One thousand, two hundred and twenty-eight metres above sea level is where you find Sweden’s highest mountain station: Låktatjåkko. It takes you a couple of hours to walk there from Björkliden and half-way is probably where you’ll start craving the waffles.
I’ve been here plenty of times — in summer as well as winter — and I guess that’s why I’m already thinking about the waffles. I’m trying to decide whether to go for cloudberry or raspberry jam, but in the end I give in: it has to be cloudberries — I’m in Lapland after all and the berry is in many ways synonymous with Låktatjåkko, as the mountain hut has used the cloudberry in its logo for a long time. If you want to add additional heavenly flavours go for the waffle with cloudberries and Västerbotten-cheese!
The hut was built in 1939, in the middle of a raging war. The land west of Kiruna was a roadless land and hiking paths and watercourses were used for all transport. Sure, the railway was built back in 1902 and even if the railroad was called ‘the Ore Line’ and used for ore, tourists could go by train up to Björkliden.
Not all mountain huts in Sweden offer you a bit of la dolce vita between bare rock outcrops, moss and last winter’s snow, but ‘Låkta’ is definitely one of those places.
People have always been interested in locations that are highest up and furthest away, so it was decided that a hut would be built in the Luoktačohkka mountain pass. It was probably no coincidence that it was built during the war, but since then — the end of the Second World War — the 75-year-old hut has served us life-loving mountain hikers in style. Not all mountain huts in Sweden offer you a bit of la dolce vita between bare rock outcrops, moss and last winter’s snow, but ‘Låkta’ is definitely one of those places; after your three-course dinner you just want to huddle up in front of the fireplace and enjoy the contents of your cognac cup.
It’s true that Swedish-style mountain hiking has always been like a snail struggling with its heavy load across the land, but there is something charming about this, too. Carrying your own house on your back. I don’t mind it. I’ve got nothing against sleeping in a tent and carrying heavy loads. At no other point in life will it be easier to choose a room with a view than when you’re effectively carrying it. Soon you will understand that ‘the road is worth the effort’ every time you set off on a hike through the mountains of Swedish Lapland. In the past it was all about getting from a to b whilst carrying a slightly too heavy rucksack. Perhaps power through all the stretches on Kungsleden — the King’s Trail.
But lately the focus has changed slightly.