A few tiny footsteps along Willem’s monstrous Scandinavian thru-hike

A few months ago I spoke already about Willem’s plan to start a very long thru-hike, crossing Scandinavia from the most southern point of Norway to the Nordkinn, the most northern point on the mainland of Scandinavia, a journey of about 2500km. His monstrous trip looks to me as the most interesting thru-hike to follow this year. If you don’t already know his Transscandinavia blog, throw an eye on it now! You can follow his actual progression on a map on its blog and follow him through his Twitter account.

Today Willem should be in Lindesnes ready to take its first footsteps on his immense long trip. When I take a look at his route plan his journey will cross or coincide with a few short stretches of 7 trips I did in Scandinavia in the past. I have been collecting several photos from my past trips here that will give you an idea of these coincident spots Willem will walk along.

The most southern area where I have been making a trip in Scandinavia is Jotunheimen. 2007 was a very wet summer in Norway and together with a lot of snow lingering from the preceding snow rich winter, I especially remember this trip as grey and wet with a lot of walking over wet snow. This summer is starting very rich in snow too this year and as Willem will even pass earlier through Jotunheimen than I did, the circumstances will probably at least be comparable as not to say worse then I encountered 5 years ago.

Uradalsvatnet
Uradalsvatnet (1316m) with Skarbottsnosi (1780m) on the left and Uranostind (2157m) on the right, July 12 2007. Willem will walk along the shore of this lake exactly as I did. On my trip the lake was still almost completely frozen and the ice was still thick enough that I just walked on the lake over the ice for a short stretch. It is very likely Willem will be able to do this on many lakes during the first weeks of his hike.

Vettisfossen Vettisfossen in Utledalen, with 275m Norway’s second waterfall in height, July 14 2007. Willem does not mention Vettisfossen in his route plan even though he will pass by very close. I’m curious if he eventually will make the short detour.

Utledalen
Deep incised Utledalen with its mouth into Årdalfjord in the background, July 13 2007. Willem will pass exactly on this spot too if he will climb Friken.

Skarvheimen
View over Skarvheimen, the area south of Jotunheimen with Utledalen on the right where you can see the mouth of the valley into Årdalfjord, seen from Friken (1503m), July 13 2007. On my trip I spent the night on the summit of this flat topped mountain. Willem undoubtedly has the same plan in mind if the weather will be good.

Bivak Friken
My bivouac spot in the ring of stones on the summit of Friken (1503m), Stølsnostind (2074m) in the background, July 13 2007.

Hurrungane
The highest peaks in the Hurrungane massif above the glacier Maradalsbreen as seen from Friken (1503m), July 13 2007. From left to right Store Skagastølstind (2405m), Vetle Skagastølstind (2340m), Sentraltind (2348m), Styggedalstindane (2387m) en Jervvasstind (2351m).

Skogadalsbøen
Skogadalsbøen (831m), a staffed mountain lodge in Jotunheimen, July 13 2007. Willem might buy some food here or read one of the many books from the book shelf as I did.

Utla
The swollen Utla river in Utledalen on one of the many days during my trip the rain just didn’t stop, July 17 2007. Hopefully Willem can pass here in more pleasant circumstances.

The second area where we will have common footsteps will be Dovrefjell. Here I made a snowshoe trip together with Veerle and Ivo two years ago. My companions and myself had to deal with snow storms during much of the trip and eventually we did not encounter musk oxen. I’m curious whether Willem will get the chance.

Dovrefjell 201003
Larstinden (2065m), Store Langvasstinden (2046m) and Drugshøi (1957m) in Dovrefjell and the snow covered lake Amotsvatnet (1301m) blending into the landscape, March 7 2010. Willem will be walking along the lake as he will not have its packraft along yet.

Dovrefjell 201003
View over the east ridge of Snøhetta (2286m) towards the summit of the highest peak in Dovrefjell, March 10 2010. If the weather will be fine Willem will climb Snøhetta over its north ridge and descend over the ridge you see here on the photo. During our trip the acceptable weather window was too short to try climbing to the summit.

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The view from below the east ridge of Snøhetta, March 10 2010.

