Vakkotavare to Nikkaluokta

SWEDEN
August 2015

A hike along Kungsleden (“the Royal Trail”) in Lappland from Vakkotavare to Singi, and then via Kebnekaise to Nikkaluokta. We camped next to huts every night. Finn was almost 2 years old on this hike and his grandmother Lena joined us.

Day 1: Vakkotavare – Teusajaure


First view of the lake in the Teusajaure valley


We reached the lake about 9:30pm, which was too late for the regular boat. So we had to row over. It started raining and was a bit windy. Since there was only one boat on this side, we had to go three rounds: first to the other side, then with two boats back, and then over again. The reson is that there must always be at least one boat on each shore. After all this rowing in the rain and wind, we were very tired. After pitching the tent and eating some food it was almost midnight when we went to sleep.

Day 2: Rest day in Teusajaure
Day 3: Teusajaure – Kaitum


A beautiful day, warm and sunny. So this is what the Teusajaure looks like :) I would like to come back and explore more of this valley in the future.


The lake in the other direction (view from the hut)


A steep ascent along a stream with waterfalls, and great views over the lake.


Nice waterfalls at the top of the ascent


A group of reindeers gathered on the snow


Finn walking by himself for an hour of so. In the background are peaks from the legendary Sarek national park.


Descending into the Kaitum valley


A river flowing into the Kaitum lake. To the right is the Kaitum delta.

DAY 4: Climbing sanjartjåkka peak


The Kaitum huts. In the background the delta area where giant moose are often seen. We saw three of them!


One of the moose we saw. In this area there is no hunting so the moose grow to a much larger size than in the lowlands. The lowland moose is still larger than horses, so you can just imagine how huge this moose in this delta is…


The Kaitum lake with its amazing green color


We started to climb the Sanjartjåkka peak, and the views just got better and better… You can see the hus to the right. I haven’t seen many mountain huts in my life with a better location!


I love this view so much, that I couldn’t choose only one photo… :)


Again peaks in Sarek national park, with many glaciers.

View from the peak of Sanjartjåkka towards Norway. Could that be a fjord in the distance?

Nice grooves on the mountain slope.


View towards north, where we will walk tomorrow.
The cloudy peaks to the right is the Kebnekaise massif where the highest peak in Sweden is found.


It was quite steep here (more than it looks like on this photo). We could just sit down and slide fast down the mountain :)


Finn and Lena waited for us at 1400 m altitude. We didn’t want to climb the steep, slippery snow with Finn… but he had a good time while waiting for us :)

DAY 5: Kaitum – Singi


A beautiful hike, but we had quite bad weather so I didn’t take many photos.
Until we pitched our tent and the clouds opened up in the evening, letting the sun shine up the place with this weird yellow light.

DAY 6: Resting in the singi hut


Finn had fun with this sami girl, daughter to one of the staff. We had a lof of fun in the huts in general, speaking to other hikers.

DAY 7: SINGI – Kebnekaise


Entering the Ladtjovagge valley


Finn with his walking stick, which we brought home :)


Finn walked about 1-1½ hours every day. We usually didn’t get very far. Not only did he run around back and forward rather than walking only forward. He also insited on picking up large rocks :)


In the evening we finally reached the Kebnekaise hut. From there we climbed Kaisepakte hill, where we had this classic view. The valley to the left is where we came from.

DAY 8: Around the KEBNEKAISE hut


An “earth teepee” (jordkåta)

Finn is kissing the dog


A great thing with walking with a 2 year old is that he can charm the staff in the café, so that all four of us got free cinnamon buns :)


We crossed “Lisa’s bridge” and turned right. There we found this nice waterfall.


A small gorge where the current and boulders had carved our smooth, rounded shapes in the rocks.


Åkerbär (“arctic bramble” or “arctic raspberry”) is a very rare berry, which is supposed to be super-tasty. We found many plants but no berries.


A natural rock overhang. Perfect shelter during rain :)


This area was full of huge scattered boulders, some of them cracked.


Finn is learning how to recognize moose droppings.

