In the middle of our Kungsleden adventure, we climbed Kebnekaise’s South summit. Kebnekaise mountain is a glacier and is poised to be the highest point of Sweden, at 2097 meters, although it is melting at an alarming rate because of climate change. It has nothing to compete with the Andes or Himalayas, but it is a nice challenge and features stunning views.
We started at 6:00am on the western route, which doesn’t require any special equipment and goes for 19 km back and forth. The climb starts slow but goes quite steep into the rocky face of a first mountain. There are snow crossings that can be tricky so it’s recommended to not go alone and be mindful with each step. It is quite a popular hike, so we saw many people on the trail and encouraged eachother.
Arriving to the summit was such a great feeling. There is an emergency cabin, and it is possible to climb until the very peak, being EXTREMELY careful since it is only snow and ice and falling could result in certain death. After basically crawling up there because I was terrified, we could see a stunning 360° view (a guide told us we could actually see up to 10% of all Sweden since the sky was so clear).
After reaching the summit, we had another 8.5 km to walk to go back to the Fjällstation at the foot of the mountain. Our knees and ankles hurt from the rocky trail but our good mood couldn’t be bothered. We finished the day with fresh beers in the comfort of the common room at the station’s hotel, already thinking of the next day when we would finish the last stretch of our adventure.