Eager to Learn
Learning is a constant process. We are eager to learn without being aware of it. As kids, we figure out how to walk, the opening times for the supermarket, and approximately when the sun sets. We learn from those wiser than us. We make mistakes, learn from them, and grow.
We can also learn through determination, led by the relentless pursuit of our dreams.
Stora Syltraversen–– translated to 'the great jagged traverse'–– is one of Sweden's most iconic ridge climbs. The valley is full of brutal history, dating back to 1719 when three thousand Swedish soldiers froze to death on the march back from Norway. It's also infamous for quick weather changes. So as early as the 1890s, the Swedish tourist organization built a small cottage in the valley to protect travelers from the weather.
For many years, the grand traverse has been a vivid but distant dream for me and my good friend Ida Sivander. We are always eager to learn more and keep exploring our boundaries. We want to understand more about the mountains, learn more about climbing, and ski as much as possible.
Finally, we had a conversation in the fall of 2021 where we both felt our dream might soon be achievable. So we agreed to set a goal to climb Stora Syltraversen by spring 2022.
With a whole winter of practice ahead, we hoped to fill the gaps in our knowledge. But the question was, were the gaps we needed to fill our practical knowledge or our belief in ourselves and what we could do?
What we set out to achieve in the spring of 2022 was nothing exceptional. Groups travel over this ridge every year. But we would be two women doing it alone.
On the 23rd of April, the last weather window before the nature park closed for reindeer migration, we began a 16-kilometer-long approach to reach the foot of the majestic mountain range with its characteristic pinnacles and the 1762-meter black wall of Storsylen.
Written by: Kajsa Larsson Photos by: William Larsson