As last year´s tour was such a great experience I just had to do it again. This time instead of one week I travelled around for two. It ended up being an experience of note, however, perhaps not as great as the first one. During almost all of the first half of the trip it was raining and during the second half it was only sometimes sunny. Thus the weather was a disappointment..
In the picture below you see my setup: ATS-4 with between 3 and 4 watts output depending on the condition of the batteries, a Hendricks SLT+ tuner, a Begali Magnetic Traveller Light keyer, a cheap set of headphones and a batterypack of nine 2500 mAh AA batteries. This was connected to a end-fed half-wave antenna (a wire of 14,08 meters) supported by a 12,5 meter glass fiber pole from DXwire.
The ATS-4 worked perfectly in spite of rain, rough handling and dampness in general. No problems what so ever! Worked like clockwork!
The Hendricks SLT+ tuner works fine if you want to tune wires that are about half a wavelength long, meaning if the wire/antenna is showing high impedance. It´s not very good at tuning low impedance loads. On the other hand, that is exactly what is supposed to do and what it is also advertised to do too!
The 12,5 meter fiber glass pole from Dxwire was just great! Lighter than the 12 meter SpiderBeam pole I used last year and much easier to carry around. Perhaps not as sturdy as the SpiderBeam, but sturdy enough for the purpose. Usually I only used 10 or 11 meters of the pole to support my end fed half-wave antenn for 30 meter.
During this trip I only worked 30 meters. For an antenna I used a single 0,75 square millimeter insulated wire 14,08 meters long sloping from the top of the pole down to the tuner. I experimented a bit with different lengths of the wire but found after a while that precisely half a wavelength multiplied by 0,95 seemed to give the best results. Probably because it presented the tuner with a high impedance and thus with low ground losses giving a maximum amount of emitted energy.
The only disappointment of my gear was the Begali keyer. In spite of it being advertised as a “portable” keyer, it is obviously not suitable for really portable operations. It can not handle wet conditons. Moisture is drawn into the construction/mechanism and shorten the connectors. You can not put it on damp ground and expect it to work without any hiccups for very long! Any really portable key should stand a little bit rain from above. It is also absolutely essential that it is water proof from below.
For activation of Swedish summits a terrain-map is a must! In Swedish it´s called "Gröna Kartan". However, it´s not always reliable. Particularly for the northern part of Värmland County and for the remote areas of Dalarna County. The areal photos of Google Earth is more up to date, but sometimes not even they are enough! One must have in mind that the Swedish woods are not pristine woods, you should view them as cultivated land. The trees are cut down and new trees are planted all the time. Forest roads are built to take out the timber. This is done with heavy machinery, scarring the ground, making it muddy, wet and very difficult to walk. Worst of all are the five to ten years old clear-cut areas covered with thick low undergrowth making it next to impossible to see where you are putting your feet.
It is a very good idea to bring your rubber boots if you want to climb summits in Sweden. I had to do a lot of walking in wet bog and/or waterlogged ground often far away from any kind road or trail.
This was the first I came to after having driven 360 km from Mölndal. The last part of the northern road is closed by a locked gate. It´s probably more easy to take the southern road to come to this summit. It´s a wooden summit with a nice scenery to the north. Not very difficult to climb. As can be seen in the picture, I found the "marker" at the summit.
To come to the summit from the turning space at the end of the road you have to walk through very wet bog on a trail to the foot of the summit. Please note that the hut marked on the newest maps is wrong. It does not exist. Instead there is a tower at the summit in which there are three primitive beds at the lower floor. The summit is wooded, but there is a nice view from the top of the tower.
There is a new road up to near the summit that is not shown on older maps but you can see on Google Earth. The summit is wooded. There is a stone with blue paint at the summit.
The summit is wooded. No scenary over the surrounding landscape. The summit is not marked in any way
Please refer to the map below how to get to the turning space at the end of the road. There is a walking path from the turning space up the right side of the bog to a place near the summit. Up there you have to take off to the right from the path to get to it. The summit is wooded and there is no makings at the top. There is no view over the surrounding landscape from the summit.
This is a tricky one! It´s very advisable to bring a compass when you climb this summit, particularly in bad weather. To get to the summit you have to walk up over wet bog. Navigating back to the turning space from the summit is very hard and it´s easy to get completely lost after just a few hundred meters.
