Ever since visiting Abisko in February and snow shoeing into the national park for an afternoon I’ve been thinking it would be interesting to return to the same area in summer. Over the course of the summer the idea of doing a multi day hike from Abisko through to Brejsford in Norway came to my mind as an excellent potential adventure.
This trip had the added appeal of being able to take the night train from Stockholm to Abisko and then from Narvik to Stockholm on the way home. I enjoy travelling by train as it lets you see the countryside better than in an plane and also allows for some fun abstract long exposure pictures especially if you have an NF filter!
My plan was to solo hike over five days and four nights from Abisko to Beisfjord and then to recover for a day or two in Narvik before getting the train back home. I was happy to find that my hiking pack (Osprey Aether 60) was sufficient to the task of carrying my gear, clothes and food for five days. Although I did leave the bigger cameras at home and just took my Sony RX100 and most compact Gitzo Tripod.
The first day started late due to the night train getting delayed for a few hours by a signal fault, so I eventually made it to Abiskojaure campsite at 2200 in the evening. To my dismay I found the campsite already full due to the Fjällräven Classic event that was running along the Kungsleden. So I hiked a few more kilometres along my planned route and wild camped outside the park for the night in the woods.
My extra hiking the night before meant I had a shorter day ahead of me, the day started sunny but got more cloudy over the afternoon with the odd shower developing. The trail stayed near the river mostly in light forest, at one point I passed through an empty village of what I assume are winter huts which was an quite eerie experience. I decided to camp earlier than planned when I came across a good campsite near the last fjord of the day.
The early campsite turned out to be a good call as just as I finished setting up the tent it started raining and didn’t stop for the next fourteen hours! The rain was a pain as I didn’t get a chance to get changed or get my mattress inflated before I got in the tent. So I was wet, tired and fell asleep on the tent floor. I woke shivering which was startling as I usually don’t get cold and as it was still raining had to try to inflate an air mattress inside the tent, then get changed into dry cloths and eat some cold food.
The night wasn’t the most peaceful as the heavy rain and my tents pitching meant I was getting some water pooling on top and a little dripping inside. This concerned me as my sleeping bag is down filled and down doesn’t work well as an insulator once its wet! Thankfully the drip never got bad enough to soak the bag but I still had a restless nights sleep.
The next day I broke camp after getting some warm breakfast and coffee, as the sky was looking dark and brooding I decided to stop in Unna Allakas (a Swedish mountain hut) that was 5km down my route and ask the warden about the weather forecast. Shortly after starting hiking the rain started again and I was pretty soaked by the time I reached the hut.
The hut warden Anna told me the forecast was meant to be a bit better for tomorrow so I decided to deviate from my plan and spend the whole day and night in the hut drying out my gear. This would mean having a longer day for the final two days of my trip but watching the weather from inside the hut I didn’t regret my choice at all! As hiking in those showers and camping with wet gear would have been fairly miserable experience!
To be continued..