Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden

11:42 a.m. on October 12, 2008 (EDT)
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Jus a litle report of me and my wife on the trip to Kebnekaise this summer. You find the pictures here http://picasaweb.google.no/otto.stover/KebnekaiseJuli2008#

We waited for good weather, and was lucky to find it on juli 25. But there was a rainbow ahead of us as we started. The road ends at a place called Nikkaluokta, and one must walk to the Kebnekaise Mountain Hut first, it's a 20 km trip on good track. You may save 6 km by taking the boat, but it is expensive. Even more expensive is the helicopter. We walked, took us about 5 hours. The dog carried about 8 kg in his pack, we had moderate packs of about 15 kilos.

After sleeping in the tent, we started for the summit. The whole trip up and down the western route is 22 km and there is a 1700m ascent/decent. The trip up took about 4,5 hours, and 3,5 hours down. Perfect weather, no problem but a sore heel for my wife. We celebrated with a dinner at the hut, with wine and dessert.

The third day was just down to Nikkaluokta, with a stop for the waffles at the shop where the boat arrives.

1:58 p.m. on October 12, 2008 (EDT)
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AH..Such great scenery!
Where I currently live, Southeastern US, we rarely have snow, maybe a couple centimeters and then it is gone. Everybody goes to the stores for emergency supplies, they close the schools and roads because we don't have equipment to clear the roads.
I think it is funny how they act where I live now!

You and your wife looked to be having a great time, dog too.
Thanks for sharing your trip, and I especially enjoyed the map feature on Picaso that allows the viewer to see where the picture was taken.
Thanks again, beautiful mountains!

3:16 p.m. on October 12, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks Otto. I always enjoy reading about your trips. Is your tent a Hilleberg? You're right, taking the helicopter is cheating a bit, isn't it?

6:01 a.m. on October 13, 2008 (EDT)
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Yes Tom, it's a Nallo 3GT. It is big enough for winter use, the whole pulk goes into the front part. Like all tents its a compromise of pro and cons. I might just buy a one person tent one day, but first i'll have me a new and lighter bag.

2:25 p.m. on October 13, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks Otto, I thought it might be a Nallo. Is it difficult to set up when the snow is soft and the stakes don't hold so well? That is one thing I like about my freestanding tent, once you set the poles up, it's not going to need much attention other than making a flat platform for it. But compared to my two person tent, the two person Nallo is much lighter.

3:20 p.m. on October 13, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for sharing, Otto! The landscape looks absolutely beautiful.

We want to do some hiking and backpacking in Scandinavia some day (my grandfather was Swedish, so I'm also interested from that standpoint). We might have gone this past summer, but instead had Baby #2, which was a better choice all around.

So, it will be a while before we get there, but Sweden is high on the list.

p.s. Helicopters are cheating!

8:45 p.m. on October 14, 2008 (EDT)
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Tom we use the tent in winter primarily as a safety as we go hut-to hut. But on some occasions I've used it in winter to sleep in. No problem though. Each person has two skis + to poles. In addition the Hilleberg snow-stakes give good grip in loose snow also. Just tred the snow firm first.

Alicia I can understand that you want to wisit the country of your grandfather. But for a visit in Scandinavia Norway should be on top of that list if you only think of trekking. We do mostly hut-to-hut trips. In the whole of Sweden there are about 60 huts + 10 owned by others in the mountains. In Norway its 450! just owned by DNT. In addistion we have almost the same number of JFF-huts (Hunter and Fisher org.)

For you with a small child, I would have based me on a stay in one hut for several days. A lot of people do that with small children. And it is not so expensive either. 3 days, full pension for two adult at a staffed hut costs about 600$. Children born after 2004 is free. To compare it Kebnekaise Mountain hut asks 1000$ for the same. All prices from this year.

The most remarkable huts for foreigners are the self service huts. These huts have full provisions of canned and dried food, and the payment is based on trust! Noone checks what you took and that you pay. Kofi Annan did not first believe this was true, but as he saw that it was he said that this gave him faith in the human race.

On the map of say Hardangervidda here http://www.turistforeningen.no/location.php?lo_id=NO_harda&fo_id=6291 select "Vis i kart" and you see a map. All the red-and-white dots are self servide huts. You only need to have a bag and walking clothes/shoes to hike between them. And the standard DNT key of course. There is one key for all the unstaffed huts in the whole country owned by DNT!

But I'm off topic now, must stop advertizing for my country in a tread with pictures from another country.

