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Explore news Places: Kebnekaise, Sweden

Climbing on Sweden´s highest mountain within a Sun Living campervan


Camper vans continue to increase in popularity and the large supply makes the proportion of younger users increase. More and more families go mobile but also younger couples or friends who are involved in developing outdoor activities and sports are attracted by the combination Van + active vacation.

In this article we are moving with a Sun Living Van from Småland in south of Sweden to northern Lapland and we are aiming for Kebnekaise top, the tallest mountain in Sweden. We have chosen to drive a Sun Living Van to Nikkaluokta and then walk to Kebnekaise mountain station. There we live in tents and then try to reach the top some time for three days completely depending on the weather.

The Van we selected for this trip is a Sun-Living V60SP. It is well suited for the long transport stretches we are going to put behind us. For this type of mobile home there is a larger selection of accessories for transporting equipment such as bicycles, kayaking, windsurfing boards, etc. This, along with compact dimensions and a sensible operating cost, make it popular with active users, and many use it for everyday use as a second-hand vehicle.

Day 1
The traffic is flowing and we are moving at a fast pace. Stockholm is passing, a distance that usually feels slack but now only becomes a short stretch. After Uppsala, Gävle, Sundsvall and Härnösand we stay at the High Coast - the bridge for a icecream and beautiful view. If you travel with children there is an old game that they will try to hold the breath from one side to the other. Ask them try - unless you get to rest your ears for a while! Finally we arrive at the destination of the day, Luleå [ Luule ]. Here we stay overnight at camperarea a ”Ettans boat harbor” which has some 10 places right next to the water with electric pole and water hose right next to the Van.

Day 2
Early morning and we roll away with a view of Nikkaluokta, 70 kilometers west of Kiruna , a journey that will take us about 5 hours. In Nikkaluokta , the road ends and we park the Van.

We start our hiking after lunch. The distance is 19km and goes up and down but in total there is no major difference in height. However, it is uneven in the terrain and bitwise rocky. After 5km you can choose to go by boat. IT is not a shortcut, but you do not have to walk about 6km, which we still chose to do when some people think it's a cheat to use travel assistance.

We reach Kebnekaise mountain station at 19 o'clock and raise quickly our tent before the compulsory meeting with the guides at. 20. We have chosen to walk up the eastern side and then this meeting is required.

Day 3
We wake up to blue sky and sun. After a lighter breakfast and fully equipped we start off the mountain station. Our group consists of 9 people and 2 guides and everyone is now walking in a quiet but even pace. The first bit is easier walking slightly up. After a while, we approach the ”Storbacken”. The rule says that those who can not keep the group's pace must turn and this usually shows up here. The whole group is still along and we take a shorter break for drinking water. We pass ”Kebnetjåkkaglacier” and after a while we reach the front edge of Björling's glacier, 1500 meters above sea level. Here we stay and take the day's first lunch break and then put on our harness. The group is divided into two and are tied into ropes.

On the other side of the glacier we stop and unload the ropes. Now you have to put on the helmet and even cramons underneath the shoes for the best possible grip as it starts to get really steep!
At the end of lateral movement, the steepest part begins on the whole climb. It's a snowy wall where the feeling is that it is vertical. Well up above the wall everybody breathes out and now we get the feeling that this will probably go the way. A small comb at the top is the highest point and the feeling when you stand on it and lifting your eyes is phenomenal: WE DID IT!

Whichever way you look, you'll see mountains and valleys, but everything is further down, we're on top! After a few minutes of enjoyment and photography, we walk down from the top. Everyone is happy about the amazing experience you just had to come along in and in splendid weather, which is not very common as there are often fast weather conditions in the area .

Day 4
Really tired but after better sleep than the night before the clock rings at 06. Time to pack up and walk back to Nikkaluokta. We manage the distance of just under four hours, which we are very pleased because we have 15kg pack on our back. No, we did not take that boat either and, as proof of that, we photographed it on its journey towards the mountain station.

It was nevertheless pleasing to see the Sun Living Van in the parking lot. Off with all the equipment, damp clothes and change to dry soft clothes. We have 1650 km to drive so we roll away immediately. We choose to drive inland road home to see more parts of Sweden. Time-wise it only takes a couple of hours and the distance is basically the same, but we "avoid" highways. We pass the polar circle once more and the goal of the day is Dorotea.

Day 5
Early morning and we roll on. We continue south and finally we reach Jönköping and Tenhult. We note that our expedition was successful in all possible ways and what a wonderful trip we had with the weather and everything worked out fine. The choice of Sun Living Van was successful and the model fits very well for this type of travel.

Text & Photo:
Jonathan Larsson
Andreas Briland