Helags topptur

Helags

1,796 metres


August 2021

Helags is the most southern glacier in Sweden and the highest peak in Härjedalen, 1,796 metres above sea level. It can be seen from a far distance and is quite an easy hike with no difficult passages although it demands that you are in a physically good condition.

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Starting/Finishing point

Helags mountain lodge


Distance

9 kilometres

(4,5 kilometres oneway)


Length of time

3-5 hours


Ascent/Descent

+/-834 metres


Difficulty

Red


Water along the way

Yes,  in the beginning of the trail


Shoes to choose

Trail running shoes or hiking boots

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The start of this hike is close to the Helags mountain lodge along the trail leading to Sylarna mountain lodge. Arriving from Sylarna you will actually pass the sign to the top of Helags on your way to Helags mountain lodge. Arriving from Kläppen you continue past Helags mountain lodge beforehand. Depending on the weather conditions you can see the glacier and the Helags peak from the lodge.

The first part of the hike is flat crossing some streams where you might get wet feet unless you jump between the stones. After some 300 metres elevation kicks in and from here it is up, up, up! The path is easy to find. There are actually two different ones but they are the same in length and partly also the same so don´t worry too much about which path you walk.

After some 15-20 minutes you will get a closer look of the Helags glacier ahead of you with the Helags peak on your right hand side.


The path then windles up along the left side of the ridge, actually taking you all around and then above the glacier. There are no scary parts for those that are afraid of heights unless you want to challenge yourself by looking down…

The hike is partly challenging where you have to cross some areas with blocks of stones but just take your time and rest on your way up and you will be fine.

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Finally arriving at the top you will probably be surprised by how big it is. There is no obvious "peak" but that also brings plenty of room to sit down and admire the views. Sometimes it is cloudy or foggy down in the valley but sunny on the top or the opposite.


On your way down you have magnificient views of the valley below.

What to bring with you?


Since this is high-mountain terrain you should bring a first-aid-kit. It is easy to slip and twist one of your ankles. You should also be sure to fully charge your mobile phone before setting off and don´t forget map and compass. 


Besides that the weather conditions decides what to bring. A wind-proof jacket to protect you from wind, or a rain-jacket if there is the slightest risk for rain. A warm sweater, buff and gloves is always good to bring. For safety and to wear at the top or along the way if you want to take some rest. If it is sunny, don´t forget sun protection! You are very exposed to the sun all the way. Poles is pretty nice to have on this hike too.


Be careful and check the weather report before setting off. The weather changes quickly from time to time. We started out in fog all dressed up in rain-jacket/pants but then it was sunny and warm one hour later.

How to get to the starting point?


A popular way to do this hike is to drive to Kläppen and park the car there. From Kläppen it is 12 kilometres easy hike to Helags mountain lodge. Ususally people spend one day hiking to Helags mountain lodge, one day for the Helags peak and then a third day walking back to Kläppen, a really nice 3 days´ hike.


Another opton is to climb Helags on a multiday hike between mountain lodges or huts, for example on your way to Helas mountain hut from Sylarna mountain lodge or Gåsen mountain hut.


We did this hike on our way from Sylarna to Gåsen when we were passing Helags for one night. We arrived in the afternoon and hiked to the top later the same day, a total of 30 kilometres. Arriving in Helags around 2 p.m. we had plenty of time to have some lunch at Helags mountain lodge, check in, repack our backpacks and then walk our way up to the top. Since this was in July it was bright all evening and almost all night so there was no rush. Since we had dinner booked at the lodge at 7 p.m., however, we had to be back by then.

What did we think of the hike?


We had wanted to do this hike for quite some time but the weather conditions had not allowed it when we were around. This time it was foggy and humid in the valley during the day but the weather forecast promised sun for the evening so we took our chance to the top. 


It was a really nice hike to do and a lot easier than for example climbing Storsylen close to Sylarna mountain lodge. That is because the terrain around Storsylen is more difficult.

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