SKI ADVENTURE IN SAREK, EUROPE’S LAST WILDERNESS

Sarek National Park is a place not adapted for tourism, out here we adapt to the conditions of nature. Join us on a skiing adventure in what is known as Europe's last wilderness.

In Sarek National Park there are no cabins or toilets, only a few shelters and some man made bridges. The landscape is demanding and it is a weather-exposed area that is not risk-free to travel in. Together with our Mountain Leader Daniel, you will have the opportunity to test yourself and develop your skills during eight days as we travel through what is known as Europe’s last wilderness.

We start our tour in Ritsem. The road there is usually called Sweden’s longest dead end. We don’t know if it’s true, but the road gives a feeling of being “out there” even before the skis are on.

During a trip like this you learn what is important in life or for the moment. Everything is scaled down to our most basic needs. It is partly about being here, in the moment, doing what we are committed to do but more importantly meeting the needs of being warm, dry and full. We have no internet connection but we focus on what to do next. We are still fed with information, but not by social media.

We can count on changing weather and temperatures. Everything from a few minus down to below minus 30 degrees are possible, although both numbers are extremes. We suggest to face the cold at home before you join the trip, even if it only means a few nights on the balcony. During the month of March, there are not that many hours of daylight and the first half is still considered as a winter month. There are often short blue days, lots of stars at night and a great chance to see the northern lights.

Many sleds have been pulled here before ours, but it often doesn’t feel that way. The winter landscape with its boulders, thin ice, cold winds and sometimes cornflake-like frost gives us a lot to explore. We cook and fix our equipment in the tents sheltered from the wind while the light from the headlamps and the candle in the vestibule illuminates our evening. After a few days you by default put on the skis and without the poles go a little way to do the evening errands. When you stand brushing your teeth with crab-like mittens and a thick down jacket, it’s hard not to look up. To be amazed of the stars or the big dizzying snowflakes. The northern lights that start to dance and the inviting tent that shines so beautifully. It is easy to feel at ease and lyrical but also vulnerable.

In the end the tour, when Saltoluokta mountain station appears on the map, we have refined our movements. They are precise and zen like. We move in interaction with each other and nature. A great adventure in the wilderness is about to end but you will carry the memories with you the rest of your life.

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Departures

StartsEndsStarting pointPriceGuidePlaces available
2023-03-172023-03-25Ritsem 1.390 EUR (excl flight)Daniel Vilhelmsson WesénYes

Trip facts

Trip length9 days
Group sizeMin 4, max 8 persons
Grading1C

Included in the trip

  • Experienced mountain guide, nature and wilderness guide with good local knowledge
  • Planning meeting in the Gothenburg area – one night’s stay
  • Personal advice regarding equipment, packing and food
  • Accommodation one night at STF Saltoluokta. Accommodation in multi-bed rooms. Sheets are included
  • Two-course dinner on the day of arrival as well as breakfast and lunch on the day we leave for STF Saltoluokta
  • Scooter transport from Saltoluokta to Kebnats
  • Common security equipment including satellite communications

Not included

  • Journey to Ritsem and return from Saltoluokta
  • Personal equipment
  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping bag etc9
  • Personlal insurance
  • Beverages, foof and snacks

Questions and booking

Do you have questions regarding this trip? Do you want to send us a notification of interest or make a booking?
Contact us on +46 31-707 00 80 or or send an email to info@pathfindertravels.se.

Daily itinerary

DAY.1 ARRIVAL RITSEM

We arrive by bus in the early afternoon, our adventure starts in Ritsem. Maybe we haven’t skied since last year and the slopes down to the lake will be the first turns we make this season. We make our way at a leisurely pace and wait for each other. Once down at the shore of the lake, we follow the markings over to the other side and finally camp opposite the Akkha cottages.

We set up camp as soon as we arrive. It may happen that we have to set up our tents in the light of the headlamps depending on how quickly we got across the lake, maybe we will also get help from the northern lights. A tough but lovely start, but then it’s especially good to finally be able to stretch the legs and rest. N 7503616, E 601376

DAY 2. AROUND AKKHA

After breakfast and a cup of warming coffee, we point the skis to the southwest along Ahkka’s slopes. We start steady and easy to climb the slopes between Ahkka and Siniuyjudis. The climb will take as long as it takes and we will probably have to struggle a bit, but we will take it carefully the whole time. We will most likely use our skins to get a better grip. We ski across the lake Sjnjuvtjudisjávrásj and camp ~600m SE of it. N 7494380, E 600092

DAY 3. RUOHTESVAGGE

Today we continue skiing towards Nijak. We slowly make our way upwards and towards Ruohtesvagge. We take the time to stop occasionally and enjoy the view and the majestic mountain scenery. We now have Ahkka behind us and Nijak in front of us. Also today there will be some climbing. Today’s goal is to get up and then past the reindeer herder’s shelter before pitching our tents further down the valley by lake Ruohtesjávrásj (SE side). N 7484472, E 606696

DAY 4. SKÁRJÁ

As we reached the reindeer herder’s shelter yesterday, we have completed most of the climb and it will now be a little easier. So we wake up in Ruothesvagge and ski down towards Skárjástugan and the only unlocked rescuehut in the area. We cross before the ravine and camp ~500 meters NE from the cabin. N 7476256, E 613920

