Winter ski tour through Sarek National Park – Sápmi / Swedish Lapland

  • Trip report
  • Travel season for ski touring and hiking in Lapland
  • Gear list and short gear review
  • Food for a backcountry ski tour
  • Traveling to Lapland by car
  • What would I do differently next time?
  • If you’d like some music while reading, this would be the song to go with: John Butler Trio – Wait for spring to come

Trip report: 11 days along the Padjelantaleden, through Sarek National Park and along the Kungsleden

It’s early for Sarek is the reaction we get from most locals when we tell them we’re heading out for a ski tour through Sarek National Park. It’s only February. A lot of snow… And cold! While Sarek is often called one of Europe’s last wildernesses, for the Sami people, whose land this is, it isn’t “wild”, for them it has always been home for the summer. It is where in May their reindeer will give birth to their calves and will spend the short snowfree time up in the mountains, growing strong for the cold and dark winter. Sápmi stretches from northern Norway, over northern Sweden and Finland, all the way to northern Russia. A tundra landscape north of the arctic circle. In winter the sun barely touches the horizon and snow covers the bushes, lichen, mosses, birch and pine trees. It’s the land where the Gods speak through Northern Lights high in the starry sky…

While we normally would head South in winter, this year things come differently. Ever since surgery life has changed. Instead of sweet I eat savory breakfast, instead of getting up at the crack of dawn I stay in bed till the birds are long done singing their morning song, instead of traveling South I travel North. Never before had I really felt the pull of the nordic landscape, but when we couldn’t agree on a place to go to South Dan suggested Sarek and everything in me said Yes. Maybe because doing the opposite of what I used to do feels good. My life has been turned upside down, my body is no longer fully abled, but my sense for adventure has survived. The past half a year I’ve lived with the question “How do I live my life well, really well, even with chronic pain?” Continue reading