The Kebnekaise is Sweden's highest mountain with a height of 2117 m. The mountain region is very beautiful already from the distance, although Kebnekaise in the right part of this picture is obscured by clouds.
The STF Fjällstation Kebnekaise is situated at the foot of the mountains and is one of the biggest STF stations with about 400 beds. Many visitors take the STF Fjällstation Kebnekaise as a starting point for a tour to the summit, which seems to be very popular. Many have failed, waiting for better weather during the few days of their stay, as you can learn from the guest book of the fjällstation. Others begin or end a hike on the Kungsleden here. We have not been on the summit and we probably will not try it, but there are a lot of other interesting things to see in the surroundings. I give a few hints here, and I mention some prizes and schedules. All numbers refer to the summer of 1996.
To go to Kebnekaise Fjällstation with public transportation, you have to take the bus from Kiruna to Nikkaluokta. Bus departures in Kiruna were at 9:15, 13:30 and 16:15, and departures in Nikkaluokta at 10:45, 14:45 and 17:30, so it was possible to go to Nikkaluokta in the morning and spend a day in the surroundings.
From Nikkaluokta to Kebnekaise Fjällstation you have the choice between three possibilities:
- hike 19 kilometers on an easy trail,
- save some time and effort by hiking 5 km, do the next 6 km with a boat and hike 8 more km. There were seven boats per day in each direction,
- fly the whole distance with a helicopter. Helicopter times were 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., one tour was 380 Skr for an adult, 240 Skr for children 2-11 and 200 Skr for a backpack only.
On a short stay, you can at least have a look at the Ladtjovagge and a do a short hike on the Kungsleden. Possibilities for other day trips are a hike to Tarfala, which can be reached in 3 to 4 hours. You get up to 800 m to a beautiful glacier and lake. We hope to do that in one of the next summers. If you come in from Nikkaluokta for one or two days, you will of course hike in the Ladtjovagge. If you stay overnight, you should try the new sauna in the evening. We missed it last time, because we were too tired when we came in from the Kungsleden for one day, but it must be beautiful. And from the fjällstation in a twenty-minutes walk you can reach interesting blocks of rock near Elsa`s bridge in the Ladtjovagge.
It was strong wind at this day from the Ladtjovagge, and we observed the flights. When the helicopter took off, it moved in a curve and seemed to get additional speed very rapidly from the wind. But inside the helicopter, to my surprise, we did not have any feelings about the acceleration, it flew very quiet, and the pilot did not seem to have any stress at all.
Check the server of the STF (www.stfturist.se) for information on special activities in the Fjällstation. Kebnekaise Fjällstation has telephone +46 980 550 00 and fax +46 980 550 48, if you want to try a room reservation.