INTERNATIONAL SUMMER EDITION
FROM THE ALPINE C APITAL OF SC ANDINAVIA
TAKE A HIKE
GO AROUND AND ACQUAINT YOURSELF IN DEPTH WITH THE FELLS
JÄMTL ANDSTRIANGELN OFFERS WORLDCL ASS TRAIL BIKING AND AN EXPERIENCE TO NURTURE YOUR SOUL FOR A LONG TIME
BARREN ROCKS, WOODY FOREST TRAILS AND CRA Z Y DROPS; BIKING ON MT ÅRESKUTAN IS PHENOMENAL IN ITS VARIATIONS
BIKING • HIKING • F ISHING • SWIMMING • ADVENT URES • F OOD • TIP S • E VENT S
John Crawford-Currie Mattis Lindqvist Erik Mossfeldt
John Crawford-Currie Tobias Liljeroth
Jörgen Vikström Johan Weimer Håkan Wike
Oscar Almgren Daniel Blom
John Crawford-Currie Mattias Fredriksson Henrik Flygare Gösta Fries
Mattis Lindqvist Erik Olsson
Nils Thomasson TR ANSL ATION
Klartext Eva Henricson Magasin Åre International Edition is the result of a cooperation between Magasin Åre Publishing AB and Åre Destination AB. Magasin Åre is an independent product, published by Magasin Åre Publishing AB. Magasin Åre is a registered trademark. Opinions presented by individual writers may not necessarily correspond to those of the editors. Even our own opinions may differ from the editors’. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited material.
E DITORIAL CONTAC T
Magasin Åre Årevägen 75
830 14 Åre – Sweden + 46 (0) 647 135 40
editorial From the alpine capital of Scandinavia COVER M AT TIA S FREDRIKSSON
Character What’s the real worth of a place? Superlatives? Statistics? What it measures up to? Not if you’re a thinking person. The real worth of a place is always character — the sum total of not just what it has, but what it aspires to, who lives there and how it feels.
Åre lets us taste the northern latitudes — whether that means the isolation of our mountain village, native Sami culture, the sweep of the fjalls to the horizon, wilderness, wildlife, or the endless winter tug-of-war of powder and sun. But it’s far enough south to maintain ties to urban and pop culture, with a range of contemporary and traditional dining, and nightlife rivaling the best of the big city. So depending on what we’re doing, Åre might seem a little bit of Stockholm or St. Moritz, a tad London or Whistler. We might be reaching, but we’re not comparing. What makes Åre unique among a range of larger, more glamorous ski resorts is that it has never tried to be anything but itself. It’s unpretentious about its many attributes and comfortable in its skin. Which translates to a special place — with character.
P H O T O G Ö S TA F R I E S
Barren rocks, woody forest trails and crazy drops; biking on Mt Åreskutan is phenomenal in its variations. We opened our greedy senses and set off on a degustation from the top to the bottom – gluttony on two wheels. TEX T TOBIAS LIL JEROTH PHOTO M AT TIAS FREDRIKSSON
IKING IN ÅRE HAS EMERGED
over decades of curiosity, a surge for adrenaline, adventures. Already in the 1980s someone dragged a prehistoric mountain bike into the cable car and planted the seed to what it is today – one of the world’s best biking resorts. The identity of this pioneer is not verifiable but there are many who would like to claim this highly desirable title. At the time there were only hiking paths down from the peak and the combination of rocks, vegetation and minimal (if any) suspension must have made the ride downhill anything but comfortable. During the 90s, as biking was growing in popularity, construction started of the 1,000-metre trail. Since then many other paths and trails have been added but this one still attracts. It has a unique, stubborn character yet to find elsewhere in the world. The same goes for the rest of Åre’s upper zone which is dominated by flat barren rocks. RIDING A BIKE ON NARROW paths is strangely enough one of the most relaxing pastimes there are. You must focus entirely on the trail in front of you otherwise disaster will set in, for sure, this invites an extreme sensation of living in the present; things you can not affect right now are postponed indefinitely. The trail dictates your status, your route forward. The narrow perspective harbours endless opportunities. Plan ahead, one decimetre’s difference may determine whether you come out of a curve with retained speed, or you come to a dead stop. The paths, the single tracks, con6 |
stitute the soul of Åreskutan. Designed by years of wear and tear by shoe soles and bike tyres, by hands loaded with hammers and saws stubbornly shaping the ground and the terrain, a path has eventually evolved. But present day pedalling needs something else. A more organised adventure, all in accordance with our modern aspects of nature as something we have designed and that we control; a ride without roots and deep mud where
important sponsor — and the result was the three kilometre Shimano trail from the WC-trail down to the base station of the VM6 lift. Well stocked with banked curves and jumps of a size that one of them has been named Matterhorn, clearly marked with a hand-painted wooden sign on a tree nearby, the trail offers a five minute high speed ride with all your senses at their most attentive. Seven kilometres of biking down
And there are still people who claim that Åre is best in the winter the handiwork has been taken over by machines doing the digging. ÅRE HAS ALWAYS BEEN POPULATED by people with an open mind for far reaching ideas. Minds ready to adopt the best there is out there in other parts of the world, to import it and adjust it to homeground. Hence, when rumours reached the bikers in Åre of this crazy track in Canadian Whistler, the A-Line, it was a given that one would be built on Mt Åreskutan; undisputable. Soon enough the excavators were on site creating banked curves and high jumps. The result was Flinbanan — the Grin Course — named so since it produces wide grins on the bikers’ faces. This is Åre Bike Park’s main and most ridden path. A few years later the machines were back on the mountain. The aim set even higher, with a generous budget from an
Mt Åreskutan has now come to an end; three completely diverse environments have been negotiated at good speed: flat rocks, paths and machine-built trails. A trilogy of disperse characters and attitudes; a buffet of the best biking available, ready to be consumed separately or, at best, in combination. The feast is however not over at the base station of the cable car, it is just a transfer post en route to the next treat. On the other side of the mountain await the rocks on Hällrajd, the high speed cruising in Hjulingen, and the magic, enchanting Bräckebäcksleden trail. Bicycling that entrances, seduces, builds addiction; bicycling for a lifetime. And there are still people who claim that Åre is best in the winter – how wrong they are... Read more at
bikingare.com and aremountainfestival.se
J A N N E TJ Ä R N S T R Ö M – B R ÄC KE B ÄC K S L E D E N, Å R E B I KE PA R K
J A N N E TJ Ä R N S T R Ö M – H Ä L L R A J D
S TA R TR AC K S
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Trail from the top station of the cable car ‘Kabin berg’ all the way down to Hummelstugan. An intermediate path of the very first rate – world class; almost exactly five kilometres of downhill biking at its best; a flow ride with banked curves across the barren beauty of the peak.