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Ivo and Veerle looking around on our way to Stroplsjødalen, March 6 2010. Willem will pass here in the opposite direction heading for Kongsvold.

The area with the most common footsteps, it probably will not surprise, will be Sarek in Sweden as I have done several trips here. Here we are already north of the polar circle. For me Sarek looks like the most beautiful mountain area in the whole of Scandinavia and I wonder how Willem will experience this area compared to the rest of his hike. A few packraft and foot tracks will nearly coincide too in neighboring Stora Sjöfallets.

Sarek 2008
The meanders of the river Alep Sarvesjåhkå at the west end of the Sarvesvagge, seen from Tjågnårisvarasj (1207m), September 9 2008. Willem will walk down there below from left to right along the swamp to leave Padjelanta behind and enter Sarek through the Sarvesvagge.

Sarek 2008
The upper part of the Sarvesvagge with the snow capped mountain Ridatjåhkkå (1944m), September 9 2008.

Sarek 201009
The renvaktarstuga cabin in the Sarvesvagge, September 3 2010. The cabin was unlocked when I passed along here so I decided to spent the night inside. Maybe Willem is able to find shelter here too.

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Skajdetjåhkkå (1830m) seen from in the middle of the Sarvesvagge, September 3 2010.

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View into the Sarvesvagge from near Dielmajavrasj (1175m) with at the opposite side of the valley the north face of Nåite (1620m), the mountain which dominates the whole eastern half of the valley, September 3 2010. Willem will probably bushwhack along the opposite side of the river as this is the easiest side to hike through the Sarvesvagge.

Sarek 201009
Another view into the Sarvesvagge from Dielmajavrasj (1175m), now looking onto the peaks in the Gådok massif, September 3 2010.

Sarek 2008
On a nice autumn evening in the hart of the Sarvesvagge, September 6 2008.

Sarek 2008
Along the Sarvesjåhkå river in the Sarvesvagge with Nåite (1620m) and Luohttotjåhkkå (1875m) in the background, September 6 2008. Willem will probably walk exactly on the same spot along the river as the Sarvesjåhkå is not packraftable anymore after the melt peak of early summer.

Sarek 201009
View over Rapaselet in Rapadalen with Stuor Skoarkki (1591m) on the left, September 2 2010. On the right you can see the mouth of the Sarvesjåhkå into the Rahpaädno river. Willem will put in overthere and packraft the Rahpaädno over a short stretch to put out left of the big lake on the picture.

Sarek 201003
Almost the same view over Rapaselet and Bielloriehppe, now during winter, March 28 2010.

Sarek 201009
At the mouth of the Sarvesjåhkå into the Rahpaädno where I continued my journey over the water through Rapadalen just like Willem will be doing over a short stretch, September 13 2010.

Sarek 201009
The view you get through Rapadalen near the mouth of the Rahpaädno river into the large swamp of Rapaselet, September 13 2010. Willem will just continue over the water here.

Sarek 2008
Along the Rahpaädno at its mouth in Rapaselet with Bielloriehppe (1830m) towering above, September 1 2008. Willem will probably leave the river somewhere over here.

Sarek 2008
View through the woods onto the Rahpaädno river in the lovely birch forest down in Rapadalen, September 1 2008.

Sarek 2008
Rapaselet and the Bielloriehppe mountains (1830m), August 31 2008. Willem will be climbing here to leave Rapadalen for the Snavvavagge.

Sarek 2008
The Snavvavagge is an elevated valley in Sarek. You can see the mountain Låddebakte (1537m) on the left, the lake Snavvajavvre (977m) and the Ålkatj massif with its many glaciers, August 31 2008.

Sarek 2008
In the clouds from the summit ridge of Låddebakte (1537m), August 31 2008. This mountain is mentioned in his route plan too. Hopefully he will get the chance to see one of the most spectacular views you can get to see in Sarek from a mountain summit.

Sarek 2008
The spectacular view over Rapaselet and onto Bielloriehppe (1830m) from Låddebakte (1537m), August 31 2008.

