Skottinden Hiking Guide

Skottinden Lofoten Islands Norway

Photo: Reflection of Skottinden, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 2012

It’s another year and time for more mountain pages to be added over at 68north.com  The first for 2013 is Skottinden -CLICK HERE- to check it out.

Skottinden is one of those peaks that I’ve always thought about hiking up, likely due to its Matterhorn-like appearance, but never really got around to hiking.  Thanks to some young Germans at the hostel who had borrowed the book ‘På Tur I Lofoten’ – The best hiking guide for Lofoten Islands, though only in Norwegian, I saw where the route went.  And so, on one late September day about a month later, I found myself on the summit and watching sea eagles circle in the distance.

Skottinden Lofoten Islands Norway

Photo: Skottinden, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 2012

Ryten – New Mountain Hiking Guide

Ryten, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Lofoten’s northern coast from the summit of Ryten, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

New hiking guide for Ryten -CLICK HERE- 

Ryten is one of the last peaks in the northeast tip of Moskenesøya.  But the small mountain is better known for it’s spectacular views down to Kvalvika beach.  I now have a new guide up at 68north for hiking this scenic little peak.

This will be my last update at 68north for the year, I’ll pick things back up in January with a few more hiking guides and also some more general travel ‘itinerary’ type guides and so on.  I’m also going to really put some effort into writing some more photography-specific guides to each island which I can hopefully turn into some (free) eBook’s so you can download and take with you on your photo tour of Lofoten.  Only setback will be the design aspect, which I’m not so good at…

Looking down on Kvalvika beach from near summit of Ryten, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Spectacular Kvalvika beach seen from summit of Ryten, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Person stands under rainbow near summit of Ryten, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Summer rain and rainbow over Ryten, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Himmeltindan Hiking Guide – Lofoten Islands

View from summit of Himmeltindan

Photo: View from summit of Himmeltindan, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Oct 2012

There’s now a new hiking guide for Himmeltindan over at 68north.

-CLICK HERE-

The highest mountain on Vestvågøya, Himmeltindan is a steep hike up to the 931 meters of the south summit.  The higher north summit is closed to the public, as it is used as a military radar station.  And there is actually a tunnel/elevator running inside the mountain.  On the day I hiked the peak though, there were a few army dudes at the top who said I could hike over to the north summit as the radar was down for repair that day.  I may have been a bit unlucky with the light, but at least I got access to the highest part of the mountain.  If I was in the army, I think I’d take the elevator up there to watch the northern lights, would be a pretty awesome place!

Himmeltindan and Utakleiv Lofoten Islands Norway

Photo: Himmeltindan rises above sea at Utakleiv, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Oct 2012

Hoven – Lofoten Islands

Hoven mountain peak, Gimsoya, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Hoven rises above marshland of Gimsøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  October 2012

New hiking guide for Hoven -CLICK HERE- over at 68north.com.

Hoven is a small little peak/hill that rises alone out of the boggy flats of northern Gimsøya.  It makes a nice easy hike for those days when the weather isn’t the best but maybe you still want to get outside.  The low elevation means that the summit is usually below the clouds while the other higher peaks are concealed.  And the views aren’t that bad anyhow.  Would actually probably make a good place to watch the northern lights from as you get a true 360 degree view without much effort…

Also…  I’ve already posted links to the full galleries here, but again, at 68north.com I’ve added two new galleries for my summer and autumn trips.

-CLICK HERE- for summer Lofoten photos

-CLICK HERE- for autumn Lofoten photos

Kungsleden Trail Autumn Photo Gallery

Kungsleden trail hiking sweden

Photo: ‘Mountain sidewalk’ along the Kungsleden trail, Sweden.  September 2012

I’ve added a new gallery of images from my mid September hike on the northern section of the Kungsleden trail – from Nikkaluokta to Abisko.  In a few more days I’ll hopefully add a more detailed writeup about the whole journey.  But other than getting a bad cold halfway through, I had much better conditions than my previous hike in 2009; even some days where I could hike in a t-shirt, something I never thought possible!