9:39 p.m. on October 14, 2008 (EDT)
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You've convinced me, Otto! You could work for the Norwegian tourism board. I actually did look into trekking in Norway in the past and would love to hike there, with a side trip to Sweden thrown in for family history.

I've actually just come from visiting the DNT site (http://www.turistforeningen.no/english/)
I see the 600 you mention is 600 Norwegian Kroner, which would be about $100 U.S.

Both a winter ski tour and summer hiking sound beautiful. What are your favorite times of year to get out?

10:52 p.m. on October 14, 2008 (EDT)
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Both winter and summer is wonderful, depends on your own preferences. The best time for winter tours is from mid february to mid april in the south. One month later here north were I live.

From mid april to mid june is a difficult time. Lots of snow still in the mountains. After that it is just fine until late september when the automn storms begins. You may be lucky, but it is risky. Also stay away from easter, it is too crowded in the south. No problems here north, so litle people you see.

Personally I like winter. First I'm an able skier and one travels farther by ski. The dog carries more weight in the pulk ,about 30kg, so it's easier to have some luxury on the trip. In summer he may only take about 10kg. There is no free snowmobile driving i Norway like it is in Sweden if you saw the pictures from my winter trip.

The price you saw is per person per day, and it is correct it is 100$ for that. Remember you get room, bed linen, breakfast, lunch and supper. (A normal hotel room in Oslo costs 250$) The food is plenty and good. If two persons stay tree days it adds up to 600$ total cost.

We have a very good meteorological site here http://www.senorge.no/mapPage.aspx Just press the english flag for english version, and zoom into the district you plan to visit. Toggle the buttons for snow or rain, and go back say to mars on the time line and see snow conditions aso.

12:03 a.m. on October 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks Otto. Both countries sound great. The hut systems you've talked about really sound like the way to go. Comfort and adventure, a nice combination.

6:46 a.m. on November 20, 2008 (EST)
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I hope it's OK if I put in a shameless plug for a new website my wife and I are working on:

http://norwayhut2hut.com/Home.html

We have been living in Norway for six years, using the huts a lot, and thought we could share some of our knowledge/experience this way. We will try to get some advertising on the side later but right now it's a labor of love, and still a work in progress.

The dollar has gained a bit on the Norwegian krone, so maybe a trip to Norway will become a more reasonable proposition for some of you on the other side of the puddle!

8:02 p.m. on November 20, 2008 (EST)
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Thanks for sharing, BigRed.

With you and Otto sharing the beauty of Norway, you're giving me a lot of reasons to think about future trips and treks.

5:02 a.m. on November 21, 2008 (EST)
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I'll chime in again and say that the huts make the Norwegian mountains super kid-friendly. We did our first hut-to-hut tour with our daughters when they were 4 and 8, a two-hut, three-night affair in Rondane National Park. Zoe rode in a pulk while Molly skied with us. We had a ca. 20k day with a ferocious wind at our backs, above the trees and so completely exposed the whole day. We made it as much due to Zoe's patience with sitting in the pulk as Molly's ski skills. We were doing hiking and skiing tours of up to 10 days by the time the girls were 8 and 12.

The huts give big price breaks for kids, and the full-service huts usually have a collection of kids' picture books, all in Norwegian, but the pictures are universal.

12:39 a.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
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Wow, looks awesome.

1:01 a.m. on January 11, 2009 (EST)
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BigRed I used some of my night shift to read through your "hut-to-hut textbook", liked the factual style and your humor. May I link to it on some other forums I'm into, especially outdoorseiten.net (german)? For many foreigners it is difficult to understand how the hut-system in Norway works. Also how well it is for kids and for spontaneous trips. They think of how this is in their own countries, which usually is not so extensive.

11:30 a.m. on January 12, 2009 (EST)
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Please do!

I have experience with huts in New Hampshire (where I spent my formative years; my wife also worked for the AMC) New Zealand (I actually ran a hut there for two seasons) on the Tour de Mont Blanc in France/Italy/Switzerland, trekkers inns in Nepal, and maybe a few other places as well. In all of these, wooden benches are the norm, but I don't know if I've ever been in a Norwegian tourist hut that didn't have it least one "comfy chair" for sitting by the fire and reading, talking, or playing cards (while waiting for the weather to improve!). It really is a whole different standard.

6:20 p.m. on January 25, 2009 (EST)
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Thank you so much, now I have done it.

August 21, 2014
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