Lapland in Sweden

Lapland an the Outdoor Academy Sweden

I really had no idea what to expect when the nice people of Visitsweden suggested me to go to Lapland. Swedish Lapland.
It sounded great to me. I had to wait till the 5th of September. Enough time to prepare my trip. I’d never hiked before and of course at a daily base Youtube and Google where my best friends. My instagram account is full of adventurous and exploring pictures from around the globe and this was exactly something that would get my photos to a higher level. A few weeks earlier I went to Iceland and still with that adventure in my mind I couldn’t wait to go!

Kiruna

I flew from Amsterdam to Stockholm. After a few hours waiting for the next plane we flew to Kiruna. A plane full of people with outdoor clothes. That was something I’d never experienced before. Some of them where fully dressed as if they just came off the mountains. Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden, situated in the province of Lapland. After a good flight we landed in Kiruna. A team of the Outdoor Academy where waiting for us. The bus was waiting for us. Ready to bring the participants to the destination. On our way to Björkliden.

Björkliden

After a good 1,5 hours driving we arrived in Björkliden. At Hotell Fjället. There we met all the brands and guides that made the hike possible. We got our clothes and gear like the Lundhags bag pack and we all got a “partner” to hang out with these couple of days. We all checked in and we all got a fantastic cabin to stay for a night. At 19:30 diner was served and it was just awesome! What a great food. Time to go to bed. We would have a breakfast early and leave at 08:45 for our 9 kilometer hike to Låktatjåkka Fjällstation.

Andes Guide
(photo by @wesinthewild)

Låktatjåkka Fjällstation

After a good 5,5 hour walk we arrived at the Låktatjåkka Fjällstation. Wow! What a hike. So many different colors in the landscape. So many different weather circumstances. Wind, rain, snow and so on. What I really loved where the advices of the Arctic guides. The layers of clothes and how to use that. Like the Ivanhoe of Sweden hat. It fits very well! It was my first time and my fellow participants where all experienced. Well not all. But most of them where running marathons or climbed mountains before. Something I heard afterwards. Me as a photographer I could just stop everywhere. Reindeers in the wild at the left side and a rainbow in the wilderness at the right side. In front of me there where all kinds of waterfalls and behind that you could see
the clouds coming closer. After a lunch in the wild we continued our hike. Walking in the clouds approaching snowfields. Almost there. Almost at Låktatjåkka Fjällstation. It was a really tuff climb. 900 meters upwards to visit the highest bar in Sweden.

A life time experience

Shoes out and time to relax. Time to choose a room and time for some nice waffles and coffee. The Låktatjåkka Fjällstation is the perfect place to stay after a good walk. There’s a lot of history about this place. You can feel it all over the place. Good to be here.
Time for our first workshop. Making our outdoor diner. Souvasstew with gáhkko and lingonberries. Souvas is smoked reindeer meat and gáhkko is sami flatbread. We first had to fry the meat and put it aside. Then chop the onion in small pieces and fry in butter. Add the chanterelles and fry for a few minutes. Then add the meat. Add some spices and cream and let it boil for a few minutes. Stew with lingonberriesand Låktas homemade gáhkko! After that we got blueberry pie with custard. Thanks Oskar, Johanna, Vilda, Malin and Ulrika for your good service at Låktatjåkka Fjällstation.

DSC_0090
(photo by @wesinthewild)

Workshops at the Fjällstation

After our diner it was time for whisky. Swedish whisky. Mackmyra. That was really nice! Such a great taste. Really interesting.
When the whisky warmed us up it was time to go to our next workshop. Night photography with one of the best photographers, Peter Rosén. Owner of Lapland Media. That was kinda interesting. Great to be there. Lot’s of inspiration.

That Sunrise

After a great day of hiking and workshops and a good sleep it was time for breakfast. But before that I woke up at around 5:45. A pink light came through the curtains. I openend up the curtains and I saw this dark orange light reflecting on the mountains.
Amazing! So I walked downstairs to the door and there it was. One of the best sunrises I’ve experienced ever. Speechless. Time for a #selftimerwes shot!

sunrise selftimer
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Sami Guide

After a fantastic breakfast we packed our gear and said goodbye to the crew. Ready for our next hike! Kårsavagge.
Another 6,5 hours walk in the wilderness of Swedish Lapland. But now in a totally different landscape. In the snow. Unbelievable how quick the weather conditions changes. We got a new member in the group. A Sami photographer. But that’s not all. He gives us all so much energy during our walk. Telling us about the history of the Sami people. Their land. Their reindeers. We are not allowed to ask a Sami how many reindeers they own. So that’s why I ask him how much. A big smile on his face. “You can come and visit me. Then you can count them yourself”. After a short walk we arrived in some sort of no ones land. Mountains and snow. Time for another shot.

