Fire and Ice 2017: Lots of Ice (and some fire)

Today we said good bye to our ski expedition teammates. They rode out to Nikkaluokta by scooter, scooter being the Swedish name for snowmobile. Many folks ride between Kebnekaise and Nikkaluokta by scooter taxi while others ski or hike the 19 km.

Marian and I got many views of ice and snow today, after the big good-byes. We skied 8 km into Tarfala. At Tarfala, we met Lars, the hut warden, who said Tarfala was the most beautiful hut in Sweden. Located below three different glaciers and beside a glacier fed lake, we had to agree.

Ski conditions were very icy today but we “earned our turns” on the way down after climbing the 500 metres up from Kebnekaise Mountain Station up to Tarfala. This weekend is the Keb Classic Ski Mountaineering Race so we saw many competitors climbing up and skiing down the glaciers here. A glacier is a river of ice that moves slowly downhill over many years though for many glaciers, that movement is picking u speed.

Some of the snow and ice near the mountain station had already melted so we had to “ski” over the crow berries on occasion. Here they call Partridge berries, Lingonberries. Bakeapples are known as Cloud Berries.

Tomorrow we will be getting some close up views of some frozen waterfalls so it will be another ice day.

Currently the fire comes in the form of sauna or bastu as it is called here. Part cleansing ritual, part social time, and part bathing, we’ve come to love taking a sauna after an adventurous day.

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