Åre Bike Park’s most mind-expanding trail is also the least fixed and facilitated. This is a rollercoaster across rough rocks in the upper zone. The fact is that there is no longer a single metre of soil. It is completely lethal on rainy days but so wonderful every other day; raw, brutal and simply delightful – a timeless classic.
Åreskutan’s most bewildering and adrenaline-provoking biking trail. This is a machine built jump path with 50 or so jumps and 20 or more fat banked curves. Release the brakes and any restraints and prepare yourself to spend more time in the air than on the ground, all of the 3,300 metres down the track.
hike GO AROUND AND ACQUAINT YOURSELF IN DEPTH WITH THE FELLS; THE IMPRESSIONS WILL MERGE INTO A GREAT FEELING OF WALKING IN CIRCLES FOR BODY AND MIND ALIKE.
TEXT JÖRGEN VIKSTRÖM
PHOTO M AT TIAS FREDRIKSSON
HE VIEW WESTBOUND towards Mt Åreskutan, the magnificent one that charms drivers and passengers alike on the E14 where the landscape opens between Såå and Brattland, is for many the very symbol of Åreskutan. The characteristic image includes the dramatic face of Blåsten pointing towards the northeast, an outline not dissimilar to the jut of Mt Lill-Stendalsfjället to the west of Vålådalen towards Stensdalsstugan. Mt Totthummeln is another well-known and typical formation, just like the shape of Mt Åreskutan itself, reminiscent of an upside down boat or perhaps more poetically, the hip of an ample woman seen from the side. From this angle you cannot claim to know Mt Åreskutan. You simply have no idea about the mountain, its size, its beauty. If you want to get to know the mountain 12 |
you should circle it, on foot. That’s the way to grasp the character of Mt Åreskutan. MT ÅRESKUTAN IS AN EXCELLENT mountain to circle. The terrain is gentle and you can opt to follow paths and roads all the way round. The vast space it occupies also contributes to the magnificent experience and it encompasses besides the smaller Totthummeln and dramatic Blåsten also peaks such as Västerskutan, Rödkullen, Tväråvalvet, Mörvikshummeln and several other great elevations of their own individual character. SO WHAT CAN YOU LOOK forward to when hiking around Mt Åreskutan? Well, first of all some extensive context. When you cover the distance around a mountain you will experience multiple layers. The impressions of one side of the mountain interact and blend with the impressions of the opposite side.
And if you climb further up the slopes a new atmosphere appears. The barren surroundings contribute in pitches that are contrasting to the impression of the forests. It reminds me of the acoustic feedback between the electric guitar’s microphone and the amplifier; a complex combination of brittle and depth. One G complemented by an acoustic feedback becomes a far greater G. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS to the perfect circle when you are walking round a mountain. Make sure your senses are on edge; forget performance criteria. Sense the nerve cells separating to loosely spun webs promoting sensibility and openness. Look towards the summit and give it the finger before setting off in a great circle to the left or the right in a wide enwrapping movement. You will notice that you are not only circling a mountain but relaxing and embracing your inner self...
The mountains surrounding the valley is also excellent for trailrunning. Various terrain with breath taking veiws makes exercising more memorable. And more fun. Read more at fjallmaraton.se, skutanrunt.com, aretrail.com and aretrails.com
HIKING TOURS IN THE ARE A
SMALL SUMMIT TOUR
The small summit tour is suitable for families or those aiming for a visit to the summit without exerting themselves. Ride the cable car up and from the top station a 800-metre walk will take you to the summit of Mount Åreskutan (trail 214) at an altitude of 1 420 metres above sea level. There may remain some patches of snow and hiking shoes or boots are recommended. A coffee in the Toppstugan café is a given!
I N T E R M E D I AT E SUMMIT TOUR
Mount Totthummeln is the characteristic peak rising above Tott Hotell. A hike around the peak (trail 213) leads among tall spruces, rich birch-tree forests, and invites wide views.
BIG SUMMIT HIKE
A hike to the summit of Mt Åreskutan takes you from the lush valley up into the bare mountain and may last a full day with its one thousand vertical metres (trails 214 or 215). This hike is not technically difficult but necessitates good physical condition. One suggestion is to ride the cable car back down in consideration of your knees. The downhill lift ride is free.
