Articles

Bestiger Kebnekaise, besöker Kirunagruvan och bor vid Stora Sjöfallet – Gone Camping i Norrland


The road ends here in Nikkaluokta,
but my camping adventure begins. This is as close as you get
to Sweden’s highest mountain. We’re going there tomorrow
and you’re welcome to join us. It’s 19 kilometers from here
to the Kebnekaise mountain lodge. You can walk there on foot or choose the luxury option and use
the helicopter service available. We chose the latter option and got
a taste of the magnificent scenery. After ten minutes, we’ve reached
the beautiful mountain lodge situated at Kaipak Mountain,
690 meters above sea level. For more than 100 years, the lodge has
served those exploring the surroundings, and it now offers 190 beds
and lots of tent pitches. If you book a summit trip with a guide,
there’s a mandatory meeting where you go through equipment,
terrain and safety. Great. Good luck tomorrow. At 7 a.m., we take our first steps
towards Sweden’s highest mountain. Kebnekaise’s southern peak
is at 2,102 meters above sea level. The trail splits here. You can
take the longer western route, but we’re taking
the steeper eastern route. Anyone in decent condition
can handle the western route, but it takes a long time,
10-14 hours there and back. The eastern route is shorter,
but more demanding, and having a guide is required. Eventually, we all enter
our own little bubbles. The schedule calls for 30 minutes
of walking and 5 minutes of rest. Slowly but surely, we climb ever higher, in what feels like the world’s
most beautiful mountain scenery. This is a special place. It’s the first time
we see the goal, the southern peak. The exact height of
the southern peak changes every year. It consists of a glacier which melts
and grows, depending on the weather. “Kebnekaise” is a combination of
the Sami words “giebnne” – cauldron, and “gájsse” – pointy mountain peak. The terrain is rocky and you always
have to look where you plant your boots. I feel like we’re heading
towards the top of a gravel mound. We finally reach the edge
of Björling’s Glacier and it’s time for the safety harnesses. On the glacier,
we’re roped together as teams. The glacier is about 1.5 kilometers
and there are cracks along the route. We’re roped together
so that if anyone falls into a crack, we’re all tied together
and it’s easy to pull people up. The glacier starts at 1,550 meters
and is named for Johan Alfred Björling, who in the late 1800s wanted to be
first to climb Sweden’s highest mountain, only 17 years old. After falling into a crack in the glacier
and almost dying, he and his friends
managed to reach the summit. But their joy was short-lived.
After returning home, it turned out that a Frenchman had managed
the same feat a few years earlier. After the glacier,
it’s time to climb the so-called wall. I describe the climb
as a very poorly built set of stairs. There are always good footholds
along the way, but in some places, you have to
grab onto the wire or the rock to get up. Since I’m not comfortable with heights,
this was the toughest part. You don’t want to look down, but it’s hard
not to turn around and enjoy the view. This is insanely beautiful.
It’s just amazing. We’re past the glacier and the climb.
Only a short way left to the summit. The feeling
during the final stretch to the summit is the same
as the day before Christmas as a child. My entire body is tingling
and I can’t stop smiling. There. After six hours, Gone Camping
is on top of Sweden’s highest mountain. Standing on the glacier
decorating Kebnekaise’s southern peak, I feel like
the world’s most adventurous camper. And for me,
it’s a childhood dream come true. One hour from Nikkaluokta,
we find Kiruna. The town has undergone enormous
change in the last hundred years, from wilderness
to a modern mining community. And it will soon be time
for yet another change. The town will literally be moved
three kilometers to the east. There are enormous iron deposits
under Kiruna, and as the miners
blast deeper into the rock, they’re also moving towards
the current center of town. 800 people
work below ground in the Kiruna mine, and they’re now down
to a depth of 1,300 meters. The iron ore is moved to the surface
and processed into round balls – sinter. These are loaded onto railroad cars
pulled by a powerful locomotive and the final destination
is the port of Narvik. Each train ships enough iron ore
to produce 4,200 cars. And there are ten trains every day. To find out more about mining,
I go on a guided tour. During summer,
there are several tours each day. You don’t ride down in an elevator. You head down
to a depth of 534 meters by bus. It feels somewhat absurd. There’s a visitor center where we
during three hours learn about geology, physics and history. It’s a bit like a school day, only more fun,
seeing things in their proper context. We arrange these tours
to spread knowledge about what we do, and inform people
about how mining works. LKAB is a state-owned company and we want to provide information so
that people will understand what we do. We move on with the GPS set to lead us
to Stora Sjöfallets Fjällanläggning, situated in the middle of Laponia. It’s a World Heritage site
and Europe’s largest virgin wilderness. If you recognize the scenery, it could be from a commercial
for a Swedish car manufacturer, made with a certain football player. We’re 200 kilometers
north of the Arctic Circle, and everything about the campsite has
a feel of virgin mountain environment. Stora Sjöfallet offers
all kinds of accommodation. There’s a hotel, a hostel
and close to 200 lots for campers. No matter what you choose, you get a
wonderful view looking out your window. You don’t want to miss out on this view and that’s why I’ve brought my grill
and ingredients down to the shoreline. We’re having potato galette with cold
smoked salmon and horseradish paste. First we’ll slice the potatoes.
You can use a cheese slicer, a sharp knife
if you can get the slices thin, or you can use a mandoline,
and that’s the easiest option. You can adjust the blade
and pick how thick the slices will be. Be careful with your fingers.
A mandoline is awfully sharp. You can use this holder for the last part. Always a thick slice left.
We’ll put that aside. The grill should be low to medium hot. The potatoes should cook for a while
and get crispy. Maybe 25-30 minutes,
depending on how hot the grill is. I’ll put the lid on
and have a look in 15 minutes. I got stuck in the lounger and they’ve
been on here for maybe 20 minutes. I can’t leave them on here any longer
or they’ll get too much color, but they look great and now
I need to move this onto a plate. I got this one just fine. Like so. I’ll start off with some horseradish paste. Then I’ll add
some wonderful cold smoked salmon. You can also use raw spiced salmon. I’ll top this off with a dill sprig. Check this out. This is amazing. This view
tops any five-star restaurant. Thanks for joining us
on our trip through Norrland. I hope to see you again
on this channel or out on the roads. Find the recipe at camping.se In this episode,
we climbed Kebnekaise with a guide. We visited the LKAB mine in Kiruna. And we stayed at
Stora Sjöfallets Fjällanläggning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *