Day 16 – August 12th 2017

21:40 Camp 1km northeast Teusajaure cabin
I woke before 6AM and packed my stuff, thankfully the forecast had been wrong and there was no rain during the night. For the first time this tour I was able to get everything, included tent and abside, to fit inside the backpack. Great sign that I’ve eaten away some weight and volume!
After taking care of my boots and some other equipment I went over to the main building where they serve breakfast between 7 and 9. Staying there for the entire time and eating small portions continuously, I managed to get approximately 1200-1500 kcal in, mostly from fat – cheese, butter, eggs, meat, seeds and nuts – and probably a little too much protein. Yet very limited carbs and apparently the insulin spike never got high enough to impact keton production as my Ketonix readings were still showing nutritional ketosis hours after the meal.
The boat taking me over to the other side of the lake left at 10:40, leaving me more than enough time to gather my stuff and say ‘bye’ to people I talked to. Many showed interest in the project and are curious about ketosis, which is very encouraging for the health development in the future. I actually thought that most people hiking would be more stuck in the old carb paradigm and this is a good point to be wrong!
Bus ride took a while and I was arriving Vakkotavare just before 13:00 – as it was raining at the time I went into the cabin for a cup of tea and spent a couple of hours chatting with the hosts and their family and a couple I met last year when they were hosts in Vistas cabin.
Besides having a great social time I also got a video for the ‘Cabin host series’ on offthegridhiker.com!
Leaving the cabin at ten to 3 in
 the afternoon I was still energized from the breakfast and felt no need for any additional intake
of food. I hiked the 15km in 3 hours and 15 min, arriving at the lake more than an hour before the motor boat ride I aimed for.

Thankfully I found two rowing boats on my side of the lake, which meant I could just take one and get over. So I rowed the 1km over the lake and knocked at the cabin hosts door looking for video nr 2 this day.

Not only did I get my interview but stayed for two hours total, taking part in the preparation for smoking trouts and even got treated to one he’d smoked some days earlier. It was delicious!
I totally would have stayed there and camped, the place is just beautiful, yet having spent the night before in Saltoluokta’s birch forest I longed to get up above the tree line again for some wind and a view.
Just half an hour of additional hiking brought me just that and after finishing my dinner and get ready for bed, I’ll spend the night here in this wonderful spot.
Observation: when undressing I noticed that my left calf was weirdly swollen from just below the knee down to where the top of the boot shaft ends. No pain involved at all, just this swelling of the subcutaneous tissue… Gotta keep an eye on this.

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 15 – August 11th 2017

08:00 Camp at Liehtjitjavrre

What a beautiful morning! I’m sitting in my tent with the abside open on the leeward side, facing the sun. The rather chilly wind from behind drives away most mosquitoes except for the very bravest, and the sun gives a nice warmth to the morning hours!
As much as I spent time out here, it never stops to amaze me how swiftly and completely the weather can change within a day or even hours.
It really felt nice to have the sunlight hit the tent this morning and not raindrops – even if I nowadays, thankfully, accept and adapt to whatever weather without huge emotional engagement, I frankly admit the I haven’t preferences!
Anyway, Ketonix readings are still higher than before, actually a lot higher, and I feel amazing. I experiences as slight GI discomfort yesterday afternoon, probably due to the rapid increase in coconut oil, and that resolved quickly.
So I just continue going at this with an increased amount of nutritional fat and enjoy the experience!
Plan for today is to go all the way to Saltoluokta as the weather could hardly be better and I’ll get an early start.
I like to call this part of the trip:
‘A five day hike, to be planned for six days’
Meaning that one should do it in five, yet have one day in reserve. Now it looks as that reserve is not necessary and this gives me an extra day for all the other stuff I want to do when back a little farther up north again!
22:30 Camp at Staloluokta
So, day 15 is in the books and I reached the halfway mark of this years hike. Backpack is still feeling so much better than just a few days ago and moving through the mountains has become more or less effortless compared to the first 10 days or so. What a difference a few kg can make!

