/ King's Trail - Northern Sweden

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jlp on 21 Oct 2012
I am thinking of doing part of the King's Trail from Abisko to Kebnekaise, around Easter time next year.

There are maps and such available in the UK, but I am wondering which skis would be best? I have some Dynafit skis with Silvretta bindings so I can use plastic boots (mainly to keep my feet warm), or is it best to hire out there? Also has anyone any experience flying to Kiruna or best to fly into southern Sweden and enjoy an overnight train? All info and tips greatly appreciated.

Doug on 21 Oct 2012
In reply to jlp: The 'trail' is usually skied on XC gear, AT gear will be heavier & your skis won't fit any existing tracks
TobyA on 21 Oct 2012
In reply to Doug:
> The 'trail' is usually skied on XC gear

By XC gear I take it you mean touring gear of the leather boots/three pin binding types and probably metal edges? I've skied in Sarak, and IIRC part of our route was on the King's Trail, and I wouldn't have fancied doing it on my XC gear - i.e. track skis. Besides anything else we must have had 25 kg rucksacks at the start of the week. I was there for May Day, and by that point you had to carry your skis at some points in the valleys.

> your skis won't fit any existing tracks
And messing up the tracks is a big sin in the north, although I guess if some people are pulling sledges you won't get perfect ski tracks necessarily anyway.

Doug on 21 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA: Yep, XC as in 3 pin/leather (or similar) boots & steel edged skis (typically 50-60mm underfoot) (Nordic ski terminology is always difficult)
jamie84 - on 21 Oct 2012
In reply to jlp: We did parts of it a few years ago - a couple of us on tele gear and a couple on AT. We had big sledges as well as we were heading off trail into the wilds. There were never any decent existing tracks when we were there, occasionally a small rut where other sledges had been.

The guys using AT kit got fairly bad blisters - even if they're well fitted I think that kit is not the best for slogging horizontally for miles (the sledge might have made it worse). Tele kit seemed a good compromise between flat terrain and fun on the steeper bits!

To summarise, if you're just staying on trail, try and hire XC kit, will be far more comfortable. Some of the bigger YH's do this I think - perhaps the one near Kebnekaise?

I've only ever flown to Stockholm and then got the overnight sleeper up north, worked fine for us. Give us a shout if you have any other queries.
jlp on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to jamie84:
Was thinking of skiing from Abisko to Kebnakaise, with hopefully a finish up the mountain. If hiring kit it's the return of it which stumps me particularly if hired from Abisko. I'm sure hire in Stockholm would be better / possible?

Also did you take a tent or went for the huts and took a shovel in case you didn't make it?


HeMa on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to jlp:

Not sure if good kit is available that easily from Stockholm...

But I'm sure you can get the needed nordic fjelltouring rig from Kiruna (and without a doubt from Abisko Turistation). That way you can cover most terrain on something that is most suited for that. And if you fancy proper skiing in the Kebnekaise massif, you can rent proper AT (or telemark) gear from Kebne Fjällstation.

After Kebne, it's a ~20 km ski to Nikkaluokta, where a daily (once a day, I think) postal buss service will get ya to Kiruna.

From Kiruna, it's about an hours trainride to Abisko (to return the skis) and then the sleeper train back to Stockholm. If the timetables are messed up, you can always do an evening of off-piste skiing on Njulla (next to Abisko Turiststation, rent proper gear from the there) or perhaps even go all the way to Riksgränsen...

I'd bring the tent, as Easter is prime ski- and fjelltouring season there, so the huts migth be fully packed.
jim hughes - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to jlp: I live in Kiruna and having done the Kungsleden and many other journeys aroung here I would suggest a light touring ski (only slightly wider than a cross country ski) with a rottafella binding and a leather hiking type ski boot with square front.

It is amazing around here and I can really reccomend the area!
Anthony Ross on 24 Nov 2012 -
In reply to jlp:
I have skiied north from Bodo - Abisko and also south from Tromso to Abisko. Love the area.

Skiing is pretty easy - unless you head up the peaks. Nordic gear definitely recommended - think 20Km along a frozen lake before lunch!.

For hiring - I recommend Braemar Mountain Sports - hiring in the UK saves all the hasle of returning gear (and Braemar have good kit so it will be better suited to mountain touring) although you will have to then pay extra carriage on the flights.

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