Halfway to Kebnekaise and back
We did a quick 4-tent-night trip to Kebnekaise in Northern Sweden. From Helsinki I found it easiest to take a flight to Stockholm and then take another to Kiruna. From Kiruna you can grab the bus to Nikkaluokta (travels twice per day during the season). We stayed one night in Kiruna camping out and testing our tent and then continued to Nikkaluokta on the next morning. From Nikkaluokta you start walking. It’s a hike of 19km to get to the Mountain station close by Kebnekaise. During the summer you can also take a boat, which will cut the distance to about half. Third option is the helicopter.
We walked. And took photos. Here’s a few of them:
What I thought would be a research station of sorts turned out to be a luxury hotel.
On the second day of trekking the clouds opened up a bit and gave us good views of the surrounding mountains. Kebnekaise - the highest peak - is a bit to the right of this photo, still covered in a thick cloud.
Water trickling between the layers for eons had made the local rock fairly brittle and with the rainy weather climbing was slippery.
Looking back from the Kebnekaise climb. This is about half-way. Due to lack of time we decided not to climb it all the way and instead take a more creative off-the-beaten-path route when going back.
Setting up tent and figuring out where we are after heading back from Kebnekaise.
Our off-the-beaten path route took us to a plateau. The altitude was about 1.4km. Saw some moose on the way and decided to stop for lunch before continuing.
While still on the plateau we spotted our first reindeer. Not visible in the picture, but the herders’ reindeer watching hut can be seen on the right (small speck halfway down the photo).
Although we were a bit late for the most awesome colors of the season it was still quite spectacular. The photo here doesn’t do justice at all.
If you’re into trekking I recommend considering Kebnekaise. I would advice going earlier. Maybe August or September. We happened to see the first snow which arrived on the morning we left in late November. The paths might be a bit crowded at times but there’s always the option of just wandering off into the wilderness or following less travelled routes.