There are many sides to mountain weather — not all of them so easy to handle. But when you combine summer temperatures, biking and fells, Jämtlandstriangeln offers world-class trail biking and a nature experience to nurture your soul for a long time. T E X T J O H A N W E I M E R P H O T O G Ö S TA F R I E S
Suddenly everything tallies I HAVE THE WIND IN MY BACK , going downhill, lovely summer warmth and the joy of riding escalates. I fly ahead with the sun on my back — longing to get home? No, hardly. Not now when each pedal leverages double gear and we race ahead at a pace reminiscent of a 200 horsepower motorbike on full throttle. I never drop the speed unless I want to. It feels as if the bike has been electrified, but better, and not even the best trained high-speed mosquitoes manage to keep up, for that I am grateful. The tyres grip the sand-filled ground of the trail, like a sharp eagle’s talon in some soft prey. Mostly it is enough to relax, follow the ground, and pump up and down to keep up the speed. There are no problems at all riding like the pros and stomp the pedal in the middle of the gently banked curves, before being thrown out of them like a slingball on speed. It feels a bit like riding downhill but the risk level is probably very much lower and the nature experience far greater — at least as long as you avoid spending all your time on the trails in the bike park. Variation is virtually unlimited and in particular this fine trail, with its not 14 |
too exhausting uphill sections and exciting downhill parts, goes on for miles and miles. Why don’t I do this more often? Why don’t I sacrifice more days in the bike park for this favourite stretch from Gåsån to Storulvån? Well, the perfectly natural explanation is — winter. FROM OC TOBER UNTIL JUNE the mountain slopes here are mainly frequented by ski mountaineering enthusiasts from near (predominantly Åre) and afar (actually even from British Columbia). Rich levels of precipitation and hard winds rule the area. The snow cover is usually deep. Snowdrifts tend to build up several metres high, stopping the traffic and closing the only access road – still at times in April. In these circumstances the guests are driven to the lodge Storulvåns Fjällstation by snowcat provided by Jan Martin — a tall and hard case entrepreneur. Against all odds, it always ends the same way — winter draws a final breath and slowly and reluctantly, the snow starts to thaw. Eventually vegetation starts pushing here at an altitude of 700 metres above sea level
where the already ridiculously brief Swedish summer has been reduced to a minimum. However, in cold winters the climate may even be scientifically Arctic, the only necessity is that the average temperature in the warmest month of the year stays below ten degrees — and last year not far from here, summer never materialised. In some parts of western Jämtland the average temperature failed to reach ten degrees above zero for five consecutive days. All of this does not diminish the joy of biking, quite the opposite. The essence derived during the days and hours when the sun and warmth coincided with dry trails — during a large part of the dry-land season the ground is a bit too wet because of the enormous melting of snow — is a delicious treasure ready to be served at any top rate restaurant. Here the sensation comes not at a high price but you need to keep tracking the forecasts and have a pot of luck. It is not a matter of having the latest gear... smartphones, functional garments and weather forecasts; the capricious mountain climate and the awesome natural forces will probably never be tamed, as luck has it. Instead we get to enjoy the thrill of them changing from heaven to hell and back in only a brief space of time.
BIKING TRIPS F ROM S T ORULVÅ N
MT S TO R U LVÅ FJÄ L L E T
A great summit trip. Follow the trail towards Blåhammaren and turn off to the summit of Mt Storulvåfjället when you have come about 300 metres past the picnic table. The trail meanders towards the summit and may feel exhaustive but the reward is waiting on the way back with the fun downhill biking. The fact is, you can roll on almost all the way back to Storulvån. The trip is about eight kilometres.
U LVÅTJÄ R N
A 12 kilometre trip. Follow the trail towards Blåhammaren to the shelter at Lake Ulvåtjärn. The first three kilometres run uphill in rocky terrain but after that, it levels out and becomes quite a pleasure.
U LVÅTJÄ R N > E N K Ä L E N > S Y L A R N A’ S S H E LT E R > S TO R U LVÅ N
Start like the trip above; continue onwards to Enkälen, the shelter between Blåhammaren and Sylarna. From Enkälen continue to the bridge before Sylarna’s shelter and from there, take the road back to Storulvån. In total this trip is about 36 kilometres. (An alternative from Sylarna’s shelter, go on to the shelter at Gåsån and return via Tjallingen to Storulvån.)
G Å SÅ N ’ S S H E LTE R
A tour of about 30 kilometres on gravel roads and fine trails: After Tjallingen follow the trail towards Gåsen for about 10 kilometres and once arrived at the shelter at Gåsån, you may want to stop for a swim in the current. Something to eat may not come amiss before continuing. If you are filled with energy, you can cross the river and continue on the trail towards Sylarna for another 2 kilometres on fine paths to the mighty roar of the River Storforsen. You can also go all the way to the shelter at Sylarna and pick the northbound road to Storulvån.
First make your way to the shelter at Ulvåtjärn and from then onwards to Blåhammaren. The uphill section is demanding and the trail technically tricky but you can always opt to walk. The final three kilometres on the plateau towards Blåhammaren are easily pedalled and fun. After enjoying food and drink at the lodge Blåhammarens Fjällstation (you can also stay overnight) cherish the downhill ride all those verticals back to Storulvån. In all, the trip is about 24 kilometres and in part, advanced.
Tarmac bonanza As a road biker there are a handful of lungkillers you should take on when visiting Åre.
