Sarek Autumn Hike

Location: Lapland, Sweden

About

Sarek National Park is an area that has not been adapted for tourism. There are no overnight cabins or toilets and only a few bridges. Here we stay on the conditions of nature. This journey is at the beginning of September when the colors change to yellow, orange and red. There may be snow on the peaks, thin ice on the lakes but perhaps most importantly also a lot of natural silence and beauty. This adventure is suitable for experienced beginners – perhaps you’ve been out a lot in your nearby surroundings or on marked trails but not on a longer adventure on unmarked trails. It’s a learning by doing adventure and I’m always by your side throughout the adventure, whenever needed! We will walk 15-20 kilometers per day in terrain with moderate differences in altitude. You need to be prepared to carry out several river crossings as well as to also hike in very rocky terrain. 

Sarek is a demanding and weather-exposed area that is not risk-free to hike in. Together with me as your guide, you get an opportunity to test yourself and develop your knowledge for 9 days while we travel through what is called Europe’s last wilderness.

Preparation and packing

This trip demands a lot of both you and your equipment. You will receive help and advice on what potentially needs to be bought, rented or borrowed through FaceTime, mail and cellphone – contact me with what you lack and we will take a look at it. Exercise with a 20-25 kg backpack at home well in advance for a good experience. Before departure, we ensure everything is controlled and optimised so that you get a good and safe experience. 

Food and accommodation

On a typical day, we eat breakfast together and prepare for the day to come before we hike further. If weather allow it we have a longer break in the middle of the day and enjoy our lunch outside. As it is not possible to stock up during the journey, we have everything with us from the beginning and carry it with us throughout the journey.

We prefer different kinds of snacks and need different amounts of it. Bring what you know works for you when you are outdoors and bring a little more than you think with you.

During our hike in Sarek, we preferably sleep in good tents that can withstand heavy rain and strong winds. During this trip you bring your own tent and share only with your partner or friend. You need a good 3 season sleeping bag and a matching sleeping pad.

On the last day we arrive at Saltoluokta mountain station where you can choose to sleep indoors (pre-book) or enjoy one last night in a tent before departure. I will sleep indoors, use the sauna and enjoy a 3 course menu during the evening and I hope you would like to join!

Gear needed

A detailed equipment list for you to consider will be sent to you upon contact.

Adventure itinerary

Day 1 – The first day we go from Ritsem by boat across Lake Ahkkajaure to Änomjálmme. The boat is adapted to the bus so we don’t have a lot of time in Ritsem before going further. The backpacks have to be ready for adventure already when getting here. On the other side we walk for 2 km before passing STF Akka (cabin). To the east of the cottage is the mountain Áhkká, called the Queen of Lapland. We will walk for for another 2-3 km and pitch our tents with a view of the river Vuojatädno in front of us.

Day 2 – We continue to follow the summer trail towards Gisuris cabins. We slowly adapt to the weather, the backpack and being outdoors for a longer period of time. We stay for a while in between the cable bridges when getting there. Here we can read about the three park meeting, a place where the three national parks Sarek, Stora Sjöfallet and Padjelanta meet. After our break we continue walking southeast along the river and pitch our evening camp directly south of Sjnjuvtjudis (peak).

Day 3 – Today we walk on and off small trails all day. We walk into the valley in between Gisuris and Nijak. We walk uphill until we pass the old reindeer herder’s cottage and slowly it starts to go downward again. Here the water also change direction and flows with us instead of towards us. We pitch our tent on the south side of a lake called Routesjávrásj. If we have energy left and the weather is good we have the possibility to walk up on a nearby peak.

Day 4 – We continue to walk in Ruohtesvágge towards Skarja cabin (a small emergency shelter with phone) Usually this stretch reminds me of Sound of Music scenery. We pitch our tent near the creek Máhtumågåsj looking out over the landscape.

Day 5 – Today we have some more elevation to do and its a little bit tricky. We start our day with an easy walk up to Bielavárásj for a great view and perhaps some coffee. It’s usually a little bit windy up here but worth it. From here we walk south and then east up to Snávvájávrre (lake) were we pitch our tents once more. A tricky small trail goes up and over the hill towards the lake and perhaps this part is the most tricky one during the whole journey.

Day 6 – Before going down into Rapadalen valley we take a break for a wonderful scenic view over the valley. We leave our backpacks on the trail and walk counter clockwise around a small lake before taking some elevation. Here we stay for a group photo and to take it all in.  For the rest of the day we’re walking in the valley and sleep somewhere in between Alep and Lulep Vássjájågåsj.

Day 7 – We continue walking in the valley surrounded by forest going around Lulep Spadnek. We then follow one of the creeks upwards until we can walk around a peak named 1081 (height) on the map south of Suorkitjåhkkå. We pitch our tents with again a  great view of the surroundings. We can se Nammatj (gate keeper of Sarek from the south).

Day 8 – We start off by taking it really slow and walk from rock to rock until we’ve safely passed the fields of rocks. We cross over the open landscape and if the weather is okey we walk up to the peak of Skierfe. We take a break here before we connect to Kungsleden which takes us up north to a lake that we row across or if the weather is bad hire a boat to ferry us over. When safely in STF Sitojaure (cabins) we walk up above the tree line and pitch our tent for the last time.

Day 9 – Today we walk the last stretch along Kungsleden trail to Saltoluokta mountain station. Somewhere along the trail we stop to have a small gathering about the experience before finishing. For those who want we finish our adventure at Saltoluokta mountain station with a three course menu, a proper bed and sauna before leaving for home the following day.

Day 10 – Going home!

Date

Begins: Ritsem, September 5th (Saturday)
Ends: Saltoluokta, September 13th (Sunday)
Days of walking: 9

Price list

2 persons – 15 000 SEK/p.p
3 persons – 11 000 SEK/p.p
4-6 persons – 9000 SEK/p.p

Get there

Bus 93 from Gällivare to Ritsem and then Kebnats (Saltoluokta) to Gällivare on our way home.

Language

Primarily in Swedish but can also be held in English.

Allergies/Medical

Please let me know if you have any allergies or medical needs when booking.

Insurance

I recommend that you check your insurance so that it applies to this type of activity.

Weather

In September, the weather varies a lot. With autumn the air will be slightly cooler and the nature will change color to red, yellow and orange. The mountain peaks turn white and even down in the valley there can be snow spray. The grouse are starting to get their first white feathers. The hiker usually gets nice weather, but expect cold nights. 7-2 degrees Celsius average day temperature. We can also get strong winds, gray days and possibly a lot of rain.

Includes

  • Experienced guide with local knowledge
  • Tips and tricks along the way
  • Educational lessons along the way
  • A deeper understanding about my “Art of Walking” mindset, which you can read about under the blog section
  • Satellite phone for weather and alarms (guide)
  • First aid kit (guide)
  • All images taken by me
  • I.O logo patch

Excludes

  • Travel to Ritsem & home from Saltoluokta
  • Personal travel & medical insurance
  • Food and snacks
  • Alcohol and other drinks
  • Personal spending – souvenirs etc
  • Three course menu and breakfast at delicious STF Saltoluokta restaurant
  • Boat trips  (Ritsem & Kebnats)

Reservations

We may need to adapt the route and program to current weather conditions and water levels.