Carl, Fredrik and I started today’s tour together at 10:30 and began following the trail northwardtowards Suorva. About level with the reindeer keeper cabin I spotted a potentially easier line and went scouting, finding a long stretch of boulders and rocks taking us all the way to dry ground free from bushes. Up until that point we had some struggles with scrubs, bushes and wetland. Good reminder to not blindly follow a trail at any cost!
After about 2.5h they wanted to stop for lunch and I did indulge in another cup of coffee with PF. 45 min later we’re moving on for another half hour before splitting up, they going north to the western end of Bietsavvre to camp and take a boat across the lake in the morning. I heading east up the valley to hike the distance of the lake and continue to Saltoluokta.

I have to admit that the first hour or so was a struggle… Lots of vegetation, wetlands and pools of standing water to be avoided and really no straight line to follow despite my efforts of aiming at the high point. In these situations it always feels like the forward progress is frustratingly slow and it becomes a mental game besides the physical struggle with the uneven ground and getting hooked up in the vegetation all the time.
Getting through and up onto higher grounds and the soft grass of that elevation was a relief and my steps became instantly lighter!
The rest of the hike to the eastern end of Bietsavvre was pure joy, mixing grassland with rocks and some occasional bushes that I’ve got increasingly better at avoiding!
Descending in the shadow of Rasek I found a very well defined trail which I could follow all the way to the beach at Bietsavvre’s eastern shore.
Crossing the mouth of Avtsusjjåhkå, emptying into the lake, has been made easy by a small boat running on a rope across the river.
Unfortunately the cafe in the Sami village was closed and so I continued almost immediately along the trail down to Saltoluokta. The six km trail was super easy to follow and after a slight uphill slope merely downhill, after just under an hour I reached the fjällstation and checked in for a camp site. Sara at the reception was kind enough to help with recharging my Ketonix battery and the power bank over night, turns out she’s been following LCHF earlier and got of it during guide training.
She told me she was eager to start the fat fueled lifestyle again, though, and never felt better than when she ate this way. In general people are almost surprisingly curious and positively interested when they hear about this project and it’s fun to help out with some tips, tricks and information.
Now, I hiked around 25km total, of which all but the last six were off trails, and so far only had three coffee with fat (one with coconut oil and two with PF) for energy, so dinner came high on my list of priorities after check in. I just grabbed a camp site, raised my tent and then headed for the kitchen.
Here I just want to point out that at no time during the day I felt anything but energized and sufficiently sustained, or I would have stopped and had something to eat. Even being used to the ketogenic lifestyle I’m still amazed by the amount of physical and mental work that can be completed without refueling.
While waiting for my dinner to cool down to eating temperature I emptied my pack and brought next weeks food up to the top when repacking. Realizing the real amount of provisions I already used was reassuring and totally explained the new and lighter feeling of my backpack!
The only real miscalculation is with the beef jerky, I used less than half of what I’d planned to have. Thankfully it’s not a lot of extra weight to carry!
After dinner I managed a quick sauna before it closed for the night and finished of with shower and a shave.
Good feeling to be thoroughly clean again!
As it’s now well passed 22:00 and people are sleeping in their tents, today’s closing video just has to wait until tomorrow morning.
Followed by my first planned over eating breakfast for this tour!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 14 – August 10th 2017

10:45 Camp 300m east of Tjågnårisjågåsj on the mountain side above the trail
Another day starting with rain, it began pouring down again sometimes during the night and continues throughout the morning with short breaks in between the showers.
I’m quite fascinated how much sleep I can enjoy when just leaving it up to the body itself, can’t even imagine the repair and recovery going on. Could it be that the body actually is able to use the opportunity and recovery from earlier lack of sleep?
I don’t know, yet I have a distinct feeling of becoming more and more healthy and balanced the more I listen to my body and let it run the show. I wonder how much this following of my natural rythm actually does for my health. The impact might be much greater than I ever imagined and more important than the movement and diet.
Anyway, waking up to the sound of drops on the tent shortly after 09:00 I decided to take it easy and experiment a little with the Ketonix and different fats. Starting with coconut oil in my first coffee and now I just finished another cup, this time with PF.
For a few days I just listened to my hunger levels (which were mostly zero…) and didn’t eat much at all during the day. Despite not being hungry and experiencing the other benefits of ketosis like mental clarity and energy, I saw the Ketonix measurements generally go down and also felt less performance. Especially, and actually only, when going uphill, though!
Anyway, yesterday I found that I’d used a lot less fat than i planned for and recognized that I need to intentionally up the intake.
The measurements show already that from a keton production point, this was a good decision. I also felt even more energy during that one serious climb after my coffee break than I’ve felt in the last few days.
Apparently, as the body fat reserve of the bode diminishes, I need more dietary fat to keep the engine going at the same rate.

