Text and photos by Martin Jägersand
A railroad crosses the Scandinavian mountains going from Östersund in Sweden to Trondheim in Norway. Getting off in the middle gives access to the mountain area around and the peaks Sylarna. Here we are enjoying a nice spring ski trip in the middle of April.
Cooking lunch over a fire on a somewhat windier day.
Bivack (a cave dug in the snow) provides comfortable night quarters. To dig one the snow should be about 2 meters thick. Just dig an iglo shaped inside (about 2m diameter near the floor for 2-3 people) with benches to put the sleeping pads on. Smooth off the ceiling to prevent dripping from melted snow. Snow is an excellent insulator, so even though it may be very cold outside the inside can stay near 0C (32F). The bivack ventilates though the door and a ventilation hole pushed up though the ceiling. (use a ski pole to push). We keep a candle lit inside. This is both for light during the night, and as an indicator that there is sufficient oxygen to breathe. If there is not enough snow to dig out a bivack you can pile it up yourself into a mound and build the related "quinzee". Mike Nowacki has written a www-page about quinzee building. In the Sylaran area you can also choose routes between huts and fjällstationer if you prefer to sleep indoors. The huts are run by STF the Swedish Tourist Association. They have a WWW page with a map of the hut locations in the area.
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