THE STORULVÅN ROAD A varied and recently built road in the border region between the birch-tree forest and the bare mountain; a spurt stage in terms of road racing — 24 kilometres from Handöl to Storulvån and back. NORWAY Typically enough, some of the best in road cycling is found with our neighbours. Take the car to Storlien. Go by the train Nabotåget to Hell, disembark (with your bicycle) at this godforsaken place (literary) and embark on the scenic and meandering ride back towards Sweden on 70 kilometres of narrow and beautiful tarmac roads. The last 20 kilometres to the border are mainly one long uphill ride from Meråker to Storlien. UNDERSÅKER - VÅLÅDALEN This is a fine stage for an evening ride albeit starting with a challenging uphill ride, but thereafter all the more pleasant, past attractive Ottsjön, Vålån and the forests between them. The run is 54 kilometres from Undersåker station and back. You may opt to extend the turning point by three kilometres to Lake Nulltjärn, albeit at the risk of damaging the rim. ULLÅDALSBACKEN Åre’s gem, starting at 385 metres above sea level, with the finish at 727 masl, distance 4 816 metres, vertical climb 342 metres. The data give an average gradient of no less than 7.1 per cent. Yet more interesting (for a road biker that is) is considering the maximum gradient; the first climb is just as tough as it feels, as much as 25 per cent (!). Compare this with the legendary mountain passes in the Alps: Mont Ventoux 12%, Alpe d’Huez 13%, Col de Galibier 14%, Gavia 16%, and Monte Zoncolan 25%. The stretch with this gradient is only about 25 metres – but still! The unofficial record time up to Ullådalen (from the tarmac edge by the old barn off the E14 up to the signs indicating the turning zone by Ullådalsstugan) is just over 15 minutes, which gives an average speed of about 19 km per hour.
Read more at tourofjamtland.se 18 |
PHOTO FREDRIK BOBERG
The longest day Sweden’s largest adventure sport event. Your worst adversary is not any of the muddy, snorting, camelbak suckers, crosseyed with fatigue, perspiring all around you. Neither is it the sun burning without pardon on Mt Åreskutan, nor the alternative sleet washing down in Huså. No, your worst adversary sits in your brain dressed in a bathrobe. With a cool drink in his hand he looks over the sunglasses as he relaxes and sunbathes in the right cerebral cortex. “Come on, give up now”, he says. “Come and sit down, I’ll fix you a drink. Because you’re worth it”, he continues. Your worst adversary is your wish to give up, to throw in the towel. This is about Sweden’s largest adventure sports event and
Åre’s version of Iron Man: Haglöfs Åre Extreme Challenge. Each year has its own character: One year it was so cold that the athletes were considering bringing skis for the downhill run from Åre to Huså via the summit of Mt Åreskutan. A few of the contestants lost their way in the blizzard and cold and exhausted had to be led by their competitors down below the cloud cover. Another year saw tropical heat and an insect attack during the biking stage. Horseflies, the size of thrushes, were feasting on the exhausted ÅEC heroes and heroines striving to pursue the race and ignore the tempting calls from their drinksipping minds.
In June, most of them will still be there, on the watery starting line in their unstable kayaks for yet another edition of the paddle stage with the mighty waterfall of Tännforsen as a backdrop. They will not be pondering all the previous years’ hardship; completing ÅEC means an extraordinary capacity to forget. Focus will be on staying in the kayak, on a light and easy step up on Åreskutan and on legs that fast and speedily pedal the final leg of the long day. Early in the morning sounds the start pistol and the event sometimes called The Longest Day has begun. —A R E E X T R E M E C H A L L E N G E . S E
THE COURSE – A BRIEF DESCRIPTION PADDLING 25 kilometres consisting of a couple of short class 2 currents, river and lake
paddling. MOUNTAIN RUNNING 15 kilometres from central Åre across Mt Åreskutan to Huså village. The course follows the summer trail via Tottliften, Sadeln and Lillskutan to the summit of Mt Åreskutan, at 1,420 masl. From there, running downhill to Huså on the northern slopes of Åreskutan. MOUNTAIN BIKING 31 kilometres, the course runs parallel to the gravel road from Huså and then onwards to Åre via Björnen, ending in the down hill course Getrappet before the finish in Åre town square.
PHOTO MATTIS LINDQVIST
The Canadian The Canadian, the open canoe model, is almost ridiculously multifaceted. It also comes in many designs, for white water as well as for a quiet holiday paddle. If you are smart and lazy you should choose one in aluminium. If you are a romantic wilderness man you should build your own in wood and canvas. A Canadian canoe is ‘slow outdoor recreation’; a necessary pace-
reducer in this hectic second decade of the third millennium. Clear your mind of yield curves and mobile reception and instead enjoy the meandering rivers and the ripples on the lakes. Canoeing is not about travelling fast and crossing the finish line first, but rather how you do it. The slow paddles on a quiet tarn benefit you more than any book on mindfulness in the whole world.
White-water rafting, an adrenaline provoking adventure and a crazy outdoor experience. Åre (as usual) offers the optimal waters: Gevsjöströmmarna is the steepest rapids for commercial rafting in the country; the River Vålån stuns with a sudden waterfall; Tångböleströmmarna flows with the snow-clad massif Snasahögarna as a backdrop. The size of the rafts varies depending on the size of the group, ranging from four to ten on board. Aftmost sits the pilot delivering the orders, sometimes gently, sometimes harshly. The minimum age applicable varies with the class of the white water. The water temperature however rarely reaches 18 degrees.
