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.

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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.

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(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.)

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