With 2102 metersKebnekaise is the highest mountain in Sweden and a highlight of any hiking trip in Laponia.
There are two optionsclimbing Kebnekaise, both possible as day hikes from Kebnekaise Lodge:
Östre ledan (The Eastern Trail):The shorter of the two options crossing the Björling glacier and climbing a (moderate) via ferrata. Daily guided tours (incl. equipment) from Kebnekaise lodge.
Västre leden (The Western Trail): A straightforward, though long and exhausting hiking route of 22 km and more than 2000 meters ascent with no need for technical equipment. I have summited Kebnekaise twice, in 2014 and 2016, on both occasions via Västra leden.
The track feel as long as it is. It is however very beautiful, almost all of it above the tree level passing a wonderful cirque with hanging glaciers as well as the curiously shaped Tuolpagorni on the way. Around halfway up, it is quite a psychological challenge having to climb and descend Vierramvare on the way, adding 300 meters to the ascend, making the total ascent 2100 meter. While the trail is straight-forward and not technical, the scree slopes, however are quite steep. The last 50 meters ascent is on snow, though normally crampons are not needed. The summit is quite small with room for no more than 5-6 people and quite exposed, and since it is on top of a glacier the actual height may vary a bit from year to year. In 2016 it looks like at hut will be build immediately below the summit, a place where helicopters taking sightseeing tourists land as well.
July 2013: First time out on a multiday, camping hike: The Northern (and most popular) stretch of the Kungsledenfrom Abisko to Kvikkjokk – approximately 160 km walked in 10 days.
The wilderness of Laponia in general. Although you are never far away (10 km max) from a staffed hut, there is a true sense of wilderness, which furthermore comes without virtually without a risk of predators.
Aktse. An old, now abandoned, settlement, where the spirit of the settlers remain and a mountain lodge now is established at the old settlers lodge.
The endless forest between Laitaure and Kvikkjokk.
The midnight sun. In July it never really gets dark.