So Matilda and I started this trip in the end of April. Packing our car with skis and mountain bike equipment we headed for the northern parts of Sweden. One quick stop to get a good night sleep in Göteborg and leave the bikes for later and a second stop to pick up Calle and then to continue north. About 4.000 km later we arrive in Hemavan. We ended up in Hemavan mainly because of the weather forecast and in hindsight we made the right choice. Hemavan is a small town with everything you need but there is not to much happening there. We rented a hut 40km north of Hemavan in Vilasund which was an even smaller place consisting of about 10 houses.
This was better then we expected because all the nice peaks were more or less situated between Vilasund and Hemavan. So with no plans we just drove along the road and looked for peaks to hike. If we saw something interesting we parked the car along the road and started hiking to our destination. No map needed, no planning needed. It was more or less just to walk straight up since you more or less always see your goal in these kind of mountains. But don't get fooled, it is often further, bigger and steeper than you think. A lot of hikes ended up taking more than 4 hour to get to the top.
There are some big differences that are quite nice compared to the Alps. For example; You really don't have to think so much about the time. The sun sets at 10 o'clock in the evening so there is no stress getting up early, we actually started most of our hikes in the afternoon. The sun is also not so strong up here so you don't have to worry about slush avalanches. On the other hand it's not like you are going to find massive amounts of powder so far north. But with that said, the snow was great! 10cm of powder on the peaks followed by hard but very smooth snow further down. It was like riding a perfect piste in really playful terrain.
When we are on the topic of terrain all I can say you will not be disappointed. There are valleys, drops, couloir, sparse woods, jumps, transitions everywhere. Even if the steeper part are quite far up, the mellower terrain further down will not disappoint. It is perfect for playing around and surf all over the place.
We also got some company from Calle's friends, Jon & Johan. They stayed for the weekend in there own hut and had access to a snowmobile. This ferocious beast for a machine started with an "avgrundsvrål" and powered by the skills of Johan & Jon it took us further into the nomansland then we could ever imagine. It took us into a huge valley where there probably hadn't been a soul in centuries. My judgment might be a bit clouded of the heavy fumes from the scooter but that is what it felt like at least.
So once we decided for a mountain we parked the snowmobile and started walking. Yes that is right, you have to walk, you are not allowed to ride up on the peaks since most of them are nature reserves. But at least it helps you to get quite a bit away from civilization which is nice.
After a long day of hiking and a great run we headed back home for some beer, food, sauna and a bit of planning for the next day. Jon made a great veggie spaghetti bolognese that went down in a flush. After that we headed for the suna and 4 hours later we were all sleeping like "rocks" as we say in Sweden.
Two days later we are on our way home with some fantastic memories. Thank you Calle, Matilda, Johan & Jon for some great company. I hope to see you next year, this was a trip of a lifetime!
The camera used on this trip was the Nikon d810 with the Nikon 24-120 f4. It works great but I might try to find a lighter solution for next time. This was a bit on the heavy side when hiking 8 days in a row. But the alternative, Nikon d500 with the Nikon 16-80 f2.8-4 is quite expensive so I don't know if it is worth it. Maybe I find something else. Or maybe I just stick with what I got.