Saturday, March 7, 2015

Cesar's Guide to the E1 Trails in Sweden: Bergslagsleden Part 5

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This is Part 5 of my 6 part series of trail guides for Bergslagsleden.  Please read my introduction and epilogue to this trail here if you haven't done so yet.  This entire trail is also a part of the E1 trail system, and you can read more about that in my E1 trail guides here.  Please keep in mind it is still a work in progress.

This report covers stages 4-3, or from roughly the town of Lindesberg to the town of Kopparberg.  These stages are somewhat longer at 23km each.
The southern end of stage 4 is somewhat close (~12km) to the town of Lindesberg, and is also close (~2km) to the 50 highway to the east, which has daily bus connections (e.g. Fanthyttan bus stop nearby).  The end/start point of the Stj√§rnfors area at the northern part of stage 3 is about 6km from Kopparberg, but in stage 2 the trail goes right past/through this small town as well.  Both Lindesberg and Kopparberg offer limited but good resources for hikers, such as restaurants, supermarkets, hotels/BBs, public transportation, etc.  But do note that Kopparberg is smaller than Lindesberg, and will have less options and such.

Below are links to PDF informational maps in English and topographical maps for these three stages that make up this section of the E1:

Stage 4 info map, topo map 4

Stage 3 info map, topo map 3

Hiking southbound on the E1 you continue on Bergslagsleden, and you can check out my previous guide from stages 7-5 here.  Hiking northbound you continue on Bergslagsleden, and you can check out my guide on the last two stages here.

Now on with the show!

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This was one of my more memorable and challenging hikes, but that has a lot to do with the seasonal conditions.  This section hike was in end of February of 2015, and presented some unique challenges that I think I ought to describe first before getting to the rest of the report.  In doing preparations for this trip, I did as much research as I could think of beforehand.  I checked the weather reports several times a day a week before the trip, I called and spoke to some locals (such as the director of a cross-country ski club in the area), and even looked at some webcams in or around the area.  I did all this because of the snow.  As I have spoken about in some of my Youtube videos, this year has been a rather warm winter here in Sweden.  2014 was the warmest year on record for Sweden, actually.

I don't own snow shoes or skis, and didn't want to buy them just for this trip (though in the future I am strongly considering it, but don't want to rush things).  And in many parts of southern Sweden, the snow had long since melted away by the middle of February.  Plus all my research suggested that there wouldn't be that much snow around a significant part of the trail... however I knew going into this trip that some parts of the trail, due to elevation in particular, was going to have snow.  In some cases, lots of snow.