Since my former housemates in Leeds showed me pictures of them having been on a trek in the very north of Sweden, I had the idea of doing the same thing one day stuck in my head.
Well, and as the outdoor company Fjällräven started organising a supported but still very much individual trek on the ‘Kungsleden’ (King’s Trail) in northern Sweden every year in August, a group of eleven people including myself joined the so-called ‘Fjällräven Classic’ in 2011.
It’s groups or individuals who can join and walk from Nikkaluokta near Kiruna to Abisko (a place from where you can’t go a lot further north in Sweden; 200km north of the Polar Circle; so even in August when we were there, it never got totally dark). Basically it’s up to every group how much time it takes them to walk the 110km. 4-5 days as we did it seemed to be the most common way to do it. Carrying all the luggage including tent and sleeping gear plus most of the provisions left hardly anyone with a backpack with less than 15kg. Maximum weight? Open end!
At checkpoints we collected stamps in order to get our medal in the end. Plus – a lot more importantly – could stock up on food (including reindeer burgers at ‘Lap Donald’s’ and moose wraps; immediately followed by pancakes with a lot of jam and cream; not to forget: cheese from a squeezy tube – weird people, the Scandinavians 😉 ). Apart from that it was pretty much down to ourselves to hike amidst impressive scenery. And even if the sun wasn’t out all the time: it was very impressive indeed.
We were a group of eleven people from different countries: Germans, Bavarians, Dutch, English. Themed “Elf to the end” we all managed to get to the end – not all at the same time, but that didn’t matter as we had enough time planned after the tour to enjoy a few nice days in and around Abisko – of course including some more hiking 😉
The Fjällräven Classic takes place every year in August – and it’s sold out pretty quickly right after the signup period opens (usually around October the year before). So if you feel like joining one day you better be quick!
Oh, and if anyone ever happens to be up there and finds a camera: I’m sure Jason would be happy to know 😉