 

I’ve got a few more days to go before I’m in Saltoluokta and intend to keep fat consumption highfor this time. If it works out as I think it will, I’ll just treat my body to a huge bacon&eggs breakfast before I leave the fjällstation next day!
22:45 Camp at Liehtjitjavrre
What a great hiking day! The rain stopped around noon and a half hour later I was on my way after packing up everything almost dry (the tarp was still slightly moist).
Creature of habit as I am, I started out keeping my elevation instead of going down to the trail, and followed my beloved reindeer tracks over the mountain side. Climbing just slightly up the hill over time opened up an extraordinary view into the surrounding valleys! Absolutely fantabulous!
Turning northward around the mountain opened the view over Bierikjavrre and the land beyond and also showed me the hillside in front of me. Unfortunately well too steep to hike safely and I needed to decent to the level near the lake.
Utilizing a snow field made that a lot of fun!!! 
Thankfully the trail down by the lake was not even close to as wet as I expected, all in all this area is so much dryer than the more western and northern parts I’ve seen earlier on this tour. It’s amazing how the conditions can be that different just tens of km apart, especially with all the rain coming down the last days.
Mosquitoes, having pretty much left me alone since Alajavrre, are very active again. This is the perfect environment for them and the wind is pretty much down during the mid afternoon. It also could start raining again any time and this always drives them into a frenzy.
Hiking through the valley following the lake was easy and none of the rivers required a change of shoes crossing. Soon the ascent towards the ridge started and half way up I decided to go far west instead of the shortest route up. It was just an idea I acted on, and what a view i got, both of the valley i just hiked through and the area lying in front of me. Marvelous, just marvelous!
And a lot of reindeer antlers all over the hill side…
Getting to hike quite a bit uphill on a snow field was just another bonus!
Once over the pass I had a fun descent and an easy route down to the bridge, managing to cross one more river without getting my feet wet, where I once again met Carl and Fredrik.
Having a coffee together we decided to hike on until we find a good camp site, going clear of the next river crossing before we stop.
Just about 2.5km farther on we went down to the lake and found two good sites, setting up camp and then meeting up at their tent for dinner, coffee and chat. Sitting in the large abside of their tent is warm and cozy, yet turns out to attract a hoard of mosquitoes and we’re quite busy taking care of them as they show up.
All in all a very enjoyable evening and I sincerely hope that we get together for lunch soon after we’re all back in Stockholm again.
The evening turned out beautiful also weather wise, with only a few drops of rain coming down and the sky looking rather clear for now. Let’s see what tomorrow has to deliver!
So far my increasing the fat has shown expected results, not only even higher energy levels and depressed hunger feelings, yet also higher readings on the Ketonix.
More on this tomorrow!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 13 – August 9th 2017

09:20 Camp 1km East Alggajåhkå in Alggavagge

It’s been raining and quite windy all night and I rested/slept/stayed in my sleeping bag more or less twelve hours – I feel amazingly rested and recovered!
Now, for the last half hour or so there has been no more rain and I made tea and have some jerky and coconut oil for breakfast. Actually feeling hungry in the morning for once.
My plan for the day was to move on up the valley and turn east through Guohpervagge, yet for now it’s totally dependent on how the weather develops. Not having had a real rest day so far I’m actually ok with staying here, should the rain start pouring again. It’s just one of the things we can’t control, yet we can chose if we want to start a days hike in a rain storm or wait it out. I’m very grateful that I am in no hurry at all!!!

For now I’m happy having my tea and breakfast, when done with that I’ll just start get my stuff sorted and then see what it looks like outside. I’m rather positive that I’ll get back on the trail today as well!

19:40 Camp 300m east of Tjågnårisjågåsj on the mountain side above the trail

It turned out there was no more rain today – after finishing breakfast I wiped off the tent and the wind did the rest. Just before 11:30 I moved on with everything packed dry, just amazing how well things work out!

