Archive for February 23rd, 2014

February 23, 2014

Sarek National Park – this year’s wilderness adventure

by backpackingbongos

The following is taken from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Website:

The mountain landscape of Sarek National Park is the most dramatic in Sweden, and the least affected by human activity. There are jagged mountain peaks, immense glaciers, deep valleys and turbulent river rapids. Nowhere else in Europe is there such a vast expanse of monumental, uninterrupted wilderness.

 Sarek is strikingly alpine for Sweden with magnificent mountain ranges and narrow valleys, glaciers and wild rapids. It is a splendid piece of unspoiled wilderness. The park contains over 200 mountains over 1,800 metres. Six of Sweden’s 13 highest mountains are found here, as are about 100 glaciers.

 Sarek is not recommended for beginners. Those wishing to visit the park must have considerable alpine experience and the correct equipment and should be used to spending time outdoors. Sarek is an extremely inaccessible wilderness with no facilities whatsoever for tourists. Here, you are on your own.

Well if that does not excite a backpacker then nothing will!

In August 2012 I hiked the northern most section of the famous Kungsleden Trail.  After a walking for a couple of days I got a bit fed up with the crowds and took a side trail.  The following three days blew me away.  The scenery was spectacular and the feeling of remoteness was tangible.  I wrote about that section here.  Since then I have been keen to return to Arctic Sweden and Sarek looks like an area that will not disappoint.

I have been super efficient and have already booked my flights in and out of the country, keen to get the cheapest deals.  The train tickets for the sleeper train have not yet been released, so that is something that I will have to organise nearer the time.  Between the long journey there and back I will have ten full days in the wilderness.  This will hopefully be enough to explore the National Parks wildest and remotest reaches.  It will take a day or two of hiking through adjacent national parks just to reach the border of Sarek.

The last week of August and the first week of September will hopefully give me Autumn colours and lack the scourge of the mosquito.  I’m also hoping that winter does not come early!

With a map now in my possession it is time to plan a suitable route.  Unfortunately there are no guidebooks written in English to refer to.  Recently after a Twitter request a fellow blogger wrote ‘Hiking Sarek (an Englishman’s guide)‘ which has been of great help.  Mark the author has been great at answering various questions I have fired his way.

I’ll do another post once my route has been planned.  In the meantime I will be exploring the following 1:100,000 map.

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