On my most recent trip , I returned home with a swollen knee and a strained medial ligament (as well as a broken Olympus 12-40 mm Pro lens). Recovery has been, and continues to be, a slow process which has impacted on my original plan to walk from Kautokeino to Nordkapp. What to do?
Whilst managing my rehabilitation I have spent a lot of time thinking about hiking options, especially given that the airline tickets had been paid for, ultimately, I decided to cancel my airline tickets and look for alternatives. Whilst also recognising that I needed to rethink my hiking plans in the future given my limited time and lack of “mountain fitness”.
As I am forever planning trips, I have spent a lot of time, with my knee elevated, considering alternative destinations. My criteria included; mountains above treeline (immediately ruling out Denmark), which could be accessed at the last moment and provided alternatives for modification if required. Sweden was the obvious choice given the access to public transport, so then where to.
In 2010 I visited Vålådalen as part of the Scandinavian Bloggers Meet Up. For that trip the weather was not the best, but the company great and I have always wanted to return. This focused my attention on the Jamtland area. Immediately prompting an email exchange with Mark at One Swedish Summer. Mark’s enthusiasm and love of the area was clearly evident as he provided many suggestions and variations, some of which I am still digesting. The result was a number of options, depending on fitness, time and travel, in no specific order they are as follows.
1. Walk from Grovelsjön to Storulven an approximate 160 km of walking over varied terrain, probably a bit far, but there are several opt out options including Fjällnäs where Mark spent his honeymoon.
2. A circuit around Vålådalen, possibly extending as far west as Helagsfjället.
3. Travelling to Storulven and then completing the Jamtland triangle which is a popular walk.
4. Many other variations of the above mentioned routes.
However, perhaps more importantly, my slow recovery and long summer holidays have made me rethink my hiking plans for the future, as time away is increasingly constrained by work commitments impacting on my general walking fitness. Equally I have begun to realise that “The long trip” is less of an option these days instead trips of at most 7 days may become the norm with much more of my walking being done in less challenging environments.
As a consequence, this period has led me to carefully consider my gear needs (especially what I do not need, nor will use) whilst maintaining a lightweight pack. There will as a consequence be some specialised gear available soon on the gear sale page, which may well suit others who have the time and commitment to undertake such trips.
In closing. Will I be going on one of the trips listed above? Time will tell.
For those wondering about the camera lens, I sent it to Olympus for repair and was pleasantly surprised at the respectable pricing as well as the excellent service, further confirming my love of Olympus Micro four third cameras.