The summit wooded with no markings.
Down the road there is a public shelter with free firewood. It´s not for sleeping, but a nice place to warm up, cook your food and to shelter from the rain.
This was the first summit that gave me a really nice view even if it was from the road below the summit itself. There is a new road to near the summit that is shown on Google Earth. The summit is wooded with no particular scenery to look at.
There is a road up to the summit from the road in the village of Skråckarberget, but it´s very steep at places and only suitable for 4WD vehicles. Your car should therefore be parked at the parking place in front of the entrance to the Hembyggdsgården and the rest of the way walked by foot. There is a telecommunications facility at the summit. It has a rather nice view to the south.
After all the days with so much rain I felt I needed som RnR and stayed for to days at Höjes Camping. During the day I only climed one summit. It´s quite a long drive on gavelled roads to the turning space at the end of the road. From there it´s a very steep climb to first the lower and then finally to the upper, and real, summit. The summit is wooded, but its eastern flank is open and with a very nice view.
About 1,5 km walk from the road to the summit. Not very difficult. An almost open summit with a nice scenery all around. Well worth the visit!
You can follow a marked walking path from the road all the way to the top. Sometimes it´s a bit hard to follow, but it´s there. Not far from the road is a shelter with firewood. At the top is box with a guest book where you can write your name and find out who has visited the top before you. The summit is open with a splendid view. It´s very well worth a visit!
A new piece of road brings you closer to the summit as can be seen on Google Earth. From there is a walk first over a clear cut area, and then through dense forest to the top. The summit is densely wooded and with no markings of any kind.
Walk in an arc first a bit to the right and then to the left up to the summit from the turning space at the end of the road to avoid the cliff that is on the path straight to the top. It´s very steep at places. The summit is densely wooded with no markings.
The walk to the summit goes through thick undergrowth and takes a bit of time and effort, but at the summit you are rewarded with a shelter, a tower and a toilet! In the shelter you will find a guest book where you can write your name.
There is a new walking path to the east of the old one that is shown on a bit older maps. The new is clearly marked and very beautiful and with a splendid view to the east. However, the summit itself is wooded with no particular scenery to enjoy.
The path from the village that is easy to follow. At the top you will find an old firewatch tower from 1931.
Not far from the summit is a camping site with accomodation with a splendid view over Lake Siljan. From there is a short walk along a marked path to the summit with no particular scenery at all. The summit is wooded.
The scenery from top of the mountain out over Lake Siljan and Sollerön Island is by many considered to be one of the most beautiful in Dalarna County.
The ski lift to the top is open every day between 10:00 and 17:00. However, in the true spirit of SOTA I of course walked to the top by foot... :-)
The new farm of windmills, and the service roads to them, is not shown neither on the maps nor on Google Earth. I approached the summit from the east, from the turning space at the end of the road near Vårtjärnarna Lakes. Nowadays it´s probably better to approach from the west via the roads near Sälsjöana Lake.
The electrical noise level is very high from the windmills. I probably missed quite a few weak stations that called me.
At the summit stands a locked fire-watch tower. The view is magnificent!
It´s not advisable to drive the last 900 meters up to the turning space at the end of the road, unless your car has 4WD. About a hundred meters before the turning space there is an old track for forest machines up the mountain that can be followed to avoid the the thick undergrowth.
It´s just a few hundred meters walk from the parking place to the summit. Near you will find a museum, a restaurant, a few souvenir shops and a watch-tower. Close by is a holiday village where I stayed for two nights.
A short walk from the turning space at the end of the road near the telecommunications tower. The summit is wooded, but nearby is a nice view.
There is a new road from the south as you can see on Google Earth. From it is a 700 meter walk to the summit. The summit is wooded. Nailed to a tree you will find a little tin box with a guest book where you can write your name.
This summit gave me the most magnificent scenery of the whole tour!
Getting there is a bit tricky. There is a sign down at the road showing a walking path, but it´s wrong. It will lead you to the nearby Västra Berget. A bit futher up the road is an old path for forest machinery that you should follow instead. Along its path it will part left and right. Take right and follow it to along the clear cut area. When you are under the summit, cross the clear cut area right up to the summit.
At the summit you will find a firewatch tower, a hut and a toilet. The hut is in a bad condition.