Kungsleden day 11 – the path less travelled

A glorious sunny morning after torrential rain all night so I decided to summit kebnekaise – swedens highest mountain. 

But first, a huge buffet breakfast to fully fuel myself – muesli, four bread rolls with ham, fish paste and marmalade and four cups of coffee.  I was also a cheeky kiwi and made four sandwiches to go.  It was good value at £9, actually even better value when I got half an hour down the trail and realise I hadn’t paid (as in the other places I had paid at check in).  Ooops, might have to send the STF a check

I headed up the mountain feeling energised for about four minutes and then I saw a train of people walking slowly on the path.   Not just all the hundreds of people who had stayed in the station the night before (on every available floor surface) but helicopter loads of people who were landing from nikkolaukta every ten minutes.  I stayed zen for approximately 15 minutes during which time I overtook about 40 people with day packs (I had all my gear) and they were rude about being overtaken.   Well, kebnekaise might be the highest summit in Sweden but it’s not that big (2000 something metres) and I decided I didn’t care enough to see it to deal with the crowds.   so I put some opera in my ears and cut across country to the valley path I had followed yesterday.  A good call – for two hours I didn’t see anyone and it was beautiful.

I took a side trail to rejoin the Kungsleden from the kebnekaise valley and stopped for lunch at kuoperjakka.  It was a glorious glorious sunny day and I decided to embrace my cultural heritage and get back in my shorts.  The valley was stunning and the views of the mountains with a fresh dusting of snow were delightful.

I passed salka hut at 3 and decided to keep going until Tjakta hut (my error was in not stocking up at chocolate at salka as there is no shop on Tjakta).   It was a lovely walk up the valley and then over the pass to a long ‘bald’ (Karlfjall) to the Tjakta hut.  The wind whipped up at the pass so the heavy Swedish pants were back on again.

I arrived at 6 and am delighted they have a bed for me.  Although the tent is plenty warm, I find it hard to sleep in my sleeping bag when it is fully done up as my feet feel trapped, so am looking forward to stretching out tonight.    I am also super happy that my feet have been dry all day!  That’s a miracle! 

I sat down for dinner and had a random assortment of food – salmon and potato soup, refried beans, chocolate porridge and some biltong, and then the last of the chocolate.  I have a few meals left but will definitely be restocking with sugar at alesjaure tomorrow

The light was beautiful tonight and I watched the sun set behind the mountain.  While I could finish tomorrow if I walk all day to do the 50k to abisko, the weather forecast is good so might take a few detours

Distance travelled = 35 km from kebnekaise fjallstation to tjaktjastugan

Ascent = 620m

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