The actual trail runs rather far down the bottom of Alggavagge and that area was way to wet for my leather boots due to all the melting snow and the rain. I’m sure it’s wonderful and easy to follow at another time, yet today I was back at my reindeer tracks and the first part of today was through wet bushes again. Not my favorite, yet what a great metaphor for having to go through some trials and tribulations to get to the boon!
In this case, the wonderful soft and smooth mountain grass under my feet!
The higher part of Alggavagge is beautiful with huge plains o green grass and an abundance of camp sites, you could basically put a tent down almost anywhere up there.
This changes rapidly when starting to descend on the northern side, much rougher ground, more stones, yet still very pleasant to hike.
Crossing Guoperjåhkå was the real thing, murky water from the glaciers so I knew it would be cold.

 

It was impossible to see the depth so I chose a part with less strong current and left my pants off in case – turned out the water was never more than knee deep and the whole thing turned out to be just fun.
After walking a couple of hundred meters to get warm I stopped for coffee and a snack. At the same time renewing the tapes on my feet, they had become wet too many times to still stick.
Sitting there I saw two people with blue covers on their backpacks start up the hillside and turn the direction I was heading.
Turns out I catch up on them, two Swedish guys named Carl and Fredrik, a few km’s onward and we hike together to the next river crossing. Passing the emergency cabin at the bridge over Mihkajåhkå we stopped and looked inside – definitely a place to remember if ever in need for shelter in this area!
Also passed a German party of six people on the trail, I’m really quite surprised how many people move around here. I thought everyone was doing Sarek through Rapa valley and Rouhtesvagge.

Anyway, after the first river crossing over Mahtujågåsj, I continued by myself again and, once again, went for the reindeer tracks as the trail pushed through the wetlands lower down on the mountain side. Also I had my first close encounter with a reindeer herd on this trip, really nice to see them close up again. Especially the ones born this year are so adorable!!!
Little later I get to the next river to cross, Tjågnårisjågåsj, and find a nice snow bridge over the stream. Now, let me get one thing straight here, I don’t normally use snow bridges for crossing rivers and I certainly don not endorsed doing so! It’s potentially very dangerous as one can never know exactly how strong or thick the snow is or when or why it might break.
My decision today was built on two facts, first that an entire herd of reindeer had come this way before me and their tracks were all over the snow (and they probably didn’t cross one by one…) and secondly that I could see from both sides that the snow was over 1m thick and I had no reason to believe it would be thinner towards the middle.

That said, every situation like this has to be analyzed separately and one better be very sure, or else go downstream and wade!

This time all went well and I’m off to another night with amazing view and great, fresh air!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 12 – August 8th 2017

07:20 Camp at Alajavvre
Almost like a clockwork I now sleep for six full sleep cycles per night and wake up rested after around nine hours. It’s just amazing and I really hope to get used enough to this rythm that I can keep it up once home again.
This morning I woke up to the first beams of sunshine reaching my tent and start spreading some warmth on a rather chilly morning.
The night was pretty cold and I have a lot of condensation on the tent, one thing I haven’t really solved yet with this tent is how to get sufficient ventilation to minimize water condensing on the inside of the tarp. Thankfully it dries out pretty swiftly with sun, wind and some help from me wiping of the bigger drops.
It’s such a nice morning here and I feel like I have all the time in the world – I’ll just get my day started and the slowly motor on in the direction of Sarek.
Probably because of the cold night there are very few mosquitoes out this morning and I’m frankly not that keen on going down oven a hundred meters in elevation as there might have been warmer down there. My original plan is to hike Alggavagge to Gouhpervagge yet if there are to many mosquitoes I might go for higher ground.

However it’s been just amazing to enjoy my first cup of PF coffee outside and having the warm coziness of the tent dragging me back in, instead of the buzzing insects driving me!

And, talking about PF coffee, I’m upping my intake in the morning a little and just had a second cup. I’ve noticed my Ketonix readings going down the last few days and, thought I can say I’m definitely in nutritional ketosis from how I feel mentally, emotionally and physically, I’d like to test if more fat early in the day affect the measurements.
I can say, from the fitting of my clothes, that I used up some body fat and it might just make adding a little more nutritional fats necessary to start accessing more of my stores.
We’ll get a hint of that during the day, more on this tonight!
18:40 Camp 1km East Alggajåhkå in Alggavagge

Again I feel super lucky – I stopped early for the night, it was just after 17:00 when I found this beautiful spot with a view in all directions! Made camp, had dinner and just made a cup of tea when suddenly the rain started pouring down again after quite q few hours stop with blue skies and even some sun. And, looking out, I can see that this is going to go on for some time!

