Camp at Kebnekaise Station
Woke up just before 6:30 as usual and enjoyed another slow and pleasant morning before everyone else camping around the shelter got going. Got slightly delayed by misjudging an incoming rain shower and having to wipe the tent dry once more, still I was on my way by 9:30 heading south on Kungsleden as I wanted to follow the trail up Singivagge this time to see what it looks like these days.
Soon I crossed the bridge over Singijåkka and immediately on the other side, followed the trail towards Singivagge. The trail is very clear and easy to find, follow and walk, first leading over soft ground and very pleasant for the feet, farther up the valley it gets increasingly rocky yet is still very well marked. Ascending past the ‘stonewall’ and seeing the meadows of Singivagge is always almost overwhelming, even knowing what it looks like, the beauty of this valley hits the eyes every time!
I just love camping on the soft grasslands of this place! Today I didn’t linger but immediately headed north along the western shore of the stream, looking for a good spot to cross. The stream was swollen from the rain and I had to be a little patient before I finally got over on the other side without getting my feet wet. The trail is continuously very easy to follow, people have really made an effort putting markers at regular intervals, some of them being real pieces of work. The ground gets increasingly stonier while the trail climbs up the valley and I was happy to be able to utilize a long stretch of snow to give my feet something softer for a little while.
Closing in on the last climb up to ‘Kaffedalen’ (Coffee Valley – the name points to this being the last point for a coffee break before going to the summit of Kebnekaise) the ground gets almost flat and there is an almost completely frozen lake among the snowfields. Following the markers for ‘Durlings led’ (Durling’s trail) I start climbing the north side of the valley while continuing the general move eastward. About halfway up the end of the valley, there’s a nice little stream with a beautiful small waterfall where I decide to stop for some tea and a snack. Just about five minutes after I got my tea ready, an ice-cold rain shower hits the mountainside and I packed up my stuff after a way too short break and continue the home. Soon I reached Kaffedalen, looked at the sky, and had to accept that the summit would be completely covered by clouds, and so I decided to turn southbound on the trail towards Kebnekaise station and skip the summit this year.
During the first stretch up Vierranvarri, I meet two guys, Thomas and Martin, and we hike all the way down to the station together. Turns out they went the 600km (about 400 miles) from Luleå to Nikkaluokta on bicycles before starting the hike to Kebnekaise. Pretty cool idea in my book! The trail downhill is partly very steep and sometimes really slippery due to lots of gravel and loose stones, it takes quite a bit of concentration at times. Farther down there have been people from Nepal building stairs into the mountainside and also a beautiful bridge out of stone over one of the streams.
Finally, the trail evens out far down in the valley and the last few km are really relaxed and pleasant to walk. Shortly before reaching the station I find an acceptable spot for my tent and make camp before heading for a longed-for shower!