Padjelantaleden Sweden - Hiking From Kvikkjokk to Ritsem

New Ebook – Padjelantaleden Hiking Guide

Padjelantaleden - Sweden: 140km from Kvikkjokk to Ritsem

I’m happy to announce the release of my 7th ebook:

Padjelantaleden – Kvikkjokk to Ritsem

The ebook is a hiking guide to Sweden’s Padjelanta trail, which runs 140 kilometers from Kvikkjokk to Ritsem, through the heart of Padjelanta national park – Sweden’s largest.

The ebook contains 5 chapters. The first include detailed planning, travel, and equipment guides. While the final chapter is a hut to hut guide covering 10 days of hiking over the 140 kilmoters of trail.

In total the ebook is 140 pages long and contains 92 images.

Available for download now for $10 (+VAT in EU)

Padjelantaleden Sweden - Hiking From Kvikkjokk to Ritsem
Kungsleden South - HIking From Kvikkjokk to Hemavan

Kungsleden South ebook update – 2nd edition – Kvikkjokk to Hemavan

Kungsleden South - HIking From Kvikkjokk to Hemavan

I’m happy to announce the second edition of Kungsleden South ebook. Now covering the southern 260km of trail between Kvikkjokk and Hemavan – and the whole of the Kungsleden if combined with Kungsleden North – Abisko to Kvikkjokk.

You can find the ebook here: KUNGSLEDEN SOUTH – Kvikkjokk to Hemavan

From the first edition which only covered the final section of the trail between Ammarnäs to Hemavan, I have added the 180km section between Kvikkjokk and Ammarnäs, now completing the trail.

The ebook itself has now nearly doubled in length, coming it at 159 pages with 139 images and over 16,000 words.

If you have already purchased the first edition, then you will receive an email to download this new edition.

This has been a long overdue hole that I had planned to finish for several year. However, despite my best efforts, I was never able to find a hiking partner, which makes my trips much more productive photographically, as well as fun. But finally this year I decided it was time to head back to Sweden, even if solo. And so in September I finally completed the missing section from Kvikkjokk to Ammarnäs over 9 days.

And it wasn’t just the Kungsleden I visited this year. In July I hiked the nearby Padjelantaleden. The first English language hiking guide to that wonderful trail is already in progress and will hopefully be completed before the new year. And I’m already planning a second hike of the trail for September 2020 – Autumn is always my favourite time in Swedish Lapland! And I have to say, the mosquitos were too ferocious for me in July! I’m never going back to Sweden in summer! So keep an eye out here for updates in the near future…

Ebook Update – West Lofoten Hikes 2nd Edition

With summer just around the corner, I’ve made a small update to my ebook: West Lofoten Hikes

Main new content is 3 new mountain routes: Andstabben, Tindstind, and Fuglhuken – all located on Moskenesøy. And then a few minor grammer corrections and other things to try and keep the guide as fresh as possible.

Anyone who has purchased the previous version will get an email for a free download of the new edition.

If you haven’t bought the book yet, then CLICK HERE 🙂

EBOOK - Kungsleden South

New Ebook – Kungsleden South

EBOOK - Kungsleden South

I’m happy to announce that my 5th ebook is now available: Kungsleden South – Hiking From Ammarnäs to Hemavan

Now available for $7, this guide covers the southernmost section of Sweden’s Kungsleden trail.

CLICK HERE for more info.


Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

Kungsleden Trail 2015

Six years since I first started walking south from Abisko through the autumn forests and arctic tundra of Sweden’s Kungsleden trail, I will be making the journey again. This time I will be part of a team of four, and our goal, Hemavan, 440 kilometres to the south.

The team will consist of me, Cody – the photographer, my partner Justyna – the blogger, and the traveling couple of Theo – the filmmaker, and Bee – the writer, the duo behind I met and briefly traveled with them on Lofoten last year and they were also the first visitors at my new flat in Germany in May, as they were making their way home from a year on the road in Europe in their, can you guess, VW van.

Theo and Bee have also recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them get some necessary gear for the trip. Often with a week+ between power, the trip is going to require a lot of batteries and memory cards. They are also giving away some prizes, so go check them out.

Unlike the last few times in which I have visited the Kungsleden, during which I also combined with visits to other areas of Scandinavia/Europe, this trip will be dedicated to the trail alone. This is one of the reasons I moved to Germany in the spring, so I could focus better on the individual projects I have planned, as I have gotten a bit weary of the 3-6 month backpacking trips as my 30th birthday drifts further into the past.  This also gives me the benefit of being able to pack lighter, as I don’t have to worry about splitting my time on the trail and in cities/hostels.

September 2nd will be the day we head south, into the wilds of the Swedish arctic, hopefully with the sun bright overhead. Well, hopefully anything but rain really; I’m from California, I don’t like rain. I have hiked this northern section of the trail twice, but it is a landscape that I don’t think I will ever tire of, especially in autumn when the trees are golden yellow and the tundra foliage a mix of oranges and reds. If all goes well, we will find ourselves reaching Hemavan around four weeks later.