Sarek 2008
Willem will take the faint path here which runs high above Rapadalen from the northwest end of the Snavvavagge, August 30 2008.

Sarek 201009
A bit further down the path he might be admiring this view over Rapadalen and the Rahpaädno river with in the background the east end of the Sarvesvagge and the Gådok mountains, September 11 2010.

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And when looking into the other direction from the same spot he will see the upper part of Rapadalen, September 11 2010.

Sarek 201003
The Pielastugan under Bierikbakte (1789m) on my ski crossing of Sarek, March 29 2010. Willem will be hiking here fluently over the tundra, probably the easiest hiking section on its entire route through Sarek.

Sarek 201003
The mountains of Ähpar and Skårki with the frozen lake Bierikjavrre (801m) below seen from Vuojnestjåhkkå (1952m), March 30 2010. When the winds will be good, Willem would inflate its packraft for a ride on the lake.

Sarek 201009
Paddling on Liehtjitjavrre (788m) while looking back to Ähpar in Sarek, August 31 2010. Willem has the intention to packraft this lake too as long as the winds will be his friend.

Sarek 201009
The mountain Ahkka from the Atjek lakes in Stora Sjöfallets during a beautiful red sunset, a view Willem might get to see also when he will pass along or packraft the Atjek lakes, August 28 2010.

Willem will cross the route I followed last year on my Sapmi trip 3 times in the area between Dividalen and the Finnmarksvidda plateau. My trip was walking deeper into the far north of Sweden in order to find an interesting river to packraft and to pull back northward again towards the three countries point between Norway, Sweden and Finland. From there I eventually was pulling east into Finland and packrafted a good stretch of the Poroeno river. Willem will pass here in a very straight line when viewed on the map in order to approach the Nordkinn as fast as possible. He has chosen the rivers Rommaeno and Lataseno instead. I wonder how these rivers will be experienced so late in the season.

Sapmi 201107
In the rain at Gappohytta at the Norwegian-Swedish border, June 27 2011.

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Climbing out of the birch forest above the Goldahytta, June 29 2011. Willem will be hiking here through the birch forest coming from the mountains around Dividalen in the background of the picture.

Sapmi 201107
The point where the borders of Norway, Sweden and Finland meet at the lake Golddajavri (493m), the mountain Barras (1419m) in the background, June 29 2011. Willem will definitely put his footsteps on these wooden boards too when he will visit the three countries monument.

Sapmi 201107
The huge Finnish lake Kilpisjärvi (473m), June 29 2011. Willem’s plan is to packraft this lake to Kilpisjärvi from the right to the left on the photo just like I did coming from the south.

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Saana (1029m) from the birch forest above Kilpisjärvi during the midsummer night, June 29 2011. Willem will hike along the footsteps of Saana fell, a holy mountain for the Sami.

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A pleasant stream in the birch forest near Kilpisjärvi, June 29 2011.

The last area where we might have common footsteps will be on the Finnmarksvidda plateau in Norway near Kautokeino. Unfortunately I can not show the place Willem will pass in pictures from my solo ski trip I did last year between Tromsø and Kautokeino as I got a broken camera during that trip. Anyway, the photo’s I’ve been showing here even don’t cover 1% of Willem’s entire trip. It speaks for themselves that he will have a trip of a lifetime and will see many more interesting landscapes on its hike then you see here. We will have to wait patiently until autumn for Willem to show his Transscandinavia thru-hike in pictures. As of today I will be tracking him daily on the map through his SPOT messages.

Sapmi 201107
The long reindeer fence on the Finnish-Norwegian border without end, July 2 2011. This is the west border of the Finnmarksvidda. Willem will be hiking and packrafting between the hills close to the horizon on the picture.

5 thoughts on “A few tiny footsteps along Willem’s monstrous Scandinavian thru-hike

  1. I recognise a couple of the places, but the quality of your photos is amazing, thanks

  2. Reblogged this on hannaswalk and commented:
    I have walked a lot in the mountains in Norway. Unforgettable experiences. Always with a lousy photographic technique and a bad camera. Now I can see how to immortalize special nature experiences :-) Many greetings Hanna

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