So, not only did I find another perfect camp site, I did it just in time to have everything ready when the downpour started, enjoying the warmth and comfort of a dry tent while listening to the falling rain – isn’t life just wonderful?!

This morning I got going at quarter past nine and followed the shore of Alajavvre for quite some time. Soft, friendly ground, so easy to walk on, and an abundance of campsites everywhere along the valley with pretty small streams merrily flowing down the hillside. Just a breathtakingly beautiful place!
Towards the eastern end of the lake the landscape turned wilder and rougher with more stones and rocks, yet still very easy to walk. At one point I ran into a marked trail that I didn’t bother to follow, preferring to find my own way as I didn’t known that this trail would help.
After turning northward to get around Nuortap Rissavarre I kept rather high on the mountain side to avoid the wetlands around the lakes and soon enough I could round the northern edge of this mountain.
The bridge over Miellädno was easy enough to spot from above, the tricky part was to get there without getting into wetlands or to much bush, turned out there were enough reindeer tracks to help out.
The bridge itself was nothing for the faint hearted, it’s in pretty bad shape and has a sign saying “This bridge is part ad a construction site, stepping onto or around it is prohibited”. Good thing that no one was around to enforce this rule…

Anyway, crossing the river any other way was out of the question, even of I a little later spotted a broader area about a km south of the bridge where wading might have been possible. I did have to change shoes to cross Gainejjågåsj and the water temperature was clearly below what I call pleasant.

Without even changing back into my boots I climbed the hill up to Alkavare Chapel and took a break outside. Until the first rain came, that is, then I went in for a little while. When the first shower had passed I changed into rain gear and continued my hike, soon after the next downpour came. At first I thought about turning back, yet I thought it would be just another shower, and there were some people showing up at the boat landing place at the lake and heading for the chapel. Funny enough I preferred the rain over strangers this time…
And I was right, the shower stopped after just 15-20 minutes and soon after I was fairly dry again. Except the bottom of my rain trousers, though, the trail went through scrubs and low bushes and they were wet from the rain, so shoes and trousers continued getting their share of that water.
The bushes and thicket continued for almost 7km and the trail was easily lost several times, yet always found again soon after. The original trail is drawn very close to the lake and there it’s rather easy to find and follow. Later, along Alggajåhkå, it leads through wetlands and with the conditions here right now I had to find another way, my boots can’t take that much water in a day without serious leaking. So, I was back on the reindeer tracks again…
If you haven’t tried hiking through these areas it’s really hard to explain how much energy it takes. Not only physical, through going back and forth and pressing on against the vegetation. It’s also mentally taxing as one needs to stay concentrated on finding the track and, at the same time, watch the steps.
I’m always very relieved once I’m through an area with this kind of vegetation and I sincerely do not look forward to them.
Anyway, all in all it has been another amazing day up here and I had a lot of time to contemplate life in general and some things specifically. It’s just amazing how simple life can be when we’re close to nature and far from the (so called) civilized world. When I’m fed, warm and dry I really don’t have much need for anything else out here. So how come I ‘need’ all that stuff back home to consider myself happy? I don’t know for sure, yet my best guess is habits. And habits can be changed by will!

 

