned. The route would take us from Hemavan, along Kungsleden (The Kings trail, for whatever reason) and out to Solberg, where we parked a car to take us back to Hemavan. By the way, Kungsleden is Sweden’s version of the West Highland Way, going from Hemavan to Abisko.

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Nice contouring trails once the first climb up to the top of the ski lift in Hemavan is done away with

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Pure delight, the essence of mountainbiking

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The trail follows the creek and is quite demanding in places between Hemavan and the hut Viterskalsstugan. A wee stop to take in the view was in order

At Viterskalsstugan they serve coffee and cookies in summer, we jumped at the opportunity to replenish our sugar and caffeine levels before continuing along the trail.

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Riding in the valley Syterskalet on Kungsleden, fantastic rocky trail and some threatening clouds

Where the valley opens up and Kungsleden continues towards the hut Syterstugan we took a right towards Solberg, and now we were riding an a big plateau crisscrossed with countless creeks and the mountains on our right hand side.

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Stream crossing, the water was chilly

The trail here was quite flat, but the many water crossings, a bit of bogs and some stretches of disappeared trail syndrome still ment progress was not very quick. After 6 hours or so in the saddle we took a break for sandwiches, and most importantly of course, coffee!

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Simba! All hail thy thermos

With lifted spirits we continued on this seemingly endless, constantly technical, flowing ribbon of singletrack, our only distraction was bogs or creeks. And of course the odd crash. I managed to go out the front door after a sloppy landing off a drop off. Concentration is key…

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Me eating some dirt and almost getting overrun by Andrea and Maria, the trail continuing into the horizon completely oblivious to the bikers struggling on it

After reaching the horizon, a great flowy rock strewn descent led us down to Solberg and our waiting car. The end of a great day in the alpine, 7,5 hours of riding which are 90% really really good trails and 10% of pushing bikes up steep uphills or through creeks. Probably the perfect formulation for a big day out, it shouldn’t be all too easy, then it is also easily forgotten.

 

Big thanks to everybody who participated, and especially David and Andrea for letting me use the photos you took, they are truly worth more than a thousand of my words!

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