Brief Mountain Summer

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Spent Monday through Wednesday on a trip to Lake Grövelsjön in the mountainous northwesternmost corner of Dalecarlia province. The lake is sausage-shaped with one end in Sweden and the other in Norway. On Tuesday my wife and I hiked around it, a walk of 25-30 km involving the ascent and descent of 250 m heights — twice, as we touched down to the valley floor at the far end of the lake. Most of the time we were above the treeline at about 980 m over sea level.


The area is right in the middle of its brisk and breathless summer, when everything hurries to bloom and procreate before the cold and snow returns. Jaw-dropping scenery and endless opportunities for birding and botany. Glaciogeological evidence everywhere, the mountains having been ground down to great big sleeping seals by the inland ice. And best of all — there’s an excellent affordable hotel-and-restaurant at the Swedish end of the lake. No heavy backpacks, no tents, no outdoor cooking, very civilised. Highly recommended.


(Onomastic note: “Grövelsjön” has to do with a cognate of “gravel”, not “to grovel”. It’s named after the gravelly Grövlan stream that feeds and drains it, apparently a fine fly-fishing water.)




  1. #1 kai
    July 6, 2007

    I am so envious…

  2. #2 Hans Persson
    July 7, 2007

    Did you see the WWII-era German bomber wreck along the Norwegian shore of the lake?

  3. #3 Martin R
    July 7, 2007

    Alas, I did not, though I read about it. A Heinkel machine, I gather. The local farmer’s wives sewed shirts of the parachute silk.

  4. #4 Wife
    July 7, 2007

    The food wasn’t all that excellent. Be warned.

  5. #5 Martin R
    July 8, 2007

    I had such charming meal company that I didn’t pay much attention to the food. (-;

  6. #6 Amber
    July 8, 2007

    Nice picture of the Linnéa Borealis.

  7. #7 Martin R
    July 8, 2007

    Thanks! We weren’t sure that it was a linnea, but my mother’s fiancé OKd it.

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