Backpacking In The Arctic Circle - Along The 'Klungsleden' In Lapland


By Joy Baxter

In August 2000 I went on a trekking holiday to Sweden. I joined a group of 6 people I had never met before at Manchester Airport to start my summer holiday. I had wanted to go trekking in Lapland for some time and at last I was taking the plunge. This was the beginning of a very interesting and enjoyable trip.

The flight to Sweden was brilliant; we had fantastic views over Saddleworth, Humberside and Spurn point on the East Coast. We flew to Stockholm and spent a few hours looking round this lovely city. We then travelled by sleeper train on a 20-hour journey to Abisco, which is 100 miles inside the Arctic Circle. There was great excitement when we crossed the Arctic Circle the following morning; the driver announced the approaching Circle and everyone waited with cameras poised.

Abisco is a few buildings and a youth hostel and the end of the road. We set off along the "Klugsleden" the Swedish Pennine Way. The Swedish hikers love its remoteness and challenge.

Once on your way there is no dropping out. There are no roads, railways or any other means of transport; you are entirely dependent on your own two feet. You really are in the wilderness. No planes flew over in the whole of the nine days we were there; it was so peaceful it was magical.

The trail took us through mighty valleys bordered by some of Sweden's highest mountains and largest glaciers. However, despite the fact that we were walking on "top of the world" the weather was very good with only one shower of rain.

The first and last days walking were in trees and the rest of the time we were above the tree line in real Tundra. Trees were dwarf Willow and Birch no more than an inch high, along with mosses and lichens they formed a covering over the rocky ground. Near any wet places and rivers there were lots of beautiful wild flowers.

We carried our food (dehydrated) and clothes for the week, which with careful planning was easily managed.

For anyone who loves the outdoors and walking this is a great way to spend a week. It was well organised, the food was fine; the huts were clean and very comfortable, in lovely settings.

Anyone interested or wishing to know more can contact me, Joy Baxter on 0161 775 0097. Or the Leader: Tony Collinson, Email: Ingmar.Collinson@talk21.com