Before long I was alighting from the bus at Röstånga, and within 5 minutes I was into the National Park, and I soon realised that ice covered trails were going to be common place with earlier snow melts followed by freezing conditions. The spikes, would get a lot of use along the trails and boardwalks as they were covered in mirror like ice.
Arriving at Odensjön I sat enjoying the sunshine with the stillness punctuated by the sounds of ice moving.
Following a less used trail I climbed up the northern side of the frozen lake, enjoying the cool air and the sunshine, as I climbed there was hints of green, but with the ground still frozen and patches of snow and ice there was little growth.
Joining up with the Ås to Åsleden I headed north, avoiding the icy patches as I walked and with the wind behind me it felt warm, I stopped to admire the views across Skärån.
and as I looked into the valley the trail of white ice winding its way along the river was distinctly obvious, causing me some consternation as to whether it was a good idea to follow my planned route up the valley. However, the first challenge was the steep descent into the valley and as usual within 20 metres of the bottom, my feet decided to go one direction whilst I decided to sit down. Then with a little sliding on my backside and other acrobatics I was off the ice and onto solid ground. Yep you guessed it I was not wearing spikes at this time.
Arriving in Skäralids, with its large restaurant and visitors centre, both closed, I sat eating lunch as a pair of geese waddled across the ice.
Soon it was time to head up the valley, the first section was along a partly ice covered boardwalk, but after crossing Skärån and heading deeper into the valley, there was no choice, smooth, shiny ice lay ahead. But ice can provide its own beauty, which inluded;
fascinating icy water falls
varying colours reflected in the icy water
leaves trapped in layers of ice
icefalls on rocky outcrops.
Ultimately I left the Skärån valley and climbed away from the national park to camp for the night adjacent to Svartsjö. A familiar place where I had camped previously, though I had not expected the ground being close to frozen, but with a little gentle persuasion I was able to get the Easton stakes into the ground and the tent up.
It was still early in the evening and I enjoyed my time wandering, listening to the ice moving in the lake below. During the night the wind dropped, as did the temperature and with a thin layer of ice on the inner (as well as the outer) and any movement inside resulting in an ice shower, though with temperatures around -5 C it was easy to shake the ice of the bedding in the morning.
I took my time in the morning waiting for the sun to warm things up, eventually it was time to pack.
Problem, pegs are frozen in the ground. With a little effort I was able to get 2 of 6, out of the ground and removed the heads from the other 4 stakes, even after using hot water in an attempt to free them. In hindsight, different pegs would have been a better choice. You live and learn, or are reminded of things you already knew.
With everything packed I set off in search of a less used bridle path that would take me down into Skärån and then up the other side to Liagården. It was a pleasant walk through the forest, with views to the north across the valley, it was also evident it was a popular horse riding area.
Having found the bridle path, I descended steeply along an overgrown trail towards the river before meeting a well used trail along the river, crossing over the bridge then climbing up to Liagården. By now it was lunchtime and I found a nice warm place to sit I relax,
and watch a pair of Musvit, landing, hopping, flying and then repeating the pattern.
I could have sat there for quite a while, but finally I decided it was time to move. Heading towards Härsnäsdammarna, I met up with a group of students, slipping and sliding on the ice as they descended towards the shelter, they were in high spirits and enjoying the experience. I passed by the frozen Härsnäsdammarna, before reaching the cliff tops above Odensjön.
Then it was time to head home. It had been an enjoyable couple of days and I had now seen a lot more of Söderåsens, I also recognised that I really needed to visit the park in warmer weather.