”Det räcker med Skäcker” is both a hashtag and a philosophy of life

Mattias Skantz

Mattias is a die-hard ski mountaineer. He skis at every level, both in theory and practice, but detests camping. Mattias has completed a multitude of impressive projects, including the ascent of 365 summits in a year, and in 2017 Mattias together with Henrik Westling completed the Stora Sarek traverse in the record time 21 hours. Here Mattias will introduce a personal favourite area for ski touring, Skäckerfjällen.

Skäckerfjällen, complete wilderness

Skäckerfjällen consists of 16 summits in a small, self-contained region. For Sweden, the summits are in unusually close vicinity of each other. All of them are situated in complete wilderness where the annual precipitation is an impressive 1,500mm. This makes Skäckerfjällen a peerless destination for ski touring. As the summits are close together, you can minimise unnecessary skiing on the flat. Each long run finishes right at the foot of the next ascent. You simply pick the next summit after the conditions and what type of skiing you’re looking for. As you come back to the car, suddenly you realise you’ve clocked up 2,500m of vertical ascent. And this without really noticing, as you were focused on simply enjoying the mountains and getting a few fun runs in.

Lots of snow and a long season

The annual snowfall here in the north-western Jämtland is enormous. Skäckerfjällen’s problem, if that’s what you want to call it, is that snow falls five out of every seven days. And given that there are no trees and all rocks snowed over there are absolutely no terrain references in bad weather. Total whiteout, in other words, so only travel here if the weather forecast is promising sun and good visibility. The area tends to be skiable from October to June, obviously with the best period March to May. Mid-May is perfect for long days or multi-day excursions in the area. The summits are around 1,200 m asl, so unfortunately the snow goes quickly when the summer heat really sets in around June compared with other high-alpine areas, like for example Sylarna where arguably June is the best month for skiing.

Start from Anjan or Kolåsen

Here is something for every taste bar those looking for trees. All summits have runs in at least four different directions. You’ll find everything from steep couloirs to extreme skiing via gentler runs in forgiving terrain to long slopes. Most ascents start where the winter path comes up from the road towards the village Anjan. A few others start from the village of Kolåsen. From the start at Anjan, the first summit will be Lill-Anjeskutan (1,152m asl) which gives 700m of vertical in fairly low-angled terrain. As you reach the summit you have a choice of directions. Towards Anjeskutan (1,201 m asl), maybe to Aahkantjahke or why not Mehkentjahke (1,208m asl)? Once within the area, most runs give around 500m of vertical.

Best summits

If you prefer forgiving terrain, pick either the south-east face of Lill-Anjeskutan (1,152m asl), or the north-east face of Aahkantjahke. If long, flowy runs are your thing, aim for the north face of Sandfjället, all the way down to the valley floor at Rutsdalen. The south-west face of Mehkentjahkes (1,208m asl) down towards Strydalen is another such suggestion, as is the south-east face of Opmedtjahke (1,197m asl). For steep couloirs and extreme skiing, head for the south and south-west faces of Aahkantjahke with hairraising couloirs down precipices. Another steep run is the Opmedstjahke-couloiur (1,197m asl) which is found directly above Sockertoppen’s wind shelter. Skier’s left of the couloir there are good practice areas for those in training for the World Freeride Tour and others who enjoy steep skiing amongst cliffs and sheer drops. And a final bonus tip, the north face of Sockertoppen (1,210m asl) gives sustained, steep skiing, often with good powder.

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