Vakkotavare to Nikkaluokta

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.