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 (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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.