DAY 9: Climbing Skartaklacken


After crossing Lisa’s bridge we turned left and followed the stream. Then across this large open field, shortly before starting the ascent.


That’s our goal. The peak is supposed to have superb views over the  Kebnekaise massif.


We followed the footsteps of a reindeer.




A weasel among the rocks!


Superb view below Skartaklacken. The highest peak of Sweden, Kebnekaise, is unfortunately behind the clouds to the right.


Again, we could just slide down. Lots of fun :) The lake at the end of the view is where Nikkaluokta village is located  (the end of our hike).


The little white patch of snow among the clouds to the right is the southern peak of Kebnekaise mountain – the highest peak of Sweden. It’s about 2100 meters or so. The peak itself is a pyramid-shaped glacier and it’s size changes during the year. Overall it is melting unfortunately. Very soon it will no longer be the highest peak anymore.


Another cool rock overhang with plenty of space below it.


View from inside the rock overhang.

Back at the cracked boulder.


Another visit to the waterfall on the way back, just to see it in sunny weather.

DAY 10: Kebnekaise hut – Forest camp


A short walk this day. We camped out to enjoy the pure nature one last time.

DAY 11: FOREST CAMP – Nikkaluokta


You can take a boat here to save time, but we walked along the lake instead.


The cafe here is very cosy and well worth a visit. However, it seems like they are replacing this small building with a larger one that is being constructed.


BBQ reindeer burgers at “Lap Donald’s” :)
It made me think of “Yak Donald’s” in Nepal :)

We walked through the forest – where we saw a reindeer with unusually large antlers – until we reached Nikkaluokta village. There we camped out a last time, and the next day took a bus back to civilisation.

Låktatjåkka

SWEDEN
August 2014

A two day circuit hike between Björkliden and the Låktatjåkka hut. The first overnight in an alpine hut for Finn.

DAY 1: Björkliden – Låktatjåkka


The glacier and lake next to the Låktatjåkka hut


Låktatjåkka hut


The hut is from the 1920s, and the interior is charming. They serve good food, and is famous for their waffles.


View from the hut


Sara was here in 1988 and found their entry in the guestbook :)
Lena found an entry from when she was here in 1962.


Old guestbook from the 1940s


Finn’s first overnight in an alpine hut. But first some reading and playing before bedtime.


At first it was misty, so we waited, hoping for it to clear up…


…and so it did. View to the north. On the opposite side is the Vadvetjåkka national park. The flat valley floor was once covered by a gigantic glacier

DAY 2: LÅKTATJÅKKA – BJÖRKLIDEN

We walked back a slghtly different route, higher up along the ridge.

In the morning the weather was very clear, so we climbed the Låktatjåkka peak again.


The lake on the left is Torne träsk. It is 70 km long, 800 meters deep(!) and surrounded by mountains on all sides. It’s not Sweden’s largest lake, but perhaps the most majestic one.


The U shaped mountain in the distance is called Lapporten (“the gate of Lapland”)


I have often seen green lichen on the rocks, but in these mountains there are also yellow and orange ones.


Finn stretching his legs. It’s fun to be carried on the back for a while, but after an hour or so it’s more fun to run around :)


My mother with the mighty Torne träsk lake in the background


The vegetation in this area is just amazing. I wonder what the place looks like in a month, when the autumn colors have arrived.


The “Syndafallet” waterfall


This small hut is an unstaffed café with a superb view. This is where you should sit in winter, drinking coffee and watching the Aurora Borealis!


Lapporten (“the gate to Lapland”) in Abisko national park, seen from our hut in Björkliden.

Björkliden

SWEDEN
August 2014

This page contains a few day-hikes we did in Björkliden. We rented a hut with a superb view.

Our hut in Björkliden


The view from our hut. Torneträsk is a huge lake, 70 km long, 800 meters deep(!) and surrounded by mountains. Lapporten (“the gate to Lapland”) is the perfect U-shaped valley in the distance to the right.


View from the hut after a thunderstorm.

The strange light after the storm.