–CLICK HERE– to view photo gallery from September 2012.

lake Radujavri along Kungsleden trail, Lappland, Sweden

Photo: Evening comes to lake Radujavri, Kungsleden trail, Sweden.  September 2012

 

Alisvaggi, Kungsleden trail, Lappland, Sweden

Photo: Incoming storm over Alisvaggi, Kungsleden trail, Lappland, Sweden.  September 2012

 

Lofoten Islands – Horseid Beach Hiking Guide

Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Over at 68north.com I’ve just added a new hiking guide for Horseid Beach -CLICK HERE- to check it out.

One of Lofoten’s most scenic beaches, it is also one of the least visited.  The short article provides info on getting to Horseid via the ferry from Reine as well as a few suggestions as to the best places to camp.  Also a few more photos as well…

Tent camping at Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Wilde camping at Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Kvalvika Beach Hiking Guide

evening twilight at Kvalvika beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Late summer twilight, Kvalvika Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Over at 68north.com I’ve written a new hiking and camping article for Kvalvika Beach -CLICK HERE-  to check it out.  I intend to put a fair amount of effort into 68north.com over the next few months.  I’ll still probably cross post some stuff here on this blog (otherwise I’d have nothing to post), but I hope things start to pick up a bit over there and I intend to make it the best English language guide for Lofoten photography and travel – if it is not already despite the fact that it gets no traffic.  I still have plans to write an eBook or two for Lofoten, but I’m sure as soon as I do someone will come out with something better anyhow as it seems Lofoten is starting to get on the radar of quite a few more photographers latelty.  Maybe it’s time to go buy a horse and wander around Kazakhstan for a couple years…

Kvalvika beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Group of Three, Kvalvika Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Aggenstein – Germany

Aggenstein, germany

Photo: Moonlight silhouette of Aggenstein from Ostlerhütte, Allgäu, Germany. Oct 2012

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, You’d know that I was cruising around the Alps for a week.  And a week of absolutely fantastic weather it was.  If I actually had any idea of how good the weather turned out to be, I would’ve skipped renting a car and just done some long hut tours in the mountains.  But anyhow, I still stayed a few nights in the mountains in the Allgäu and Berchtesgaden regions.

 

Aggenstein, Germany

Photo: Climber on Aggenstein with Tannheimer Tal (Austria) in background, Allgäu, Germany.  Oct 2012

A Few Kungsleden Trail Photos

Kungsleden hiking trail sweden

Photo: Kungsleden Trail, Sweden.  September 2012.

I’m back on the Lofoten Islands now after having finished the northern section of the Kungsleden trail in Sweden; starting in Nikkaluokta and finishing in Abisko.  Overall the trip was fantastic.  Some days of bad weather which is to be expected, but also some amazing days as well.  I even found myself hiking in a t-shirt at some points, a far different experience than my last time on the trail in 2009.  I was even happy, and to my great surprise, to meet a few readers of my blog out there.

If you are looking for more info on hiking the Kungsleden trail in autumn, I have a more detailed writeup -HERE-

I’ll make a full writeup of the trip later on when I have a bit more time.  The weather here in Lofoten has been surprisingly good as well this autumn so I’m out and about more than I had planned.  So for now just a few photos…

Kungsleden hiking trail sweden

Photo: Afternoon sun, Kungsleden trail, Sweden.  September 2012

 

Kungsleden hiking trail sweden

Photo: A moment of sun between the rain, Kungsleden Trail, Sweden.  September 2012

 

Kungsleden hiking trail sweden
Photo: Mountain sidewalk, Kungsleden Trail, Sweden. September 2012

 

Kungsleden hiking trail sweden

Photo: Afternoon light, Kungsleden Trail, Sweden.  September 2012

Hiking Gear Packlist For Lofoten Islands Norway and Kungsleden Trail Sweden

Lofoten Islands Norway mountain camping Reinebringen

Photo: Camping on Reinebringen, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  July 2010

Backpacking gear 2012

Photo: Backpacking gear 2012

Backpacking gear list for travels to Lofoten Islands, Norway and hiking the Kungsleden trail, Sweden.

