Kebnekaise and Padjelanta Ski / About

Kebnekaise and Sarek are two fantastic wilderness areas in the north of Sweden above the Arctic circle.  They lie in Lapland, an anglicized name for the areas in Northern Scandinavia where the Sami peoples (Lapps) have lived for centuries herding reindeer.

Kebnekaise is a mountainous area where there are some cabins and the walking and skiing routes are well established and well marked. Although the weather can be very wild on occasion it is a comfortable area to ski in because of the trail markings and the cabins. Te weather can be cold and previously I have experienced it down to -41 Celcius. This is usually just when there is a large high pressure and the weather is clement and Northern Lights clear. Usually the temperature is about -15 Celcius.

02. The final descent to Nallostugan cabin some 3-4 days south of Abisko. From April 2008.

Sarek is completely the opposite and it is perhaps the wildest, most remote area in Europe. There are no cabins or trails and any one who ventures into Sarek must be completely self sufficient.  It is perhaps the best place in Europe to really experience a pristine nature. Within the park there are still viable populations of Bear, Wolf, Wolverine, Lynx which prey off Moose and reindeer.  Virtually nobody ventures into Sarek in the winter and I fully expect to meet no one for the 8-9 days I am there.

08. Camping in winter in Sarvesvagge with a storm brewing. From April 2008.

I have been to Kebnekaise and Sarek many times before in the winter, and often alone, but that was in my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and I wanted to see it again now in my 60’s. Whereas before I could shoulder a very heavy rucksack with perhaps 9initially 40kg worth of gear, supplies and food I now have to take a sledge to drag everything behind me.  I will be taking crampons and ice axe as there a few mountains to climb if the weather is good.  For the entire journey I will be taking a locator beacon which will plot my eventual route on a map on the “Map tab” on this page.  A rough plan of my route is below.

00. Map of Kebnekaise and Sarek with the start at Abisko and tthe finish at Kvikkjokk. My possible route would be roughly along the yellow line with everything before Ritsem sleeping in huts and everything afterwards camping. It is similar to trips I have done before in the winter on my own.

I hope to start the trip on the 4th March and Finish on the 23rd March. The plan is to take it easy and make small exploratory side trips for the 3 weeks, rather than just blast from Abisko to Kvikkjokk which I have done before in 1 week. I hope to update the Blog and Gallery for the Kebnekaise section halfway at Ritsem where I pick up supplies and fuel for Sarek which I have already posted there.  Then I will update the Blog and Gallery again for the Sarek Section after I have reached Kvikkjokk.