PHOTO MATTIAS FREDRIKSSON | OSCAR ALMGREN
Adventure swims The River Ullån is an adventure waterland as natural as they come. With views of both the peaks Åreskutan and Mullfjället the river meanders sometimes in spraying rapids and sometimes in quieter stretches down the slopes. Here you can chill in the
natural pools created by the water’s unrepentant power, join the rapids in tickling waterslides or challenge yourself jumping from high cliffs into narrow water-filled ravines. You can also follow the water upstream to fix your own canyoning trip —
a refreshing experience. The largest sandy beach, 500 metres, is in Lake Nulltjärn west of Vålådalen. This is the most fells-near beach with excellent views of the peaks Lill-Stensdalsfjällen, Stora Härjångsstöten and Kyrkstensfjället.
When the sun relentlessly bakes the peaks, it can still be pleasant to seek refuge indoors; otherwise you might have to wait a long time for an excuse. During Åre’s century-old history as an outdoor sport resort there have — believe it or not — been a few days that the TV meteorologists would describe as “bad weather days”. These would comprise one of those rare days when the sun fails to shine from clear blue skies. That’s the time to glide down to the Holiday Club waterpark at Lakeside Åre Strand. Unless for other reasons you’re later able to take part in the year’s first après-beach, or at least after-bath. — H O L I D AY C L U B . S E
PHOTO DANIEL BLOM
Paragliding Get initiated into the sport high of paragliding through a tandem f light with an experienced pilot. Mount Åreskutan offers first-rate f lying, and so Swedish paragliding has its national centre here in
Åre. Without a sound you’ll swoop down and over town, dizzyingly crossing the cable car’s tallest pylons as they rise far below you. In Åre you can also acquire a basic
paragliding license — meaning you can fly on your own. Should you choose to pursue this ultimate freedom, you’ll be tutored by the best and most experienced instructors in the country. —S K Y S P O R T. S E
Can you imagine swishing through and above the treetops at speeds up to 70 km per hour? Though you’re in the air, you’re as safe as it gets. Securely strapped in a sling, hanging from a oneman cableway, ziplining is certain to stir both your senses and the butterflies in your stomach. The Zipline park in Åre is unique in its kind in Europe. Nowhere else can you find so many sections in such a spectacular setting. — C A M P A R E . S E PHOTO MATTIS LINDQVIST / MATTIAS FREDRIKSSON
Fishing in streams is best at the time when the spring floods begin to subside and the water becomes warmer and also in July-August when the nights grow darker. Fishing at dusk, concluding at a campfire ranks among the most harmonious summer pastimes.
LAKE ÅRESJÖN Underestimated water proven to present big fish. Using a boat and spoons, wobblers or trolling, you can bring home big arctic char and brown trout; gold and copper are the right colours for your baits. When the mayfly ‘Rocken’, starts to hatch at the turn of the month June/July there is also great fly-fishing here. You can hire a boat at Camp Åre near Holiday Club and via the tourist office in Åre. TEGEFORSEN It is easy to reach the northern riverbank, here is also a shelter and an organised BBQ site. From the rapids and one hundred metres downstream there are several deep pools, preferably fished with worms and lead sinker — easy and usually rewarding for all the members of the family. The southern bank offers also fine fishing further downstream.
There is plenty of fish from the first rapids and all the way downstream to Undersåker, maybe not the BRATTLANDSSTRÖMMARNA
biggest brown trout but according to stock checks, one of the most crowded habitats in the county. Here you are only allowed to fish with a season permit unless you are staying at Såå camping or Brattlandsgården. In July and August here are massive hatches of mayflies with a lot of active fish. ULLÅDALEN A 20 minute walk from the parking area at Ullåstugan will make you reach fine tarns with brown trout as well as arctic char. The lakes Ullsjön, Hästskotjärn, Forsaskalstjärn and Husåbäckstjärnarna are well worth a visit; thrilling with a fly-fishing rod, beautiful with views of both mountains Mullfjället and Åreskutan. Blue and silvery baits if you are spinning. The River Ullån tempts with fine angling for brown trout using worms. THE GOLF COURSE At a right angle from the 18th green fishing is usually good, also a couple of hundred metres upstream and downstream, best enjoyed with waders. Fly-
fishing or spinning with small spoons usually work best. Keep a good grip on your rod — here are big brown trout keen to bite. In the absence of a catch, you can always pick stray golf balls on the shores. BELOW RISTAFALLET In July, when fishing for brown trout is slow you may find sunshine fishing for grayling more yielding. The waterfall Ristafallet is a natural barrier for grayling but further downstream fly-fishing is quite good, all the way to Mo. Fly-fishing is the way to land grayling.
At the tourist office you can buy fishing permits, maps and find information on fishing in the area. Åredalen and its surroundings is presently a muddle in terms of permit areas — check the conditions and limitations with the permit outlets. Fishing permits are sold at the Tourist Office, Ica Björnänge and Fjällsport in Duved.
PHOTO GÖSTA FRIES
A round of golf in Åre features equal portions of a challenge and a nature experience.
In Staa, just west of Duved, the 18 holes take the players through varying terrain, part forests part links, and in part along the River Indalsälven. If you are a novice to this golf course – in part quite tricky to master – it may be a good idea to search help and advice from the locals, before or during the first round.
