About STF Gåsen Mountain Cabin
For over 100 years, STF Gåsen Mountain Cabin has connected the mountain world of Jämtland. The cabin was built next to the mountain of the same name and facilitated journeys between the mountain stations to the west and the cabins in the Vålådalen Nature Reserve. With new land lease agreement in Jämtland and Härjedalen, it has been decided to close Gåsen Mountain Cabin from the first of January 2024.
The first cabin of Gåsen. Archive image from O. Olsson / Jamtli
In the mid-60s, a new cabin was built slightly lower and by running water. The cabin model is called Abrahamsson or 65:an, with 20 beds. It was around this time that a cabin host was stationed there, who also took care of the old cabin at 1,238 meters above sea level.
In 1983, it was time to build the large cabin, a corridor cabin with 32 beds. As a test, it was equipped with gas heaters instead of wood stoves in the bedrooms. That same year, the very first small cabin (the one at 1,238 meters above sea level) was moved to Lunndörren, where it is still used as a cabin host cabin and a safety room/dog room.
At Gåsen, there were two guest buildings with a total of 52 beds and a cabin host building that also had a well-stocked shop. Guest cabin 65:an had two 10-bed rooms, one of which was a safety room/dog room with an emergency phone, and a larger guest cabin with 32 beds spread across eight rooms with four beds in each room. This was also the obvious gathering place in a larger combined living room and kitchen.
The final stretch to hike up to Gåsen is quite challenging. Second only to Tarfala, Gåsen has been STF’s highest mountain cabin, 1,100 meters above sea level in a barren and remote high mountain landscape. The cabin site has offered hikers a brilliant panoramic view of Sylarna. Gåsen Mountain Cabin has been a hub between the mountain stations to the west and the cabins in the Vålådalen Nature Reserve. The nearby peaks, Gåsen Peak and Härjångsstöten, have offered many summit climbs and adventures. Many hikers and skiers have stayed overnight in the Gåsen cabins over the years. Exactly how many guests we do not know precisely, but over the past twenty years, around 2,500 people per year have stayed here.
Photo: Oskar Karlin
Why Gåsen was closed
In 2023, the Swedish Tourist Association, STF, applied for a new land lease agreement in the western Jämtland mountains and parts of Härjedalen. This was done to reduce disturbance for the reindeer and contribute to sustainable development of the area while continuing to make nature experiences accessible.
STF Gåsen Mountain Cabin is closed to create a larger area around Bunnerfjällen where reindeer, and especially their calves, have a chance to be undisturbed. This will mean fewer people will move in this area, resulting in less wear and less disturbance. One of the buildings at the cabin site is transferred to Handölsdalen’s “sameby”, a sami reindeer-herding and economic district. We do this because otherwise, we would have to demolish the building and transport away the debris, which would cost the association a lot of money. Demolishing a functional building is also not sustainable if it can serve another purpose. As for the other buildings, we will now engage in a dialogue with the County Administrative Board about their fate. According to the agreement with the County Administrative Board, they should be removed by 2026 at the latest, and we are exploring the possibilities of using the cabins elsewhere. It is the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, together with the County Administrative Board of Jämtland County, that is responsible for the trails and mountain safety in the area. Göran Gabling, Deputy Head of the Environmental Protection Unit at the County Administrative Board of Jämtland County, states, “To ensure mountain safety during this winter, the County Administrative Board has arranged for a smaller safety room to remain in place. This is a transitional solution to ensure that information about the change has reached a wide audience.”
The closure of Gåsen Mountain Cabin is part of contributing to long-term sustainable outdoor life. STF built the first mountain cabin in the Jämtland mountains over 130 years ago; now, we take responsibility by stepping back from the recent years’ development to enable sustainable outdoor life for at least another 130 years.