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Peace // Claes

Day 11 – August 7th 2017

10:00 Staloluokta cabin
As I got to bed a little later than usual I slept till around 07:30, waking up rested and feeling great. Soon thereafter I heard the first helicopter fly in over my tent and realized that I could very well could have had my sleep disturbed by civilization even in this remote area.
Thinking about sleep I definitely need to take a look at my sleep hygiene back home, I always thought I was woken up by the light in the morning, sneaking in through melt black-out curtains, yet here it’s really light all night and I sleep like a log.
Maybe it’s the physical activity, and actually that might be a part of the matter, though I think I need to get of my devices earlier in the evening and start really unwind and relax quite a few hours before bed time.
Easy enough to check, screen curfew after 19:00 when I get back home.
The weather this morning is, again, just amazing. Mostly sunny, with some clouds passing over the blue sky and a slight breeze blowing just enough to keep mosquitoes down most of the time.
This normally not being a high season for mosquitoes has been thrown off by the late spring and summer and apparently they hatched less than two weeks ago. So what normally occurs in late June and early July is now coming at us. Still, as long as there’s a wind blowing everything is good and I’m becoming increasingly more distinguished at ignoring them even when they’re around in droves.
I’m having a slow and easy morning here, cooked breakfast with the bacon and cabbage I got yesterday and plan to leave rather soon. The plan is to cross through Sarek to Saltoluokta fjällstation, probably a 4-5 day tour totally off the beaten track.
Knee feels ok and up to the task, there are a few river crossings that might be a challenge and I have alternate plans to follow if I can’t get over at some point. Good thing is that I have a lot of time still and don’t need to hurry the slightest.
As social an animal as I normally am, I really look forward to these days in solitude before hitting the Kungsleden again in Saltoluokta.
20:20 Camp at Alajavvre
I lingered at the cabin until 12:15 when I finally left for the trail leading east. I don’t know if it’s the extra food this morning, the worn out socks and underwear I threw away yesterday night of the repacking of the backpack for better balance – for the first time the pack felt comfortable! Still heavy, yes, but comfortable!
To say I’m happy about this would be an understatement of biblical proportions!
The trail I chose to start by ascends from behind the ‘Kyrkokåta’ and leads up the hill. Though unmarked, its very easy to find and follow and soon leads through a birch forest you definitely don’t want to fight your way through outside of the trail.
There are a few forks, just make sure to stay left and you’re good!
I left the trail once out of the forest to gain some elevation and get more wind, the mosquitoes in the wood were rather obnoxious. The trade of was going slower and finding my own line until I was back on the trail again by the lakes way on the other side of the hill.
From there I stayed on it until it was time to leave it behind and turn east towards Alajavvre. The area held a lot of scrubs and low bushes and I found a reindeer track to follow through the thicket. If you ever go of trail here and find your own way, just make sure to follow these tracks as much as possible, they usually mark the easiest route – not always the shortest one, though.
Passing the lakes on the plain before ascending for the last part of today’s hike, I found a beautiful, sunny spot, with wind, where I had a decent break. This time I tried PF mixed in cold water, which worked great, and I didn’t feel any adverse effect in my belly like after the nuts yesterday. So, from now on I’ll add the nuts to my fat coffee in the morning and up the fat intake that way. Then I can stick to PF during the midday break and boast energy without getting slowed down.
Anyway, the valley leading up the Alajavvre was wonderfully green and lush, some tricky bushy areas further down, then opening up and really easy to walk. There was only one real river to cross and from the hillside I spotted a place where it was doable without changing and all went well, though the stones were quite slippery.
Remember, if you know you need to cross a stream and don’t known what it looks like farther down the trail, as soon as you spot a good crossing place, just go for it. You might not get over as easily later on!
At some point after my map was printed someone set up a reindeer fence in the valley and I had to follow it for some time before I found a part that was slightly folded and I could get through without causing damage.
Soon after I met a party of four coming down the valley and asking for tips on the fence and river. I must admit I was rather surprised to meet someone at all, it turned out they’re hiking from Aktse, through Rapa valley and now heading to Staloluokta.
After chatting a bit we parted and I continued on. Soon I reached the top of the valley and Alajavvre showed itself in the sunlight, beautiful, and with some Sarek mountains in the background.
I decided to continue on until I find a good spot and soon after I got this hill to camp on, a breeze keeping the mosquitoes away and I didn’t need the extra abside to cook. Just raised the tent and got settled in, temperatures have been falling quickly since the sun disappeared behind the mountains and I’m going to bed soon.
Tomorrow it’s time to enter Sarek!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 10 – August 6th 2017

07:15 Camp at Pårka, between Låddejåckå and Arasluokta

Again I slept amazingly well, can’t say if it’s the ketogenic state helping with sleep also, yet I can definitely say that my sleep is better than I can recall from previous years up here.
Tonight again I got my ideal nine hours, dreaming a lot of good dreams, though I don’t remember the details I have a pleasant feeling lingering from the dreams.

 

Having the sound of the stream accompaning me through the night and morning is soothing and relaxing. I just love these sounds of nature, be it water flowing, wind blowing and even rain falling. There’s something genuinely connecting being out in nature listening to its sounds.