The final hole is the gem of the course. Before teeing off, enjoy the fabulous view down towards the flag and the club house. As if teasing, and to disturb your focus, the river also makes its way in, just in front of the narrow green. On a bad day, the players in the previous ball may have decided to wait and see how you cope with the task.
Standing on the top, ready to play, your mind full of different scenarios, the time is ripe to bring out the result of last winter’s mental training. Take a deep breath, adjust your stance, focus on the ball. Follow through – and good luck! Read more at aregolfklubb.com
Unless you have a tendency for claustrophobia, a visit to a cave is a certain hit. High up on the slopes near Storulvån is Mettjeburretjakkegrottan, a rift cave with a criss-cross of passages between big boulders, from narrow corridors to large halls with almost eight metres to the ceiling. Climbing gear is necessary and the cave should not be explored without a guide. On the northern slopes of Mt Åreskutan near Huså, is the cave Kvarnbäckslabyrinten, a more than 350 metres long limestone cave, also well worth exploring.
PHOTO GÖSTA FRIES
Riding the backcountry If you want to try horseback riding in Åre you will most probably make friends with an Icelandic horse. The breed is low, sturdy and famous for quickly mastering the tricky highland terrain. Exploring Årefjällen from
the back of a horse is an experience hard to beat, especially perhaps for inexperienced riders. The Icelandic horses are friendly beasts and certain to add a new dimension to your mountain holiday.
Various organisers offer horseback riding in Åredalen, in summer just like in winter. Visit are360.com for more information
PHOTO ERIK OLSSON
Reindeer check Some 30 km from Åre is the Sami camp of Njarka Sameläger, a must-visit for those interested in culture and heritage. On a peninsula in Lake Häggsjön, the Mattson family has built an authentic Sami settlement. The aim is to demonstrate the lives of the reindeer-
herding Sami people and a visit here entails both insight in the people’s history and their current circumstances. Up until the 1930s, the Sami people lived in teepees, and this type of building is dominant at Njarka. You can join a guided tour led by Maud Mattson; coffee and
“glödkaka” bread is served amidst free-ranging reindeer. You can feed them lichen and have a go at traditional lasso throwing. Don’t miss the chance to gain some insight into the living conditions of the area’s indigenous inhabitants. — N J A R K A . C O M
Handicraft is an important part of Sami culture. Generations of highly skilled craftsmen, inspired by the colours and forms of nature, the conditions for nomadic people and long-standing traditions, have refined and enhanced the handicraft. Sami handicrafts are even more admired outside Sami circles. Here in Åre, in the middle of Sápmi, the cultural region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people, there are many ways of sampling the modern and masterly handicraft. Knife by Olov Svonni; 14 500 SEK. Bag in root craft by Ellen Kitok Andersson; 19 500 SEK. Peaked slippers in reindeer skin by Kero; 450 SEK. Necklace by Lena Lundin Skott; 1 250 SEK. Glass plate in the Sami colours from Ateljé Istid; 750 SEK. Thanks to Åre Hemslöjd. Watch out for the reindeer antler! 28 |
PHOTO FREDRIK BOBERG
All is not gold that glimmers. If you are really lucky it could be diamonds instead. Annica Liljeblad’s exclusive snow star in white gold is dotted with as many as 43 small sparkling diamonds. Annica, whose heart beats for Åre wanted to capture the snow star forever, and simultaneously perpetuate the feeling when it melts against her cheek. If you ask us, she has succeeded. Eye-catching and at the same time a modest pendant with a pure design. The only downside is that it has the same effect on women that the One ring has on Sméagol in Lord of the Rings. APPROX 10 900 SEK .
Time to relish
You’re on vacation. The boss isn’t expecting you to turn up for work tomorrow morning. The chances for a great night out are rarely as good as here in Åre, so take the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and make the most of the buzzing nightlife. There is no cuisine too specialized to be served in one of Åre’s many restaurants. And yes, fresh shellfish is on the menu in the mountains as well as local specialties such as ptarmigan, reindeer and well-matured cheeses. Those who like gourmet food can tickle their taste buds with inventive, delicious creations, whereas those looking for hearty, well-prepared skiers’ dinners will also be happy and
satisfied. Åre town has the widest selection but Björnen, Tegefjäll and Duved also have high-class family restaurants. The pulse of nightlife in Åre beats to the same rhythm as mega-party cities like New York, London and Moscow. It’s virtually impossible to find the time in a single vacation week to visit all the clubs and bars. You’ll have to return to Åre again and
again to cover it all. There is nowhere else in the Swedish hills where you can you carry out such serious bar rounds, nowhere else where the nightlife is as glittery or drinks stirred as well. Åre’s live stages serve up everything from groovy cover bands to schlager artists and rock legends. The conditions for a great night out on the town couldn’t be any better!
When you step into Jeff Davis’ small workshop it feels like you have been transported into a Harry Potter movie. It is only the little goblins that are missing. Åre’s own silversmith creates original jewelery for both him and her. The common theme is clear and the inspiration comes from the mountains, the snow and the rugged nature of Jämtland. Put Mt Skutan on your finger, hang a cross around your neck or snow stars on your ears. RING Snowflake, 18K gold and silver, a mix of different metals that are hotter than ever. APPROX 5 950 SEK. MIDSUMMER RING , equally stylish in winter
or summer. 18K gold and silver. APPROX 14 500 SEK. RING Åreskutan Classic in silver, a painting in miniature. APPROX 2 200 SEK.
