The Arctic dwarf willow appreciation society

by backpackingbongos

You can never really fully appreciate dwarf willow until you have tried to force a path through it on a hot day with clouds of mosquitoes and horse flies biting. The first two thirds of our Sarek trip was dominated by an unrelenting sun, powerful through the crystal clear Arctic air. The mosquitoes should have died off at this time of year but the heat had given them a second chance. They were very hungry!

When the rain came it came with a vengeance and we were faced with flooded paths and rivers. On the final night rodents ate our tents.

Sarek can bite but it provides plenty of rewards to those willing to tough it out. The scenery is out of this world and the sense of remoteness is hard to beat in Europe.

I’ll do some trip reports over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime here are a few photos giving a flavour of the place.










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16 Comments to “The Arctic dwarf willow appreciation society”

  1. Dwarf willow, there is nothing like it for bringing a man down to size. Lucky my most comical forays through the stuff have not been witnessed by my fellow man. Between you and me I have wept tears of frustration and humiliation.

    • It can be a right beast Mark, once it gets past waist height it can make you cry. Luckily it was dry when we passed through the worst of it. Young birch trees can also be tough to pick a route through…….

  2. Excellent photos James. Looking forward to seeing the rest. Thanks for bringing ‘er back safely 🙂

  3. Looking forward to the rest of the reports, and yes Dwarf willow does present its own challenges, combined with mud it is a whole new world. The photos clearly demonstrate the beauty of the area and the isolation. Popular campsite seems to attract animals that love man made objects. Clearly they have no respect for the Hilleberg brand.

    • Yes those Arctic Shrews need to learn some respect for the sanctity of the Hilleberg brand! It is a marvellous area even with the furry little tent eating rodents.

  4. Bummer about the tents. But gorgeous photos!

  5. Looking forward to the tail “Of Mice and Men (and Women”

  6. You certainly take a better photo than me… 😄

  7. Cracking pics mate. So I assume then the wee blighters ate into your fab new tent the Enan??

    • Yeah sadly the little buggers ate my Enan inner. I got away a bit lighter than Chrissie who had two big holes chewed into hers, mine was just one small one. Better get it patched before I use it again.

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