Nikkaluokta – Kilpisjärvi 2015
After the event Fjällräven Classic in 2015 I met up with Niklas for some more adventures. We started our trip on top of Nuolja in Aurora Sky Station, Abisko. We had a couple of coffee and then started our walk. If, like me, you start the walk in Nikkaluokta and end in Kilpisjärvi you have ~310km (192 miles) of trail to cover and you will only cross 2 roads along the way doing so.
On our second day together Niklas suddenly stopped and pointed at a hill 100-200 metres away. A wolf was running around looking for food there so we stopped for a while, just watching him, my first!
The Norwegian side of the trail is more “wild” then the Swedish side if you ask me, but I have walked the Swedish side a lot of times and I would say both are worth it! There are no marked winter trails on the Norwegian side and for me it just feels more “out there” because of that. From time to time you will walk over long parts of boulders covering the ground. If you’re used to it its no “biggie” but if you’re not it will take some time to pass them safely. We never carried water! Instead we had foldable cups and had small breaks next to creeks. But I would advise you to carry at least 0,5 litres if you are unsure of when and how you can take good drinking water.
Nordkalottruta or Arctic Trail is a marked hiking trail in the Arctic region of Nordic countries. The trail passes through Øvre Dividal National Park, Reisa National Park, Abisko National Park and Padjelanta National Park as well as the Sulitjelmafjellet and Narvikfjellregions. The entire trail is marked and serviced by mountain huts. Most of the huts will be of the unstaffed type, where you must carry your own food.
Notes from my field journal
“The huts are really nice and some of the Swedish ones have a small shop and a sauna but to have your own tent with you is freedom and you can sleep wherever. On the Norwegian side you need to buy a key from DNT to be able to enter the cabins.”
“Between Nikkaloukta and Björkliden there is 5 places or so where you can buy food but I recommend you to carry all from the beginning and refill in Abisko or Björkliden in the little shops there. From Björkliden to Kilpisjärvi we didn’t pass any shops and had to carry everything.”
“We treated ourselves with a boat form three border cross to Kilpisjärvi our last day. There is a daily boat, but you still have to walk a couple of km to get to the boat. The boats name is M/S Malla. You need cash or credit card.”
“We woke up early and found our speed for today. We stopped when needed and where never in a hurry. Still we walked for 15 hours today. Ended hour walk some time after midnight. Everything was like a fairytale with the surrounding nature and the perfect calm weather.
“To cook fish with salt in the cabins wood stove and then lie on the floor drinking water from a bucket waiting for the fish to be ready to eat. That’s life right there.”