Kungsleden: Trekking Winter

Tour name: Northern Kungsleden
Degree of difficulty: Easy mountain paths
Tour length: 105 km
Total elevation: 1066 m ascent and 962 m descent
Alignment: South
Highest point: Basic Hut (1139 m)
GPS: route and track as GPX

The snow is crunching under the snowshoes. Nothing else: no noise penetrates the silent winter landscape. The snow sparkles in the sun and we are hiking in the middle of it. There is no one around but us from horizon to horizon. It is like we are on a different planet. On both sites, there are massive mountains and we are walking on a huge frozen lake. Red crosses are our only signs for the right track.
We are in the Swedish Lapland, about 200 km north of the polar circle. It is the beginning of March. In Germany, you can see the first signs of spring and the birds are chirping but here there is nothing like that. It is just cold. Over the day the temperature is rising rarely over -15° C. The first night we have to spend the night in our tent and our optimistic sleeping bags which shouldn’t be used in colder conditions than -5°C.
The temperature is continuing dropping to -30° C. I’m getting nervous… Are we freeze to death?

On the next morning, I feel much better the temperature is rising again and at the end,
it wasn’t too bad. Snow is falling inside the tent on our sleeping bags. Our breath from the night is now frozen inside the tent. At the end, the biggest challenge to fall asleep was Christian because he was snoring.
Sure it was not a pleasant night but at least nothing went wrong so we can continue our journey to the south.
The Kungsleden is one of the most famous hiking trails in Sweden. It consists of two parts and together it is a 440 km trail. We decided to hike on the north part from Abisko to Singi and from there to Nikkaloukta and back to our train in Kiruna. The landscape of this part is stunning. Often we just take a break to enjoy the view of the valley and the mountains. And that’s ok because we are not in a hurry and the daily distance from hut to hut is easy to do.
There is a fairly build hut system along and around the trail so with a bit of planning you also could discover the mountains and valleys around the Kungsleden trail with ease.
The huts are comfortable but without energy or water. (And of course no cellular or internet connection.) So you have to split wood and go to the lake for water. But there is also a sauna and trust me after a long day in the cold this makes it all worth.
In the evening we all sitting together in our warm room next to the burning fire.
Outside there are no clouds and you easily can see the milky way.
Our everyday life is just forgotten.
And then out of nothing, the sky turns in green flames. We are speechless and stunned watching the northern lights. It is silent, it is cold but it is incredible.

  • Sälka aurora
  • Nikkaluokta aurora
elevation profile of the northern Kungsleden
elevation profile of the northern Kungsleden

One Comment Add yours

  1. What an awesome journey it must have been! I am looking to do the full Kungsleden next summer.

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