Kings Trail Arctic Snowshoe
In the extreme north of Sweden, 180kms inside the Arctic Circle hides the last remote wilderness in Lapland. Arriving here you will experience the unique home of the Sami people and Kungsleden, the “Kings Trail,” an expansive landscape of birch forests, stunning glaciers, powerful rivers and the highest mountains in Sweden.
Your winter snowshoe expedition begins in Abisko, home to one of Sweden’s oldest National Parks. Abisko is also famous for being one of the best places on earth to view the Aurora (Northern Lights). You will average 14km a day trekking through a spectacular and ever changing landscapes. Each night will be spent in remote artic mountain huts, were you can enjoy a sauna at the end of perfect day of snowshoeing in the Arctic Circle.
This is the perfect opportunity to be an Artic explorer as you will be self-supported, carrying all our own kit of around 12-14kgs for the entire route. A good level of fitness is required and previous trekking experience would be beneficial for you, however you do not need any snowshoeing experience as training will be provided.
Included in the price of the trip
All transfers in country
2 night’s high standard hostel accommodation
4 night’s mountain hut accommodation
Qualified UK Mountain Leader
Qualified Swedish Mountain Guide
Satellite telephone, VHF radio back up
Sauna in Alesjaure and Sälka
Safety equipment and first aid provisions
15% discount voucher for Cotswold Outdoor
Not included in the price of the trip
Flights to and from Kiruna
A private transfer will take you from Kiruna Airport to Abisko, which takes approximately 1.5 hours. After checking in to your room you will meet your Swedish Mountain Guide who will provide you with a full briefing of your adventure that lies ahead. Later in the evening a 3 course dinner will be served in the restaurant. Our Lodging in freshly renovated 4-bedded hostel rooms with shared bathroom. Time permitting, we may have the opportunity for an optional trip to the Abisko Sky station to view the Aurora.
After breakfast you will be issued with your snowshoes and we will head out to explore the Abisko National Park directly from the Mountain Station. This is a perfect time to try out your personal equipment and learn the technique of snowshoeing. After 2-3 hours of walking you will return to the Mountain Station for lunch. Following lunch there will be an exciting 35km transfer by snowmobiles to the high mountains and your cabins at Lake Alesjaure which will take around 2 hours. That evening, your lodging will be in mountain dorms with either gas or wooden fire heating plus there’s the chance to enjoy a sauna in the Swedish highlands. Any kit not needed for the snowshoe hike can be sent to the trailhead in Nikkaluokta.
3hrs trekking approx. 6km
This is the start of your King’s Trail challenge! The first part of today’s leg takes you along the frozen Alesätno River with steep mountain walls rising more than 1000 meters. The valley will narrow as you start the climb up towards the Tjäktja mountain-cabin. You will cover a distance of 13km through the awe-inspiring landscape gaining 200 metres in altitude. Lodging will be in mountain dorms with either gas or wooden fire heating.
6hrs trekking approx 14km
This morning your climb continues before you cross over the Tjäktjapass at 1140 metres. The Tjäktjavagge valley opens up below with incredible views across the Arctic landscape. You will then slowly descend to the STF cabins at Sälka, with another chance to have a mountain sauna in the evening! Lodging will again be in dorms with either gas or wooden fire heating.
5hrs trekking approx. 14km
Today the trail takes you to the cabins at Singi which are surrounded by very steep mountain sides escalating more than 1000 meters around you. You will trek through the ore of the arctic landscapes covering 13 kms of mountain valleys which lead up to incredible glaciers. This will be your final night of lodging in mountain dorms with either gas or wooden fire heating.
5hrs trekking approx. 13km
Your final day in snowshoes will take you to Kebnekaise Mountain station which is the base of the highest mountain in Sweden. This is the heart of Swedish alpinism with astounding arctic views throughout your 14km trek with an altitude difference of + 150 metres, – 150 metres. It is the perfect way to complete your artic adventure. Arriving at your accommodation you can take a well-deserved sauna and shower before a celebration dinner at the restaurant that evening! Your lodging will in 4-10 bedded rooms.
6hrs walking approx. 15km
After breakfast at Kebnekaise, we have a 1-hour snowmobile transfer through 19km of the frozen Valley of Ladtjovagge to the trailhead at Nikkaluokta. You will then be transferred to Kiruna Airport, which will take approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.
Weather & Safety
The weather in Lapland from March to April is generally stable. Because of its continental, dry climate, the Lappish cold is more bearable than in Western Europe. You can expect temperatures from -5 to -15 degrees during the evening and from -3 to -10 during the days with clear skies. The Mountain Leader reserves the right to change the itinerary at any time should the conditions require it. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best alternative arrangements possible that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.
This is an expedition style trek, where you will be expected to take part in cooking meals and helping with the general smooth running of the challenge. You will work as part of a team with your fellow artic trekkers and share a once-in-a-lifetime remote winter expedition.
During this trip the group will spend 2 nights in high standard hostel accommodation, whilst on trek we will be staying in remote mountain huts. The beds are fitted with mattresses, pillows and blankets. The cabins are of a basic standard and there is no electricity or running water. We all help each other with the domestic duties, cleaning, cooking, doing the dishes etc. Wooden fires or gas heats the cabins. The cooking is done on gas-stoves. The mountain hut between have 20-78 beds. (Rooms with 4-10 beds, male/female mixed). An essential part of your expedition is participation in camp chores. It’s all part of the artic adventure and if everyone puts in little effort it will really help the trip to run smoothly.
Breakfast: Porridge or cereal with dried fruit
Lunch: Hot soup with bread and cheese or reindeer meat.
Dinner: A hot meal is cooked every night for example meatballs and rice with fruit salad for dessert. We will also have the opportunity to eat traditional Sami cuisine, reindeer meat with lots of butter. Please let us know in advance if you have any specific dietary requests.
This trek does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.
Passport and Visa
A passport with 6 months remaining validity is required. Visas are not required by UK or EC passport holders. Other nationalities should check with the Consulate in their own country.
It is a condition of joining this expedition that you are insured against medical and personal accident. We will require documentary evidence of your insurance prior to departure. We also recommend that you enrol with Global Rescue prior to embarking on your trip (optional). Global Rescue is the world’s premier provider of medical & security advisory and evacuation services.
All our guides are first aid trained and carry fully equipped medical kits for serious medical emergencies.
To complete the Kings Trail Trek comfortably, it is preferable that you have previous experience of long walks in varied and irregular terrain carrying a 45 litre day-pack. The walking is not dangerous or technically difficult, but you must be a confident walker with a good level of fitness in order to manage the sections of ascent and long duration of the trek, combined with carrying your backpack every day. During the expedition you will be required to carry your sleeping bag, packed lunch & snacks, drinking water, wet weather gear, additional warm layers, head torch and personal items. You will also be given a snow shovel and emergency shelter which will be split between two.
Due to the unpredictability of the climate in the Arctic Circle, you will need to be prepared for walking in all conditions, as the weather can change extremely rapidly, making clothing and footwear choices important. The regions we visit on the trip are very remote and you should be prepared to spend time in areas where facilities and services are limited.
How to book your challenge
You will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of £220.00 at the time of booking.
It is possible to reserve a place on this challenge by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, however you will need to pay your deposit of £220.00 to confirm your place on this trek together with completing a booking form.
The full balance is required to be paid no less than 4 weeks prior to departure.