Here’s a quick rundown of the gear I’m taking with me on my travels this year.  First part is 2 weeks of late summer on the Lofoten Islands – a mixture of camping and hostels.  Next is camping at a festival in Germany for a few days.  This is followed by 10 days of hut-to-hut hiking on the northern section of the Kungsleden trail in northern Sweden.  Then I’m back to the Lofoten Islands again for another 2-3 weeks of chasing autumn storms; I’ll probably mostly stay in hostels this time around, but maybe a night or two in the tent if I get a good forecast.   Finally I’ll slowly head south. I’ll probably hang out in Stockholm for a few days and then head down to either Germany or Poland for a few weeks before flying back to the UK.

1 – Backpack
Golite Odyssey – 1.6kg/47oz – 90 Liter

2 – Clothing
Shell Jacket – Mountain Hardwear Trice jacket 489g/17oz
Shell Pant – Marmot Minimalist pant 292g/10.3oz
Insulation 1 – Patagonia R2 fleece 371g/13.1oz
Insulation 2 – Patagonia Ultralight down shirt 167g/5.9oz
Pants – Mountain Hardwear Nima pant 607g/1.5lb
Shorts
T-shirt – 2 cotton, 1 synth
Socks – 3 pair
Underwear – 3 pair
Gloves
Beanie
Sandals (for hostel showers)
Shoes – Montrail Mountain Massochist II Outdry

I’m trying something new with clothing this year.  I probably have mentioned several times that I don’t really like hard shell jackets, as I often get way too hot in them until the temperature drops a few degrees below freezing.  But from my wet, cold, snowy, windy experience on the Kungsleden trail in the autumn of 2009, I think a shell jacket will make sense (of course with my luck, every day will be 15˚ C and sunny.  Not that I would complain!)  My reasoning is along the lines of: Most days I will need to wear a fairly weather resistant jacket while hiking.  If I were to wear something like a soft-shell or Marmot DriClime windshirt, I would still need to carry a rain shell anyhow, albeit a light one.  So I might as well just hike a heavy duty rain shell and avoid carrying the extra couple hundred grams of a second jacket.

I’m also going without a second pair of ‘normal’ pants, instead taking only a second shell pant.  This will also help to save a bit of weight.  For my normal day to days pants, I chose something a bit warmer, so again, I hope I don’t overheat.

For footwear I’m going with waterproof trail runners.  It’s possibly a bit risky and I’ll likely end up with some wet feet at a few points, but since I’ll probably be staying most nights in the STF mountain cabins, and with a warm fire to dry everything off, I don’t think it will be a problem.  If I knew I was going to be in a tent the whole time, I would definitely take a lightweight waterproof boot or mid level shoe.

3 – Sleeping
Tent – Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum 992g/35oz
Sleeping Bag – REI Sub Kilo -7˚C/20˚F  820g/29oz
Pad – Thermarest NeoAir 397g/14oz (old version)

The only new addition here is the tent.  It’s 2 person and lighter than the old 1 person tents I used to carry.  And costs a hell of a lot of money!  The sleeping pad is a bit heavier than if I were to take a foam one, but the savings on space, as well as added comfort, is worth it for me.  The sleeping bag should be plenty warm.

4 – Cooking & Food
Stove: Primus TiLite + Titanium pot (.9l) – 9 oz.
Water filter – Katadyn mini
Food
Fork and Spoon

5 – Trekking Poles
Black Diamond Ultra Distance 297g/10.5oz

6 – Hygiene
Toothbush/toothpase
Camp soap (multi-use)
Camp towel
Hand cleaner
Deodorant (only because I feel sorry for anyone who has to sit next to me on a train/bus/plane if I haven’t showered in a few days)

7 – First Aid Kit

8 – Rain Cover

I’ve also made these gear list for the past couple years:

-CLICK HERE- for my list from 2010 for a few weeks in Lofoten Islands and central Norway in summer.
-CLICK HERE- for my list from 2011 Autumn/Winter in Lofoten Islands and northern Europe. It was similar to this trip but with more time in cities and no long distance hiking.

Reindeer in mountain landscape, Kungsleden trail, Lapland, Sweden

Photo: Reindeer, Kungsleden Trail, Sweden.  September 2009