On a rainy, dark evening, between to long work days, there’s nothing better than dreaming about what to do next year!
My goal is to go on one longer tour, outside of the dimensions of what I usually do. Most hikes I’ve done resume around a week or 100km, but I want to know how it feels to be on tour for a longer time and achieve something bigger. I don’t dare yet to put this tour into winter time and go on a long backcountry ski tour. It would feel like I’m not experienced enough when it comes to camping in the snow or dealing with a storm which forces me to dig a snowhole, to wait it out. I will definitely do a winter tour, but it will be something shorter and probably involve sleeping in huts.
For the summer I have had several ideas: Nordkalottleden, that goes 800km through Norway, Finland and Sweden, Gröna Bandet, from Grövelsjön in Dalarna to Treriksröset, the most northern point of Sweden, or even Norge på Langs.
Thoughts of the advantages or disadvantages of these tours so far: Nordkalottleden seems to be quite doable and I feel like I know the area already quite well. Part of it is the northern terminus of Kungsleden, the stretch from Abisko to Singi, about 100km. Another part of about 70km is shared with Padjelantaleden, which I hiked last summer. Overall the trail doesn’t cut straight through the landscape but wiggles around. The aim is not to come a long way from one point to another but to experience a lot of different places, switching from one country to another.
Here’s a map of Nordkalottleden
I think I would really enjoy this trail, at the same time it just doesn’t pose the adventure and challenge that Gröna Bandet or Norge på Langs, does. On these two trails you always know what you are going for: to cross the whole country, or at least the whole mountain range. I like this kind of feeling. It’s this possibiliy to complete something, to have finished something from the beginning to the end. I find this very satisfying.
Gröna Bandet (the green ribbon)
I just drew this line on the map to show more or less how it does look. It’s not a single trail designated as Gröna Bandet but there’s an abundancy of different trails, that one can make use of. So I could choose to take the easiest, quickest way through, or even do the whole Nordkalottleden on the northern end. Without taking any bigger detours the trip whould resume itself at about 1300 to 1400km.
There is an organized way to tackle this challenge, it’s basically a website where you sign up and have to go with a GPS so you can be tracked all along the way. You can find it on www.vitagronabandet.se
I’m not so sure yet if I would do that. On one hand there’s no real need to sign up for something like that, you can just do in on your own. On the other hand knowing that your blog is featured on their page and that they even follow you with facebook posts etc. can give that extra little pressure that one needs to make it through a tough day. Giving up gets a little bit harder.
When it comes to Norge på Langs this is the trail I know the least about. It’s really long.
Last summer I met a Swiss guy who was doing this hike and it kind of inspired me. According to www.norgepaalangs.info only 320 people have completed this trail, and that since 1951! Yes, that’s a real motivation.
I’m not sure how long it would take and I think it would be about twice as long as the hike through the Swedish mountains, so about 2600km. It should be doable in about 4 to 5 months I guess. This one I would definitely only tackle with a hiking partner. If you’re interested, just write me! 😉
Here’s apicture from the webpage I linked above, that shows how it could look: