My relationship with Kebnekaise was established long before I saw her in real life. I’m a bit uncertain as to whether it’s right to assign a gender to a mountain or not. But the Kebnekaise I first got to know was a woman, that’s for sure.
The background to this story is that my mum once told me and my four-year-younger brother about the highest mountain in Sweden. Because my little brother Erik didn’t quite understand everything back then, he got the impression that it was a mighty, slightly wicked, character called ‘Kebnekajsa’. A brother’s worry was, of course, a great weapon for a mocking older brother. I could just mention Kebnekajsa and torment my innocent little brother out of brotherly love.
But Erik was the one who first got to meet ‘Kebnekajsa’ in real life – during a trek to the summit that he managed twice as fast as the one I would do myself, later. Naturally, the only reason for this was the fact that I visited Kebnekaise during spring winter and he was there in summer. Another important thing to point out is that I also had to carry lots of camera equipment when I was there and he didn’t.