I really look forward to the hike today, I remember it as beautiful and rather soft with just one real uphill climb after Arasluokta. And I’m so glad getting to Staloluokta once again, going there was in my original plan as well, just now I come from another direction. I’m really curious how the place has developed since I saw it last, I still have to look up when that was, though it can’t be less than 12 years ago!

I’m very happy and impressed with how my body feels and works, though I eat very little during the day my energy is top notch, I feel strong and my mood is formidable. From a personal, subjective standpoint this little experiment is already a success.
Especially I can see an immense shift in my mental state and stability – earlier my mood was definitely more affected by the conditions. Now, I don’t know what part the ketogenic diet plays here and what is this effect of all the mental, emotional and spiritual development I’ve deliberately gone through over the last year – and I’ll probably never will.
What I can say is that when I went out of ketosis back home to prepare for the pre-hike blood tests, my emotional stability was affected and I didn’t really like that shift!

21:55 Camp near Staloluokta, view over Virihaure

What a beautiful day, the weather was just fantabulous most of the day with a short rain shower when I stopped to do my midday measuring of ketons. Just put my rain jacket on and waited 15 min, then everything dried up just about as fast as it got wet.
First part of the hike was mostly downhill to the bridge 4km north of Arasluokta, followed by a slow uphill stretch leveling out and then descending to Arasluokta about 8km from my starting point.

 

I continued past the cabin and crossed the bridge before taking a break to measure ketons and drink some water. As the rain started I decided to have a small snack as well, I wanted to wait for the shower to pass by anyway. Bad idea… The couple handfuls of nuts lay like a brick in my belly the whole ascent up the hill and really made it a lot harder than it actually is.
Excellent learning experience, though, not to eat anything without planning some time for it to digest. I got to try it with the PF and see if I tolerate that better as a quick snack, and if there’s a difference mixing it with hot or cold beverage.

Anyway, once the ascent was dealt with the trail was pretty much level and very comfortable to hike. I stopped for about half an hour at a small lake where the mosquitoes for some reason were almost nonexistent. And had a great Sit on one of the rocks in the sunshine, just one of these explicitly peaceful and serene moments in life. I’m so grateful I take the time to enjoy these opportunities nowadays, it has not always been that way!

Through the day I met a few people and pretty everyone warned me of the mosquitoes in Staloluokta, to the point that I played with the thought to camp up at the lakes.
Imagine my gratitude when I was met by a rather strong breeze while descending to the village and this wind staying almost the entire evening!
Shortly upon arrival I went up to visit the “kyrkokåta” – a small chapel build in the traditional Sami way of a hut. There had been one of the rare services earlier today and the pastor with his people was packing up to leave. As I met him once before many years ago I naturally introduced myself and chatted with him for a few minutes, then ending up helping out with the chores.
Apparently their was some cake left from after the service and as they learned I don’t eat wheat or sugar they left me some fresh cabbage, a pack of bacon (wow, what a breakfast tomorrow!!!) and a smoked and dried shoulder blade from a reindeer to cut the meat of for snacks. Frankly I felt like a kid on Christmas Day after basically eating the same food for 10 days and starting to think too much of eggs and bacon!
Amazing!!!

So, after a snack with fat coffee and reindeer meat I made camp and then it was time for the sauna. It was every bit as good as I remembered it, I did five rounds of sauna, each followed by a dip in the little lake next to it – and with an exquisite view!
I could easily have stayed for another round, yet my growling stomach insisted on dinner, and, experiencing so little hunger during the days here, I was almost grateful for the feeling of needing something to eat.
The cabbage was a nice add on to my usual menu of ground beef with veggies and fat!

The rest of the evening was comfortably spent lounging in the cabin, chatting with other guests and reading until I felt the definitive urge to retire to my tent.
I feel very pleasantly tired and relaxed, looking forward to another good nights sleep!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Cabin Host Series – Kaitumjaure 2017

Every cabin that is served by the Swedish Tourist Organization (STF) is hosted by one or more mountain cabin hosts working as volunteers to make you visit both safer and more pleasurable.
The series introduces you to some of these “heroes of the mountains”!
Meet Björn in Kaitumjaure:

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Cabin Host Series – Teusajaure 2017

Every cabin that is served by the Swedish Tourist Organization (STF) is hosted by one or more mountain cabin hosts working as volunteers to make you visit both safer and more pleasurable.
The series introduces you to some of these “heroes of the mountains”!
Meet Elias in Teusajaure:

