Picture yourself on a pair of skis, with nothing but mountains and snow as far as the eye can see. But a direction, a goal somewhere behind all those mountains. Hear the wilderness guide Mirja, describe it with her own words.

The reindeer stew is ready just as the last guests arrive with transfer from Luleå airport. Now that we’ve all gathered at Outdoor Lapland’s house outside Jokkmokk, we sit down and enjoy a hearty meal together. Meanwhile, I brief the group about the adventure we’re all about to embark on.

Now that everyone’s focus is on me, I can see the glimmering excitement, nervousness and anxiety in their eyes. But as the night proceeds, we get to know one another and the tension in the air switches to relaxed conversations and laughter.

Wilderness guide Mirja Andersson.

Each year Fjällaktiv Lappland and Outdoor Lapland organises at least one Sarek expedition. The first day is always a bit busy with lots of gear and food to pack. But as soon as everything is in place and we finally leave Jokkmokk, heading towards the mountains, we also leave the feeling of stress and must-dos behind. It’s time to settle into expedition mode!

Ahead of us, in Sarek National Park, there is nothing but snow, mountains and pristine nature. There are no stores, no cars and no cellphone coverage. What we have is what we have and what we don’t have, we don’t need.

The expedition starts off with a bang

On the first day we get a big heap of fresh, wet snow and we spend two exhausting days ploughing our way through the deep white landscape. But one morning the sky starts clearing up and we can feel the cold air rolling down the steep, surrounding mountain walls. The snow gets harder, and easier to ski on as we cross the lake towards the upper side of Rapa valley and after a day of Herculean workout, we set up camp for the night – with a safe distance from any possible avalanches.

The next day we wake up to a beautiful, blue sky. And we finally get to enjoy the stunning scenery! One after another climbs out of their tents in simple awe of the surrounding beauty. Everything is quiet. The air is cold and clear.

– Wow. Just wow, someone says and everyone quietly nods their heads in agreement.

Meanwhile, in the guide’s tent, there is quite a ruckus. Quickly transformed from a bedroom into a restaurant, Christian and I are busy making breakfast. We bake Gahkku, a traditional Sámi bread, and as the smell of fresh coffee starts to spread, people gather for the first and most important meal of the day.

After breakfast, we break camp, load our sledges and start to ski towards “Predator Square”. We know we’ve reached the area as paw prints start to appear more frequently. Foxes, lynx and wolverine. With eager we spy up and down the hills in the hope of catching a sight of the shy residents but they are not much for company. I bet that some of them are lurking behind the rocks right now, watching us with curiosity.

Time to reflect

An expedition through the mountains, surrounded by wilderness, gives you a lot of time to reflect upon the big questions: life, love and all of that. You have to let go of the must-dos and other distractions, you can’t attend business meetings or post on Instagram. Mountain life is simple: you ski, eat and sleep. But you also need to stay safe, warm, dry and hydrated.

As these essential things become your everyday focus, the little things back home start to feel somewhat unimportant.

Learn more
Fjällaktiv Lappland and Outdoor Lapland organises two different Sarek Ski Expeditions, one longer and one shorter. Read more about tours at fjallaktiv.com.

After a week without shower, fruit and fresh vegetables, it’s with great joy and relief we arrive at Saltoluokta, our end destination.

Weary, but happy, we enjoy a wonderful three-course dinner at the mountain lodge and of course a well-deserved sauna.

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