Many of you reading this are probably familiar with my website, focusing on Norway’s Lofoten Islands. I was a bit hasty when starting the site in 2010 and was a bit small in my focus. Even though Lofoten was, and still is, one of my biggest interests, I have long had plans for something more. A bigger photography and hiking site dedicated to all areas north.

Like Lofoten, the more time I spend in other parts of the northern Scandinavian landscapes, the more I know I will return again and again. There is simply so much out there to see and walk. If I’m lucky in life, when I’m 60 years old, I’ll be like one of the old German guys I often meet wandering alone on the trail. With stories about the autumn of 1980-something that was so warm they spent 2 weeks in a t-shirt, or the cool summer when they were still in knee-deep snow in July.

And so choosing the Kungsleden this year will be the start of another project set to keep me occupied in my spare time over the following years, in which I’ll hopefully be able to add another Scandinavia region to each year. Keep an eye out in the autumn for a new website…

As my gear lists always seem popular, HERE is what I will be carrying on the trail this year.

Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

2015 Gear List

Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

Photo: Hiking the Kungsleden trail in autumn, September, 2012

I’ve now added a new hiking – backpacking gear article for my 2015 hike on Sweden’s Kungsleden trail. While there are a few updates from the last couple years, as I’m planning to hike the entire 440 kilometers of the trail, I’m using a lot of my tried and trusted gear from the last few years. Nothing new or experimental this time.

You can checkout the 2015 gear guide HERE.

X Journey Magazine 2015

Kungsleden Article In X Journey Magazine

X Journey Magazine 2015

In the 2015 issue of X Journey magazine is a 13 page article (+ photos) written by me about hiking on Sweden’s Kungsleden trail.  You can find more info about the article on their blog HERE.

You can also find an online supplement to the article and many images on HERE on ISSUU

This is the 2nd edition of X Journey, a beautifully printed and wonderfully thick yearly magazine focusing on hiking and travel. Published in Germany, all articles are bilingual in German and English.

You can find out more about the X Journey HERE or follow them on FACEBOOK.

X Journey Magazine 2015

Photo: Cover of X Journey magazine 2015

Silhouette of person watching Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis over coastline, Austvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Interview on Routes North Website

Hiking Kungsleden trail in Autumn, Sweden

Photo: Rainy days on Sweden’s Kungsleden Trail

There’s an interview with me now appearing over on the Routes North website.

Check it out HERE

It’s mostly about travel and photography in Scandinavia and how someone from California has ended up spending so much time in the north.

Routes North is a travel website focusing mostly on Sweden and Scandinavia.

Markan, Lofoten Islands, Norway

New Lofoten Mountain Hiking Pages

Markan, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Sunset over Kråkhammartind from the summit of Markan, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  September 2014

I’ve added a few new mountain hiking routes from my September trip on the islands.

Markan – Moskenesøy

Munken – Moskenesøy

Stornappstind – Flakstadøy

I still have a couple more mountains to add as well, but time is going to be tight, with a little less then a month before I’m returning to Lofoten again to co-guide a photo tour with Muench Workshops.  I’m hoping to have the time to write up a few posts about my autumn travels, particularly about the sailing trip, which was fantastic!  But I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get around to it, so things might be a little quiet around here for a while.  Though most of the next couple weeks will be spent working on something cool, and if I can finish in time, then it should more than make up for my lack of posting here…


hiker crosses snow near summit of Koscielec (2155m), Tatra mountains, Poland

Poland – Tatra Mountains – Part 2

hiker crosses snow near summit of Koscielec (2155m), Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: Nearing the summit of Koscielec, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  May 2014

Perhaps there had been too many beers Friday night in Zakopane, so it was a slow start to get moving on Saturday morning.  Eventually the four of us were loaded into the car and on the way to the trailhead for the Five Lakes Valley in the Polish Tatra mountains.

Some roadworks led to some detours which extended the drive time.  But at some point we decided to call the hut to make sure there was room.  It was May, early in the season and a questionable weather forecast, but better to be safe.  At some point in the last year or so, rules changed in some of the huts: from – always having space, even if you sleep in the dining room, to – hut is full, you need to have a room.

Pulling off the road in one of the few places with phone reception, we finally contacted the hut. Full.  Shit!  Next try was to Morskie Oko hut.  Also Full.  Double shit!  There went those plans.

Having a map with me, I suggested we try Murowaniec hut, located on the ‘front’ side of the mountains, a few hours hike above Zakopane.  Luckily there were beds available.  And so a couple hours after we left Zakopane, we were driving back into the town to begin our hike.

The suspect weather had cleared into a nice sunny day by the time we finally got onto the trail, well, more of a fairly well worn path through the forest – the Tatra are a popular hiking destination.  Sometime afternoon we finally arrived at Murowaniec hut to a scene I am familiar with from hiking the Alps, benches of people sitting in the sun eating home cooked food with a glass of beer or two.  The food did smell good, and we were hungry, so after checking into our room for the night, we were ready to get something to eat.

