67° 52’ 4” N – 18° 37’ 12” E
Alpine Touring /
Skiing up the mountain
Kebnekaise, 2103 metres above sea level, is a subartic visual experience that takes time and patience. From the end of the road at one of the coldest spots in Scandinavia, you take the tracked vehicle up to the mountain station at the foot of the mountain. The following morning, you meet the mountain guide, familiarise yourself with the equipment and warm up with a little ski ascent.
Day two, there’ll be an early start. You’ll need climbing irons, an ice axe, a climbing harness, helmet, two carbines and a belay device. Everything is available for rent at the mountain station, including alpine touring skis and skins.
Ascension follows the Eastern trail. The difference in altitude is 1420 metres and the entire tour takes eight hours. It starts with a ski ascent up Jökelbäcken. Then a traverse ride over Björling glacier to the pointy snow ridge, which you follow to the eastern ridge of Kebnekaise. Here, there is a fixed rope at 150 metres, which technically makes the climb simple, but airy and a bit dizzying, if you are a beginner.
The last bit of the way is by foot to the peak. Just when the monotony has made you feel secure, you reach the vertical slope to the peak. The world explodes! Powerful rock faces and rolling glaciers in a fantastic panorama. Sweden’s highest point offers the best view in the country. This is followed by outstanding downhill skiing down the narrow corridors of Jökelbäcken.
But, it all depends on the weather since you are at its mercy on Kebnekaise.
No 5 ALPINE TOURING / KEBNEKAISE
GOOD TO KNOW
- Activity: Ski ascent to the peak. Off-piste skiing down again
- Location: Kebnekaise
- Season: March-April
- Degree of difficulty: The minimum age for peak tours is 16 years. Participants must be off-piste skiers, unafraid of heights and in good physical condition.
- Other facts: Kebnekaise rises 2013 metres above sea level and is the highest mountain in Sweden.
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