Clouds crawling over the mountains on the opposite side of the lake.

“Silverfallet” waterfall

This nice waterfall is situated near the shore of Torneträsk lake, directly below the Björkliden resort.


Torneträsk lake seen from the bridge above the waterfall


The beach of Torne träsk lake

“Kratersjön” Lake & the route of the railway workers

A nice little circuit hike of about 8 km to “the crater lake”, then down to the cemetary of the railway workers, and finally the “rallarvägen” route back to Björkliden.


Our first stop was this little cabin, which is an unstaffed café with superb views. I would like to return in winter, so sit here and drink coffee while watching the Aurora Borealis :)


Just leave money in the jar and take what you want :)


“Badsjön” lake with an outdoor hot tub. A good place for a swim :)


A nice thing about Björkliden is that you are above the forest immediately. You can reach superb, alpine, arctic mountain nature withou effort.


“Odon” berries (edible)


Cloudberries, a real delicacy


Candy for Finn :)


A shelter next to the “crater lake”


Finn is making his first alpine hike :)


Walking on interesting rocks


An old hiknig sign where all the text had faded away…


The cemetary of the railway workers. We then walked back to Björkliden along Rallarvägen (“the road of the railway workers”)

Climbing “njulla” peak

The Njulla peak is about 1150 meters high or so, and rises more than 800 meters above the Torneträsk lake. The view from there is superb, though the visibility was quite poor when we climbed it, unfortunately.


The first time Finn is climbing a proper peak :)


View to the east from the peak


Descending along winter markings


We suddenly found ourselves walking in a thunderstorm, but Finn was kept dry under the raincover.

“Syndafallet” waterfall


The nature immediately above Björkliden resort


We made a small barbeque here


The classic “bread on a stick”


Syndafallet waterfall


Finn really enjoys sitting on the back :)


Syndafallet waterfall from above


A swim in “badsjön” lake.

Kärkevagge

SWEDEN
August 2014

A hike in an exceptionally beautiful fairytale valley in Lapland. Huge boulders are scattered in the valley, and in the end of the valley is an alpine lake with clear waters.

We parked our car and walked 0.5km up to the Låktatjåkko railway station. From there the path continued up towards the entry of the valley.

Entering the valley, the landscaped that opened up before us blowed my mind!



Grandfather Micke is making Finn laugh


Trollsjön, “the troll’s lake”, at the end of the valley



A lemming (lämmel) up close

“Granater” is a type of jewel that is common on the rocks here


Vålådalen

SWEDEN
March 2013

Skiing a 5 days circuit in the Jämtland mountains, sleeping in a tent next to huts.

Day 1: VÅLÅDALEN – STENSDALEN (27/3)

Stensdalen hut


DAY 2: STENSDALEN
 – GÅSEN (28/3)

Sylarna visible in the distance

An emergency shelter

The Gåsen hut and Helags massif in the background. After ascending the whole day, we finally got to slide downhill for a while :)

Camping next to the Gåsen hut. Helags massif in the background.

The toilet during sunset

Gåsen hut


Lena prepared for a cold night, with down clothes.
She reminded me of someone… :)

 

DAY 3: GÅSEN – VÅLÅSTUGORNA (29/3)

On our way to fetch water from the river

Fetching the water from a very deep hole in the ice. At the mountain huts in Sweden the visitors are expected to help out with this type of work.


DAY 4: 
VÅLÅSTUGORNA – LUNNDÖRRSSTUGAN (30/3)

One of the Vålåstugan huts

As I was going to take a photo of Lena’s retro backpack, Alex (Tove’s and Sandra’s dog) came and peed on it :)

Reindeers

Taking off our clothes. The weather was sunny and warm every day.

Soon we arrived at Lunndörrsstugan hut, where we relaxed in the sauna.


DAY 5: 
LUNNDÖRRSSTUGAN – VÅLÅDALEN (31/3)

After skiing through the Vålådalen forests, we reached the Vålådalen village. We stayed in this very old and charming hut.

Sauna and outdoor bathtubs, the perfect ending :)