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 9 – August 5th 2017

09:15 Camp at bridge over Tsiekkimjågåsj
Obviously I needed some rest – first woke up at 05:15 and basically just turned around to snooze for a few minutes… Next things I know it’s three hours later. I knew that I didn’t get enough sleep the night before yet this was still an unexpected treat to be able to relax and go back to sleep this deep. I’m so grateful that I left the old need to follow a plan and perform behind and am able to listen to the body and it’s needs.
I have just over 40km to Staloluokta and get there in two days easily regardless if I leave here an hour earlier or later.
Mosquitoes are slightly less aggressive this morning than last night, still I had my PF coffee in the tent and not outside. Weather is really nice, warm and with a very slight breeze that I actually would love to be a tad stronger to keep the mosquitoes at bay and help dry out the moisture from the tent.
I have no idea how far I go today, just motor on as I feel like. The trail is so friendly that I can let my mind wonder of and I’m still refining the workshop I started planning the other day. Stopping now and then for a few minutes to write something down also gives me natural short breaks during the hike.
It’s good to have no hurry, and no expectations – just letting the day unfold and go with the flow.
I’m grateful that my knee is feeling better and expect this soft and nice trail, and the natural stride I can keep due to that, to help it heal out even more!
Feeling energetic and strong, the load has become a lot easier to carry and the weight is less disturbing.
I still have to adjust the straps every few minutes as they are loosening up for every step. Hopefully this will lessen as the weight goes down, I just have to get used to it and contact Arcteryx for help when back home again. I guess they’ll simply have to replace all the straps and buckles as they become worn out by use!
19:35 Camp at Pårka, between Låddejåckå and Arasluokta
While taking down my tent a young German couple, Fina and Tom, passed by and asked if I had any mosquito repellent. Thankfully I hadn’t looked in the top of the backpack before I packed the medical stuff and had some extra. We then hiked together on and off until arriving Låddejåkkå where they decided to camp on the other side of the bridge. Especially Fina was pretty tired, not at all being used to mountain hikes.
Mosquito situation was gruesome, yet not as bad as the night before, and soon we reached higher ground and caught some wind. The weather was changing rapidly and we got a few showers and one longer downpour mixed up with enough sunshine to give the iPhone battery some charge.
The trail was beautiful and soft, just a little more challenging as it goes more uphill than the part between Änonjalmme and Gisuris.
Along the tour I remembered having an extra buckle for the hip strap and stopped to change that. What a difference not to have to close it tightly back up all the time because it opens itself…
At the same stop I also had a small snack despite not being very hungry, which is a great sign of nutritional ketosis, by the way. Still I feel I should eat something every now and then besides dinner, and I really want this backpack to get lighter.
Being first down to Låddejåkkå I made some tea for all of us and had a few Mac nuts while waiting for the other two.
This has been a little like a walk down memory lane for me, back when I started hiking in Lappland 1990, southern Padjelanta was where I first began and soon I worked myself north to this region. It must be close to 25 years ago I first hiked this trail and at some point during the day today I remembered a camp site that used to be a favorite back then, located between Låddejåkkå and Arasluokta.
I decided to see if I could find it, and this, together with the ridiculous mosquito plague in the valley, made me continue up the hill after crossing the bridge at Låddejåkkå.
Now, I got to the area, yet didn’t take the time to look for the exact spot as I saw rain clouds coming up from behind. I quickly found a really nice spot next to a stream, cleaned myself up in an icy little waterfall and got camp set up. About 15min after I got into the tent the next rain shower hit the tarp, so good to be dry and warm with dinner in my belly.
Still early evening and I think I’ll just sneak into my sleeping bag early and call it a day.
I did around 21km today and quite some of them uphill. Tomorrow there are around 20km left to Staloluokta where I want to spend the night and revisit the sauna. I remember that sauna as one of the absolute best I’ve ever enjoyed and want to see if that’s still true.
Walking the trail today reminded me of returning to places a last saw as a kid, after all my later experiences the mountains here don’t seem as high any more, and the ascents are less steep and shorter than I remember them.
I’m incredibly grateful that the original plan didn’t work out and that I get to experience this part of Padjelanta again instead!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes