Day 4: Sälka to Singi to Kebnekaise 25km – The King’s Trail (Kungsleden) – August 2018

It is winter cold today with strong winds. Temperatures are around 7℃ but with the windchill factor it feels a lot colder. I kept my wind jacket on the whole day and at lunch break I had to wear my puffy jacket. I was lucky that I had a cross tail wind so that I could manage with just a wind jacket and a base layer. I never used a 2nd layer on the whole trail but it was my sleeping shirt too so no harm done there.

Today starts with lots of the local wildlife scattered throughout the landscape. Several times I had to stop and admire these wild animals with the magnificent mountains in the background.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

I hadn’t planned to hike far today so I got up late and departed around 09:30 am. Singi is only 12 km from here. I continued south through the wide valley of Tjäktjavagge. Continuing besides the waters of Tjäktjajåkka I approach another reindeer fence. Then the trail takes me slightly uphill and then a little descent to the bridge across Guobirjohka. I stopped just before the bridge and then some nice Swedish people came by and took this photo for me below.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)
After the bridge and about a kilometer on wards there is a shelter and latrine. There are goods views here too. The trail then heads a little downwards and after that you come to a fork. From here you can walk to the right to Singi or go left to reach Kebnekaise fell station. This is a shortcut and I think that the sign read 14 km to Kebnekaise. It was around this area that I found a little protection from the Arctic winds while I stopped for some lunch below.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

After lunch I continued to Singi. The trail then climbs to a rocky ridge and then the Sámi village comes into view on the right. Not long after that you can see the Singi huts in the distance. (below)

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

When I arrived at Singi it was only 14:00 pm even though I departed late from Sälka. I thought a little over what I should do and then I decided to keep going to Kebnekaise. I still had a lot of daylight after all. From Singi the trail took me up to 640 m elevation and the view looking back, remember to always look back, was magnificent. But that was nothing compared to what came next. The below photo shows the view looking back at Singi after I passed through it and with a heading of 82º east I’m now walking towards Kebnekaise. The weather is fine at present time and I’m still wearing my wind jacket. No rain yet.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

After the climb from the Singi huts, about one kilometer,  you come to Lassajávri lake. There were some nice locations here for camping. I made a note of this for future hikes. I continued to climb gradually and at 800 m elevation the views were breathtaking. This is the western section of the valley below with high cliffs that just kept impressing me at every turn. It started to rain and I had to don rain gear. The weather changes from one moment to the next in these mountains.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

Through here between Singi and Kebnekaise, in my opinion, are the best locations on the whole trail from Abisko to Nikkaluokta to pitch a shelter where you can have the site all to yourself and enjoy the breathtaking views. If I was going to do this trail again then I would plan a pitch through this section, that is for sure!

I’ve nearly traversed the valley from Singi and I’m not far from Kebnekaise mountain hut (about 2 km) now. Looking back (below), this central section is the wide valley that I hiked through. A truly beautiful valley and I had her all to myself for most of the afternoon.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

After my climb through the Láddjurvaggi valley I reached the eastern part where the valley levels out. Now the trail climbs again over a giant ice formed rock slab. I continue on and these views below continued to impress me.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

It clears up a little and it stops raining. Finally, at approximately 18:00 pm the Kebnekaise fell station is in view.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

 

As I approached the huts I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed with myself and wishing that I had stopped in the valley a couple of kilometers back to camp. The camping sites around Kebnekaise were overfull, dull, depressing and gray. These were my thoughts at the time. I was defiantly not going to camp here. I decided to stay the night in the main mountain hut instead. I knew that I would regret that decision later but it is what it is. I checked in and then went to the restaurant and booked a seat for the main sitting at 20:30 pm. I had heard good reports about the food here.

With that done I found my bed and dropped off my gear and then hit the showers, which are cold by the way. Then I found the bar and a nice large beer. At 20:30 precisely all the staff come out of the restaurant main door and rang a bell signalling to everyone, that had booked a seat, that it is now dinner time. I enjoyed an excellent meal, smoked reindeer and all, good company and nice wine. After that I was ready for bed.

TO BE CONTINUED

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