PHOTO FREDRIK BOBERG
Locavores Get in the mood for Ă…reâ€™s outstanding local specialities by trying these out in your own kitchen. RECIPE LISA WALLIN
PHOTO ERIK OLSSON
POT-AU-FEU with Arctic char Stock 4 shallots, 1 carrot, 1 piece of celeriac, 1 fennel, 1 large bouquet of dill, 4 bay leaves, 4 sprigs of thyme, 2 tablespoons of dill seeds, 5 white pepper corns, 3 dl white wine, 13 dl fish stock. Preparation Peel and chop the onion, root vegetables and the fennel, cook lightly in rape oil until soft but not brown. Pick the dill from the stems and put aside. Add the dill stems, thyme and the rest of the spices to the pot. Pour in the wine and reduce by half. Add the fish stock and leave over medium heat until half of the liquid remains. Strain the stock through a fine mesh. Vegetables and fish 1 large carrot, 1 piece of celeriac, 1 savoy, 1 fennel, 1 lemon, 700 g fillet of Arctic char. Preparation Dice the carrot, celeriac and fennel. Remove the leaves from the savoy, cut off the root and shred the leaves. Slice the char fillets in suitable pieces and fry in butter over medium heat. Keep warm. Bring the stock to boil and then add carrot and celeriac. Leave it boiling for 1-2 minutes. Add the fennel and let it all boil for 1 minute. Finally, add the savoy and leave to boil another 1 minute. Grate the lemon rind on the finest section of the grater and add to the soup just before serving. Squeeze in some lemon juice. Arrange the fillets on soup plates, add the soup and garnish with coarsely chopped dill. 30 |
PHOTO ERIK OLSSON
LAMB BURGER with funnel chanterelle dressing and deep-fried beetroot Burgers 1 loaf of leavened or other farmhouse bread, 700 g of minced lamb, 4 shallots, 1 clove of garlic, 2 sprigs of thyme, 2 dl water, 1 dl grated dry bread, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Preparation Soak the dry bread crumbs in the water. Chop the shallots and cook with the garlic in a little butter without browning it. Mix with the breadcrumbs. Add the minced lamb. Leave to soak a little. Dressing About 50 g dried funnel chanterelles, 1.5 dl water, 1 dl sugar, 0.5 dl acetic acid (12%), 1 dl mayonnaise, 1 dl crème fraiche, 1 tablespoon honey, chopped chives. Preparation Boil the water, acetic acid and sugar. Pour it over the dried mushrooms and leave for 15 minutes. Chop the chives finely and mix with mayonnaise, crème fraiche and honey. Remove the pickle from the mushrooms, chop finely and mix into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Beetroots 8 large beetroots, 2 L oil for deep-frying. Preparation Peel the beetroots and grate them coarsely. Place on kitchen towel and drain carefully. Heat the oil to 170˚C (test with a piece of bread). Deep-fry the beetroot for 3-4 minutes, until they colour nicely and leave to drain on new kitchen towel. Add salt before serving. Serving Toss a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach in two tablespoons of olive oil, spread on toasted slices of the bread. Arrange a burger on top. Spoon the dressing and top up with deepfried beetroot.
When you want to brew up a cup of cocoa, your level of ambition can be measured by the time available, where you’re located and how eager you are. You can of course use powder, or make the extra effort and add chocolate block. In Åre however, you can attain the ultimate result with a specifically developed product from a local entrepreneur. Åre Chokladfabrik has widened its portfolio of delicious chocolate truffles to include finely ground drinking chocolate. Simply mix it with hot organic milk, top it off with lightly whipped cream and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon. —A R E C H O K L A D F A B R I K . S E
REINDEER RYDBERG Onion 3 large onions, 1 tablespoon butter. Preparation Chop the yellow onion finely (save the bits you can’t chop), and fry in butter on low heat for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Potatoes Peel 1.5 kg large local potatoes; dice and leave in cold water to remove the starch. Drain the potatoes and leave to dry on kitchen towel. Fry diced potatoes over medium heat in rape oil and butter. Add salt and pepper. Horseradish crème 2 dl crème fraiche, 1 tablespoon honey, grated horseradish according to taste. Preparation Mix crème fraiche, horseradish and honey. Season with salt and pepper; use an electric whisker to whip until firm. Meat and gravy 800 g reindeer fillet, 3 junipers, 1 dl red wine, 1 dl veal stock. Preparation Dice the meat into 1 cm squares and fry quickly in butter over medium heat until browned outside. Keep warm in the oven at 50˚C. Add the left-over onion to the pan together with the junipers and fry until browned. Add the wine and reduce until half remains. Add the stock and leave to blend. Season with salt and pepper and strain through a fine mesh. Serving Arrange potatoes, onion and meat in separate piles, spoon some gravy over the meat. Dip a tablespoon in boiling water and form an egg of the horseradish crème, serve with one yolk of egg each.
No, this is not about moonshine, peatreek, poteen or Schwarzgebrannter. This is pure, high-quality aquavit. At Buustamon Fjällgård, one of Sweden’s few legal house distilleries, they produce an herb-seasoned aquavit that you can order in their restaurant or other bars in the area. Some of the products are also available at Systembolaget (the offlicense). — B U U S TA M O N S FJ A L L G A R D . S E
Millions of images have been taken of Swedens largest waterfall Tännforsen. The best was taken back in the early 1900’s by the legendary photographer Nils Thomasson from Åre.
