Day 2: Nikkaluokta – Kebnekaise Fjällstation
Tour start in best mood and in best weather
After breakfast we clean up our hut, shoulder our backpacks and are ready to leave at 9:15 am. Start-selfie – do you see our joyful anticipation?
This is, by the way, the place where you could shorten a few kilometres across the lake by boat – which of course we don’t do:
By fair means means on foot!
Unfortunately, the picture also shows that we haven’t really arrived in the wilderness yet. The power lines actually go to the Kebnekaise mountain station, the hub for climbing the mountain on the normal route or east over the glacier.
We have picked up this story on a hut and now tried to verify with the support of the volunteer Lustwandler Swedish-German translator Ylva. There are estimates ranging from myth to fact, one theory I have found is that this mountain nearby originally bore the name Giebmegáisi and on a map from 1832 it was also so marked or even highlighted. Later cartographers might have made a mistake and assumed by the marking that the more important one – from their perspective the higher mountain and not the one with the special form – was highlighted. And so the highest mountain of Sweden today bears the name of a kettle/cooking pot and the smaller mountain (1662m) was simply renamed.
In the Swedish version of [Wikipedia] the Swedish National Encyclopedia is given as a reference. It states that the name Kebnekaise probably originally referred to today’s Tolpagorni, but the name was later transferred “for some reason” to the main massif, which until then had been called Passetjårro or Passevare. Tolpagorni is not mentioned by name on the general staff map of 1889, the name “Kebnekaisse” is written near the main massif.
The further way leads now along the Darfaljohka and then over a bridge. Straight on goes the path to Tarfalastugan.
The descent along the Šiellajohka on the steep mountain slope of Sinničohkka was a real challenge. The story didn’t sound as if it had to be copied, it was more like a hussar ride with risk of falling (they had heavy trekking luggage) and it took them a very long time for the descent.
We shared table with a Swedish couple who wanted to hike in a guided group over the Västra to Kebnekaise. She turned around after 2.5 hours, the speed of the group was too high for her, he reached the summit, but was very very tired.
Certainly a controversial topic, but I think that one should not always make mountains more accessible, each mountain has its own specific requirements for the mountaineers and if it is above your own level, you just have to find a mountain that is easier to climb. To simplify ways and to develop mountain tourism further and further I consider the wrong access [with the exception of fixed steel ropes at single exposed parts with risk of falling].
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