The allure of the mountains

The mountainous region of Sweden's north is no longer just for survivalists and hardcore connoisseurs. 

  • Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise, is shrinking due to changes in the climate.
  • Something has happened in the Swedish mountains, the visitors look different. No longer only survivalists and hardcore connoisseurs can be found hiking here, but families and senior citizens are enjoying ”fjällvärlden”, the Swedish mountain world, as well.
    ”There are a whole lot of beginners coming, and that’s the way it’s been over the past few years,” says Hans Norén, Lappland manager at Svenska Turistföreningen (the Swedish Tourist Association). ”It used to be that mostly very seasoned, classic hikers came. But now we have all types of people, although since 2005 there’s also been an increase in families with children. There are also more women hiking together. Hiking in the mountains is no longer seen as something ’macho’.”
    Story: Hiking trails in Sweden

  • Hiking in the Swedish mountains? What used to be an activity reserved for the seasoned hiker, is today something for the entire family to enjoy, and senior citizens as well. Above: Mount Ahkka in the Sarek National Park, located in northern Sweden. Photo: Tobias Radeskog
  • It is not only the possibility to get exercize that lures people to the Swedish mountains, it is also experiencing the nature, the grandeur of it all. For the less experienced hiker, the well trodden trails are recommended, as is staying in cabins. Before going, it is important to think about the equipment.
    ”What’s most important is what you put on your feet, a good running shoe or boot that covers the ankle, to prevent from hurting it, is reccomended. As is rain gear,” says Norén.
    Host of the big cabin site Abiskojaure, Greger Mellbert, says that many of his guests sleep in tents: ”Many of those who tent are probably trying to experience something genuine when they put their tents up in the mountains. However, if you choose to stay on a cabin site, you get to use amenities like a bed, a sauna, and a shop where you can buy what you need instead of carrying everything up to the mountain.”