Central Sweden offers a lot of hiking and mountaineering capabilities along its border to Norway and on the coast of the Baltic Sea. In between the landscape is relatively flat covered by huge forests and with some nice villages and little towns. Its capital Stockholm is located on the coast of the Baltic sea. It is a bustling metropolis with 2 millions inhabitants, a lot of interesting culture, many green parks and some impressive waterfronts.

Roofs of the street Strandvägen of Stockholm

 

After we had crossed the border from Norway on the E14 we turned on the first southern street right and continued to the mountain hut Storulvåns. There was a big parking lot and it was nearly fully occupied. The mountain hut is like a little village with a large hotel including some big buildings.

In Jontunheimen are the tallest peaks of Scandinavia up to close 2,500 meters sea-level. This sounds not very high for alpine standards but you have to take into mind that you are much closer to the North Pole. Jontunheimen has some steep, needle-like pinnacles embedded by enormous glaciers and huge lakes. Besides the thinner air these mountains equals summits with 3,300 meters and more sea-level in the Alps.

Reindeer with glacier

 

We decided to head along the eastern side of Jontunheimen because the weather forecast was bad as usual for its western part where the clouds of the northern Atlantic Ocean hit the mountains and stick there. 

Norway in northern Europe and on the western side of the peninsula Scandinavia is a natural treasure with stunning mountains, deep gorges and fjords, uncountable waterfalls, huge glaciers, and green lush vegetation at lower sea-levels. Its population is besides the few cities very low, its density of people is the lowest of continental Europe. It's famous for bad weather but we enjoyed a lot of nice days in June and July which is quit often the case. And it never gets really dark in these two months - literally you might start a longer mountain tour in the late evening.

Typical Norwegian Cot

 

Before we headed to Norway we enjoyed skiing in the Alps beginning of May 2016. There had been lots of fresh powder and the ski slopes on the Schnalstal glacier in South Tyrol, Italy were more or less free of people!

Adamello is one the most famous mountain group in the southern Italian Alps, closed to the lake Lago di Garda. The highest peak is the Monte Adamello, which is 3539 meters high. It overlooks a vast glacier plateau, the Pian di Neve. Adamello has a very sad history: Many soldiers died there during the First World War; mainly due to coldness, avalanches and crevasses. But there were also heavy fights between the Austrian and Italian armies. You still find a lot of relicts of this war like shoes, barbwires, cooking stuff, stations, ...
 
We climbed Monte Adamello mid of October 2010, which is relatively late for such a big glacier tour. You should have all glacier equipment like crampons, ice-pick and ropes. There are huge crevasses on the Pian di Neve, more than 50 meters deep. So we started our trip which heavy backpacks at the Capanna Stella Alpina, south west of Monte Adamello. The Capanna Stella Alpina is accessible for smaller cars via the Valle del' Igna. It is a very narrow and steep street, starting from the small village Cevo. Our VW California fitted exactly, we were happy that it is not wider! Cevo can be reached easily from the town Lovere at the lake Lago Iseo, driving up the river Fiume Oglio to the town Malonno.
 
The Capanna Alpina is just 1400 meters high, so it is more than 2100 meters to the top of Monte Adamello. Fortunately there are many mountain huts and bivouacs on the way. But we had to carry additional gear like sleeping bag, cooker and all the food.  Our backpacks were definitely heavier than 20 kilograms!
 
On the first day we walked to the bivouac Bivacco Salerno, located closed to the Salerno saddle 3100 meters high. It is a beautiful way along the artificial lakes Lago Salerno and Lago Dasazzo.
 
Lake Lago Salerno

In September 2010 we spent some days in the Dolomites together with Marion's brother Tommy. Our first target was Piz Cunturines in the Fanes Group. It is one of the giants in the Dolomites, more than 3000m high. And some climbing is required. Fortunately there is an iron rope (Via Ferrata), so no heavy mountain equipment is needed. We started very early in the morning at the Capanna Alpina, closed to St. Kassian in the Gadertal. It was a wonderful day in an archaic environment. We walked approximately 4 hour through a very remote valley, passing the lake Cunturines, to the saddle between the peaks of Piz Cunturines and La Varella. There the ropes begin, also some iron ladders. Then it became very steep, more than 1700m above St. Kassian. The climbing was very motivating, but relatively short. The iron ropes and ladders were in excellent conditions.