DSC_0135
(photo by @wesinthewild)

On our way to Kårsavagge

Crossing lot’s of amazing spots. Walk in the snow. Walk through the water. Going up and going down. And there it is. Another big valley. Time for a break and time for my first smoke dried reindeer meat. Our Sami photographer, his name is C.J., had some dried smoked reindeer meat with him. Wow what a taste. Eating the meat and watching the endless scenery. Inspiration all over the place. Time to go. Time to go to the next stop. A stop where researchers built there houses. Another place with lot’s of colors. Even the houses fit the landscape. The total package for a photographer.

Research houses
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Best Part According our Arctic Guide

Lunch was good and time to move on. After 30 minutes there was the river we had to cross. Through the water and heavily packed. Keep your head straight and don’t follow the water. Move on and don’t fall. I did it! It worked. A little break and ready for the best part according our Arctic Guide. Another different scenery. Other colors then just 30 minutes before. So amazing. Time for another shot. We are in a hurry so unfortunately not much time. Would love to go back again to this part of Swedish Lapland.

last valley group
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Outlook

Walking the last part to Kårsavagge. But first down the valley. And at a certain point there was a spot that was just asking for a photo. I’m a bit afraid of hight but I had to do this. Seeing and feeling the land. That’s something you should do along the walk. Imagine these paths. Touch these paths. Smell these paths. Be one with nature. Drink the water. That’s what I love most. Drinking the water of the streams and waterfalls. Fresh water and fresh air. So good to be here. That’s why I trusted this land and this spot. Time to let my fear go away for just a few seconds. Be one with this land.

be one
(photo by @wesinthewild with help of C.J.)

Kårsavagge

After refilling my Light My Fire “pack up bottle” with fresh “waterfall water” we finished our last part for this day. The last 20 minutes walk to the camp. What a valley. So good. If you want to hike somewhere where you can be one with nature and it’s elements just go visit Swedish Lapland. You won’t regret. We are going for a downhill walk. You can feel it in your legs. Although these Berg Advance Alfa shoes are amazing! No pain at all. Felt really good. There it is. The camp where we will eat and sleep is in sight.

The Sami

When we arrived in the camp the organization made us some hotdogs. We all got the chance to find ourselves a nice place to camp. We had an amazing Helsport tent. After setting up our tent we met the Sami people. Really interesting if you knew the hunting season just began. They where there for us and they told us a bit of their history. About the land and about how to catch a reindeer. Really cool! After that we made our own speer with an amazing knife. A real Swedish knife. Morakniv. Great tool to make a speer. The Sami gave us some reindeer meat to grill in an open fire. Really nice to do. What an amazing people. Thanks for that! We were all so tired and after making our own food we got some Swedish coffee with a nice story. Something about lemmings. Really funny. Time to go to bed!

helsport
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Northern Lights

At 20:00 we went to bed. We got ourself some new fresh water out of the river so we could cook the water in the morning to have breakfast. So tired. Time to go to bed. We slept very well in our tent and sleeping bags. Our Woolpower thermo underwear and socks worked so good. Thanks a lot. But then…. At 22:30 I woke up. It rained a bit but I woke up for a reason. I opened up my tent and I looked up. It was dark and the only thing I heard was the streaming water and what I saw was the sky clearing up. Right above my tent. White lights moving around. Then green. Then purple. The Northern Lights where there. It danced and it moved just for me. It only appeared for just 20 minutes. Why did I exactly woke up at the right time and at the right spot? I think that’s the magic of Swedish Lapland. So blessed to experienced this feeling. Thanks Swedish Lapland. Thanks Sami. Thanks people of Sweden.

noorderlicht
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Last Hike

We slept well. Great gear. After a good outdoor breakfast we got the chance to make some lunch. I took some smoked reindeer meat with me. We cleaned our Trangia pots and pans in the river. Getting ready for our last downhill hike. To Abisko. The last hike. But first a photo of this amazing place.

Vallei huisjes
(photo by @wesinthewild)

Abisko Turiststation

At 08:00 in the morning we left Kårsavagge. Ready for our last part of this journey. It would take about a 4,5 hours walk to reach the Abisko Turiststation. The last hour was for me a physical battle. The only thing I heard was the river. Just the sound. The landscape continiously changed. It looked like small trolls villages. Fairytales forests. So amazing. But it was hard to find out where the end was. But finally there it was. The bridge over the water to the Abisko Turiststation.

abisko turiststation
(photo by @wesinthewild)

The Last Day

Ok, so after we came back there where some more workshops to go too. But I was so tired and my legs where saying no to me.
We all got our own room. With a warm shower. I did not took a shower for 3 days. A kingsize bed. A coffee machine. I did it. So glad I took this opportunity. We ended that night with an amazing diner and party afterwards. I’d like to thank all of you who made this trip possible. All of the brands that made it all worth. All those people of the tourism boards and of the Visit Sweden team. You did such a great job! I’m looking forward to go back soon. With new ideas and new plans. I definitely think everyone needs to know more about this part of Sweden. Swedish Lapland.

Farväl! Vi ses! Trevligt att träffas.

Fore more pictures see: Wesinthewild

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