Day 5. Bierikvárásj

Today we continue skiing. We make our way towards Pielastugan by trying to maintain the height as well as possible. We ski down to the lake and head towards what I usually call the raven mountain. Now we have reached the Äpharma massif, a fantastic place. We will most likely get to know the ravens that live here. The tour continues north at a meditative pace and around Bierkikvárásj. Here it is often icy and sometimes even a little open water, we move forward carefully. We camp a bit from the cliffside in case a stone should fall down. Tent site ~500m ÖNÖ from Bierikvárásj peak at N 7475976, E 623560

Day 6. Sluggájåhkå

We start the day with a cup of invigorating hot coffee while we explore the beautiful winter landscape. We stay on the southeast side of the lake and make our way towards and past Nienndo. We ski over or just besides the lakes and waterways in order to find a good and safe route to our goal for the day. We set up our camp in a suitable place before the gorge begins. Maybe we can brush our teeth under the northern lights tonight? Tent site somewhere near Sluggájåhkå N 7481580, E 633680

Day 7. Slugga

After coming up on one of the “last” heights above the tree-line, we will lose a lot of height and it is mostly flat or downhill from here. We often take breaks to look back and enjoy the views, before skiing down below the tree line. We keep our distance from the mountain Slugga so we don’t end up in the gorge. We follow the ridges and cross a small lake before skiing out on lake Bietsávrre. We ski  half of the lake and pitch our tents for the last time on a promontory on the south side of the lake. N 7480460, E 643380

DAY 8. THE LAST PUSH

Today we pack up our camp for the last time on this trip. We start the day by skiing over the rest of Lake Bietsávrresjön, if we’re lucky we can catch a glimpse of a moose here. We aim for the south-eastern part of the lake and the snowmobile track that takes us towards Saltoluokta. After skiing straight ahead and flat for quite a while, it is now time to climb the last slopes. We make our way down descending the other side to the mountain station. After many days out in the wilderness, it feels good to have a hot shower and maybe a cold beer in front of the fire. We end with a lovely two-course dinner and a proper bed to sleep in.

Day 9. Return home

We eat breakfast together, clean out our rooms and put our stuff outside the closet. If we’re up to it and feel like it, we’ll ski a round without sledding and enjoy Saltoluokta’s surroundings before ending the program with lunch in the main building. Then we cross the lake on scooters and sledges. It’s time to go home after some lovely healthy days and nights in the Swedish mountain world.

map_marker: ritsem

Good to know

This trip demands a lot from both you and your equipment. Previous experience with winter camping is a requirement, as well as being able to ski 15 km a day and pull your own sled. You will receive help and advice regarding what is needed in your pack well in advance of departure. Ski packages and sledges etc. can be rented through STF Saltoluokta or Laponia Adventures, they are then delivered to STF cottage in Ritsem. If you rent equipment, the recommendation is to arrive at Ritsem a day earlier to make sure that all the equipment has arrived and that it fits and works for you.

For rental see: : Uthyrningsförfrågan Saltoluokta

Laponia Adventures

NOTE, If tents and sleds needs to be rented, this will be done after you have had the information meeting with Daniel. It is important that this is coordinated in the group

PLANNING MEETING IN THE GOTHENBURG AREA

We will have a planning meeting in the Gothenburg area. The exact time and place will be determined as soon as we have enough participants to complete the trip. During the meeting you will get the chance to get to know each other and Daniel will go through everything practical before the trip such as:

  • Weather, wind, ice
  • Sled vs backpack
  • Kitchen, food, fuel
  • Build and demolish camp
  • Generally about what a day can look like
  • Equipment list
  • Route and events along the planned route
  • Common events
  • Safety equipment
  • Other things that come up during the meeting

The meeting will be outdoors and we will sleep in a tent one night and do a shorter hike. You will need to bring a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and the things you generally need for sleeping outside, as well as cutlery and a plate/bowl. We have a couple of tents for loan if needed.

Har ni inte möjlighet att delta kommer Daniel gå igenom det viktigaste mer er via ett digitalt möte.

IN Sarek

During a typical day on the trip, we eat breakfast together and go through the day before we start skiing. If the weather permits, we take a longer break in the middle of the day when we enjoy lunch. It is not possible to replenish the food supply during the trip, so we have everything we need from the start. You need to carry/pull your own equipment, food and some of the common equipment. The last night we sleep at STF Saltoluokta and here we sleep indoors. We also have the opportunity to use the sauna and enjoy a two-course dinner in the evening.

You book the journey to and from the start on your own. Your guide Daniel will travel from Gothenburg to Gällivare by train and then bus to Ritsem. There is only one bus per day up to Ritsem. Bus 93 from Gällivare to Ritsem on the way up and Kebnats (Saltoluokta) to Gällivare on the way home. Please consult us regarding transport so we can get all coordinated with Daniel.

The day’s program is to be regarded as preliminary and may change depending on weather and water levels. However, the plan is to carry out the trip according to the program.

 

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We are subject to the provisions of the Swedish Travel Guarantees Act (1972:204) and have lodged a travel guarantee with Swedish Kammarkollegiet.