Backtrack the history Tännforsen
The masses of water of Swedens largest waterfall is reputed to fill the Globen arena in 15 minutes and there is a lot of action as it splashes down 37 metres into Lake Noren. An impressive sight and the conclusion of the visit could well be freshly made waffles with the coffee at the lodge. —TA N N F O R S E N . C O M
Up until 1919 copper was mined in Fröå. Today this is a piece of culture history, with daily guided tours of the old mining area among restored buildings, channels, water mill and a fascinating pump. The café and restaurant Bergstugan is an attraction in itself with traditional local cuisine, sandwiches, pastries and cakes. — F R O A G R U V A . S E
Åre Gamla Kyrka
Åre’s medieval church celebrated its 800th anniversary a few years ago. With its solid stone walls this is a pleasantly cool attraction in the centre of Åre. This was one of the stops made by the pilgrims on their way to Nidaros (today Trondheim).
From coast to coast through reindeer territory It is called “Scandinavia’s El Camino”. It stretches all the way from Selånger just outside Sundsvall in Sweden, through Åre, and ends in Trondheim, Norway. Wandering along the St. Olavsleden trail is one of the most beautiful pilgrim experiences that Europe has to offer. In addition to magnificent scenery you will encounter traces of history stretching over a millennium along with a chance to rest (between the more challenging sections), reflect and gain peace of mind. Don’t miss the chance to look out over the reindeer land from above, in Åre. Take the cable car to the top of Åreskutan mountain and gaze over the views as Olav did himself. To cut a long story short, the St Olavsleden trail is based on Olav Haraldssons life story. He was born in 995 and devoted his life to Christian beliefs. He was the first Norwegian king who established an administrative system
and legal network that held the land together. He also undertook several missionary expeditions to parts of the land that were not yet Christian. Eventually he lost the throne as he failed to convince some of the major decision makers in England. In 1030 he was killed, in Stiklestad, attempting to reconquer Norway. A year after the battle of Stiklestad the bishop pronounced him a holy man with the support of the populace. His death for Christianity was seen as certain proof that he was Gods instrument. He was honoured as an apostle of Norway for completing the long process of Norway’s conversion to Christianity. This unique combination of martyr and apostle of perhaps the foremost reason why Olav gained such a strong and wide following. Read more at stolavsleden.com
PHOTO OLA ROCKBERG
JUNE ÅRE EX TREME CHALLENGE
From fitness fair to pedalling, via tough runs and autumn fair; and some more. M AY WORKOUT ÅRE Exercise classes with Sweden’s best instructors, seminars and workshops; indoors and outdoors. —W O R K O U TA R E . S E
JUNE ST OL AVSLOPPET Road running relay race and popular festival across the national border from Trondheim to Östersund along the scenic St Olavsleden trail. —S T- O L AV S L O P P E T. C O M
Adventure race for everyone — amateurs and pros, solo or in teams. The disciplines are whitewater kayaking, trail running and mountain biking. —A R E E X T R E M E C H A L L E N G E . S E JUNE ÅRE EX TREME CHALLENGE
PHOTO MATTIS LINDQVIST
JULY ÅRE BIKE FESTIVAL Four days of compact and intense celebrations of bicycling in Åre — the best biking in Europe. Look forward to the pleasant flow, great hangouts, tough pedalling, brutal film screenings, photo challenge, undisputable clinics and world champion rides, in the bike park just like in the dirt, on tarmac and on the xctrails around Åre. —A R E B I K E F E S T I V A L . C O M JULY VÅL ÅDALENS 3-DAY ORIENTEERING
Orienteering event for all the family members in Vålådalsfjällen including a sprint in central Åre. WITH ÅRESPRINTEN
—V A L A D A L E N . S E
JULY FÄVIKEN GA ME FAIR Outdoor fair on the Fäviken Estate on the shores of Lake Kallsjön. Hunting and fishing, handicraft and food; a great event each year attracting some 30 000 visitors.
— F AV I K E N G A M E F A I R . C O M
JULY ÅRE GOLF VECK A Golf competition week on one of the highland’s most scenic courses — Åre Golf bana. —A R E G O L F K L U B B . C O M
AUGUST FJÄLLM AR ATON WEEK Several peak races during the week: Half marathon, Öppet fjäll, short distance and Fjällmaraton.
— FJ A L L M A R AT O N . S E
AUGUST FJÄLLM AR ATON WEEK
SEPTEMBER ÅRE AUTUMN FAIR
AUGUST ÅRE MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL Sweden’s only alpine summer festival comprising all the activities on offer in the Swedish fells. Mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, hiking, parkour, slacklining and paragliding are but a few examples. —A R E M O U N TA I N F E S T I V A L . S E
AUGUST ÅRE MOTORKULTUR A weekend filled with engines, cruising, party and mechanical clatter in Åre. Put your best shoes on and be there or be square.
— H O L I D AY C L U B . S E / E N
SEPTEMBER ÅRE HÖSTM ARKNAD The autumn fair in Åre is filled with marketers and visitors, a wonderful ambience, the programme runs from morning till early evening with many popular and interesting features. —A R E H O S T M A R K N A D . S E SEPTEMBER ÅRE TR AIL Trail running event for all the family members. 4, 10, 8 or 23 km of running or walking from Fjällgården to Timmerstugan. —A R E T R A I L . C O M Some of the events may be subject to change. Events are also being added continuously. Visit areguiden.com or are360.com for the up to date list. PHOTO HENRIK FLYGARE / MAT TIS LINDQVIST
PHOTO M AT TIAS FREDRIKSSON
Åre — magnificent all year around.