Storsylen

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK


DAY HIKES AND ROUND TRIPS

Storsylen

1,743 metres

July 2020

This is a full day´s hike starting at Sylarna mountain lodge that takes you to the peak of Storsylen just across the border to Norway. It is a streneous hike with an elevation of more than 700 metres in 5,5 kilometres. A large part of the trail is across large stone blocks and some parts are quite a bit "airy". You can do this hike with a guide from Sylarna mountain lodge. If you are used to hiking in high mountain terrain you can also do it on your own.

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Starting/Finishing point

Sylarna mountain lodge


Distance

5,5 kilometres oneway


Length of time

5-7 hours


Ascent/Descent

731 metres


Difficulty

Black


Water along the way

Yes


Shoes to choose

Trail running shoes or hiking boots

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The trail to Storsylen starts just below Sylarna mountain lodge where you walk a bridge crossing the river Sylälven. The trail is partly very well marked with piles of stone or red painted dots, partly it is a bit difficult to find the "best" way even though the goal of the hike - Storsylen - is highly visible most of the time with it´s sharp peak.


After about 2 kilometres walking through Slottsdalen you should walk in direction Lillsylen that is connected with Storsylen by a ridge. There are two valleys right beside each other and it is the second one as seen from the mountain lodge that is the right one. If you pass by a rather big lake you are in the wrong valley. 

Hiking to Storsylen is totally different from hiking for example Jämtlandstriangeln. The hike to Storsylen takes you through high mountain terrain that is partly difficult to cross including some easy climbing.


Also, the weather might change very quickly from sunshine and a clear blue sky to fog, rain or snow even if it is in the middle of the summer in July/August. It is therefore essential to take a very close look at the weather forecast before leaving and to bring map, compass, warm clothing, rain cover and food. 


Adding to that we always talk to the staff at the mountain hut about the trail before we set off. They really know the environment and the conditions might change from one year to another depending on for example the snow conditions.

The hike to Storsylen is is totally on the conditions of nature. There are no manmade bridges, ropes or stepstones to help you cross streams, stone blocks and so on. You are totally on your own in close contact with nature. Adding to that this hike is far from crowded. We met about 10 people in total during high season and then it was quite a nice day with some sunshine and no wind.

Depending on the time of year you will probably come across some snow. It is often a lot more easy to walk across snow than large stone blocks and walking across snow is oalso ne way to get some variation. Nevertheless you have to pay attention because as the snow melts you might suddenly fall through and get really hurt. We always walk with a distance between us even though it feels safe.

Approaching 1,000 metres height you will probably come across some beautiful white and yellow flowers called Isranukel that grow in this harsh environment.

After a rather streneous and long hike across large blocks of stone you finally reach a ridge with views of Tempeldalen.


Walking a little bit further up you then reach a plateau where the trail flattens. From here the trail is a lot less airy. Nevertheless you are probably a bit tired by now and it is a good thing to take a break before the last part of the hike including the crossing of the border to Norway.


 View of Storsylen and Tempeldalen


 View of Norway and Nesjöen

We met some people that turned around at the plateau because they were tired and afraid of heights. Having come this far, however, you have quite an easy part left ahead of you until you reach the peak of Storsylen.


Nevertheless, if you feel tired or if the weather suddenly changes you should always be careful and think again. The walk back down is as far from a walk in a park you can think of but rather streneous since you have the same large stone blocks to climb across on your way down as you climbed on your way up. 

There are however some shortcuts to take when you reach the snow. Just check the snow conditions first though so you don´t fall down into a stream.

On your way down you also have the option to walk the ridge to Lillsylen and walk down from there. That seemed like a really nice thing to do and we saw some other people taking that route down instead of taking the same way back as we did.

So, what did we think of this hike?


The best thing in our opionion was that we were in really close contact with nature and the quite harsh nature. It also was a special feeling to walk at a place where there are so few people along the way. Scary and exciting at the same time. 


It took us 3 hours to get to the peak and 2,5 hours to get back down. If you are less afraid of falling than I am you could probably walk down faster than we did. I did a lot of climbing while Johannes more or less jumped from stone to stone.

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