Never having been to this part of the mountains, I wasn’t really sure what to do with the remainder of the day.  I had been up on Kasprovy Wierch, so wasn’t really interested in hiking up there again, and it looked really crowded up on the ridge anyhow.  There was still a lot of snow in all the gullies, so without winter gear we had a fairly limited list of possibilities.  I pointed out an interesting looking peak above the hut, but it turned out not to have a trail to the summit, so a fairly difficult bushwhack through the dense dwarf pines would have been required.  FInally, Jack pointed towards a tall, and from our angle, quite steep looking mountain, the 2155 meter high peak of Koscielec.

Still with a few spiderwebs of snow covering the face, it seemed like the best option, or at least we would go as far as we could.  Backpacks bag on – overnight stuff – we hit the trail in mid afternoon.

While I appreciate the wilderness we have in the mountains of California, sometime I like being able to hike, for the sake of hiking.  This is the experience in the Polish Tatra mountains.  Criss crossed with a seeming endless series of sign posted trails, all are well build and maintained, something like mountain sidewalks.

After an hour or so of hiking we reached a small pass at the base of the mountain.  The angle didn’t look too bad anymore, but I could tell we’d have a few sections of snow to negotiate.

The next hour was spent going up, up, and a bit more up, as the trail wound its way higher on the mountain.   For the most part the route was simple going, with maybe a short scramble here and there.  And of course, ever improving views as we came closer to the summit.  It had been t-shirt weather thus far, but the winds picked up as we neared the summit so it was back into a fleece again, which was good, as I was probably getting pretty sunburnt anyhow!

About five o’clock, with the sinking afternoon sun we arrived at the summit.  Wonderful views in every direction, but especially towards the 2301 meter peak of Swinica, still covered with a healthy layer of snow.

We took our time on the summit as the weather was near perfect before we eventually figured it was time to head back down.  Before leaving the hut, we noticed a sign saying, ‘kitchen closes at 21:30.’  Without further inquiry, we figured this would be the last time to order dinner.  A dinner I was greatly looking forward to from my memories of my last trip to the Tatra!

Descent was a little more complicated than the ascent and took a little more time than I thought.  The sky was growing dark as we arrived back at the hut a little before nine o’clock.  I was somewhat shocked to see a full on party going on in the dining hall, even with a live band.

Now looking forward to a good meal, we went up to order, only to be informed that there was only one selection of soup available – a sauerkraut soup that I don’t care for very much.  When asking about the 21:30 closing time, we were informed that was when the whole dining hall closed.  Shit!  10 hours hiking in the mountains and I couldn’t even get dinner.  I guess malted barley water would have to suffice, along with the remainder of my hiking food.

Luckily the presence of the live band meant the dining room stayed open later, so we could at least enjoy a few drinks, somewhat to the protest of the hut warden, who could have been doing good business with the full house crowd, but chose to close the bar, only returning sporadically and serving drinks when sufficiently harassed by enough people shaking money at her.

Sometime after 11pm my head finally hit the pillow.  Jack and I had discussed some place of getting up for sunrise, maybe even hiking up Kasprovy Wierch, we would see.  But by the early morning hours the hut began to creek and the windows bang in the increasing winds.  With barely a hint of morning light I got up to checkout the sky.  Fully grey, and the trees were doing quite a dance.  At that, I was content to stay in my sleeping bag for a while!

A lazy hike out of the mountains and back to Zakopane followed.  We headed to a place to grab lunch (another pizza for me) and as we headed inside, thunder began to rumble and rain fall.  Good timing getting down the mountain I guess.

We got dropped of by Jack in Krakow, where I then ended up on a standing room only mini-bus, I was one of the ones standing, back to Katowice before a tram back to Chorzow.

Overall, not the trip planned, but a good one none the less.  Zakopane is such a wonderful mountain town, and in the spring it is nice and green yet the streets, while still crowded, are not overly crowded.  I wished I had had a few more days just to hang out there and enjoy a bit of mountain town life.  Maybe next time…

Two female hikers hiking in Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: Heading up the trail to Murowaniec hut, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  May 2014


Female hiker sleeps on bench outside Murowaniec hut, Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: Afternoon nap outside Murowaniec hut, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  May 2014


Two female hikers hiking in Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: Hiking towards Koscielec, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  May 2014


Koscielec (2155m) mountain peak, Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: The 2155 meter high Koscielec rises in the distance, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  may 2014


Female hiker on the summit of Koscielec (2155m), Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: On the summit of Koscielec, Tatra mountains, Poland.  May 2014


View towards Swinica (2301 m) from summit of Koscielec (2155m), Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: Panoramic view from the summit of Koscielec, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  May 2014


Murowaniec Mountain hut, Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: Murowaniec hut, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  May 2014


Two female hikers sit outside mountain barn, Tatra mountains, Poland

Photo: Resting outside a mountain cabin, Tatra Mountains, Poland.  May 2014