Kebnekaise is a mountain area located beyond the Arctic Circle and Kebnekaise is also the name of the highest mountain in Sweden. I have been there two years ago and wanted to come back as soon as possible, despite the horrible weather we have experienced. There is something about the Kebnekaise area that draws me there and it's hard to explain.
SundayAfter arriving to Kebnekaise fjällstation, we went for a short ski ride just above the hut. The snow was horrible, as is normal for the very windy Láddjuvággi valley. It was then easy to convince Martin to go to Tarfala valley in search for better snow. It turned out to be the right call.
MondayIn the morning we went up to Tarfala mountain hut in sunny weather.
|Tarfala valley, Storglaciär and Isfallsglaciär|
After dinner, the whole hut gathered again at the windows to watch a group of guys skiing with headlamps. I told Martin: "They are either complete idiots or professionals".
There is no water or electricity in the hut and you have to fetch water and wood from the outside in −15 degrees Celsius. After the arrival of the group with headlamps, the hut was packed to the last bed and had the right Arctic atmosphere. The fat in our stomachs also only amplified it.
|The Moon and a hairy mountain. My best guess is that wind is blowing snow over the mountain and creating an illusion of hair.|
TuesdayTwo years ago me and Kolo unsuccessfully tried to climb Kaskasatjåkka (2076 m), the 4th highest mountain in Sweden. We turned around because of high winds. Me and Martin made a second attempt and the weather was much better this time with clear blue sky. However, it was very windy and cold, so we had to cover our faces regularly to avoid frostbites. We were rewarded with a view that is even better than from Kebnekaise sydtopp, the highest mountain in Sweden.
WednesdayWe woke up to a typical Tarfala weather: very low visibility, snow and strong wind. No wonder this is the most windy place in Sweden.
Luckily for us, the wind was blowing into our backs and it was actually making moving easier. We wanted to go back to the Kebnekaise fjällstation, but also check out the glacier cave inside Pallins halvjökel.
|You can make a couple of ski turns in the glacier cave|
The glacier cave provided a nice shelter, but we had to leave it and enter the white world.
|Man on the Moon|
We arrived at Kebnekaise fjällstation just before noon and then didn't do anything for the rest of the day.
ThursdayTwo years ago I have been ogling Tuolpagorni a lot but we didn't have time to ski it, so I made it my main goal of this vacation.
|Tuolpagorni has a bowl on the top, a very unusual formation|
The conditions looked awesome: clear blue sky, no wind and a lot of powder snow. Our only worry were avalanches, but a snow pit only showed a dangerous layer more than a meter deep.
It felt very strange to be in Tuolpagorni's flat bowl up in the air. We went up to a saddle below the top, enjoyed the view and then skied down the obvious path.
|Our downhill route|
It was our first time skiing such a narrow and steep couloir (38 to 40 degreees), but in the end it was easier than expected. The deep snow was very forgiving and the couloir wider than it looks at first.
|Our piece of work in the couloir|
Wow, what a day! No wind is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in this area and skiing Tuolpagorni is also something we won't forget. Watch Martin's video summarizing the whole day.
FridayI woke up feeling bad, so I stayed in the hut while Martin went for a short ride near Jökelbäcken. It was time to leave Kebnekaise and head home. I'm sure we'll be back soon.
As usual, a small selection of my photos is on Flickr and a full album from multiple cameras is on Google Photos. Martin also made a video from the whole trip.