So, that was that. All in all, a quite enjoyable experience; the weather conditions could have been more favorable, but you can never really expect anything – either way – when in the fjelds. In fact, there had been a humongous low-pressure region parked over all of Scandinavia for most of my trip, and Östersund had been having piss-poor weather pretty much all the time, so the northern fjelds actually got off rather lightly.
This was my first longer hike in the Lapland fjelds, so I was quite exhilarated beforehand to explore new territory. Indeed, the character of the landscape up there is in many cases fundamentally different from "down here"; in general, the Jamtland fjelds are not as high and jagged, and less often consist of broken rock. Consequently, I was offered grander vistas than I am otherwise "used" to – and more of them, at that.
Some points to note:
- I was a tad worried that my right knee would wreck things for me, as I had suffered an injury in it some weeks before. As a precaution, I bandaged it before setting out from Abisko, but it soon became evident that not only was it unnecessary, but it also produced unwanted side effects in the form of unequal distribution of strain, causing some minor ache in both the right calf and the left knee. I didn't use the bandage at all after that, and neither knee ever caused me any kind of grief for the rest of the journey – not even during the heavy climbs.
- The majority of people going about were Swedish, but foreigners were hardly lacking. Germans seemed to dominate among these, but other Scandinavians could also be readily detected. There were also a few of an origin that escaped me.
- The dinner buffet at Blåhammaren fjeld station is a notch or two above that of Kebnekaise (this also applies to the price).
- I had packed with great care, as it turned out: the only things I ended up not using, in one way or another, were the warm fleece sweater, the sunglasses, a spare memory card for the camera, and finally small amounts of lighter edible stuff. That's pretty darn good, actually.
- Looking at the map and drawing up plans is one thing, and executing them in the actual terrain is quite another – if there were ever any doubt about the validity of that statement, they have now been cleared. Still, my plan did hold almost all the way.
My equipment, much of which was new or almost new, performed admirably. I would consider a trip like this an adequate field test, so I reckon that it has now graduated, and may accompany me on many a trek to come. In fact, I am planning on returning to the Kebnekaise region later this autumn, just before the cottages close. But that will be the subject of another report...