The Kungsleden, literally "King's Trail", is known as one of the most beautiful walks in Sweden. Over 400km long, the trail crosses Swedish Lapland between Abisko and Hemavan. In summer, the landscape is dotted with rivers and bright colours. In winter, everything is immaculate white. The Lapland foothills are bordered by towering, domed mountains. No wonder it's also one of the most beautiful ski touring spots in the world. In this article we tell you what it's like to ski the Kungsleden.
How to get to the start of Kungsleden
From Stockholm, there are three options for getting to Kiruna: by car, by plane or by night train.
Driving takes too long, the plane goes too fast and doesn't allow you to soak up the scenery, but sleeping in a comfortable bed while the train whizzes through Lapland is just perfect! Once in Kiruna, there are scheduled buses that run between Kiruna and Nikkaluokta, where our ski tour of Kungsleden starts.
Our programme ideas
Once you've arrived in Nikkoluokta, you'll need to reach the Nallo refuge. This can be reached by a 2-hour snowmobile ride or by a full day's walk on touring skis. Once you arrive at the refuge, take the time to chop wood, fetch water and, above all, rest.
The Nallo refuge offers an ideal base camp in a great playground. You'll find plenty of opportunities for ski touring
From the refuge you can ski Sielmatjåkka, one of 12 peaks over 2000m in Swedish Lapland.
Nallo hut to Tarfala hut
To get from Nallo to the Tarfala refuge, you have to cross three passes through arctic landscapes, with wide valleys bordered by imposing peaks.
Tarfala is a name familiar to Swedish skiers and mountaineers. This valley along the east face of Kebnekaise is home to the country's largest glaciers.
From here, the choice is vast: gentle skiing (Tarfalatjäkka), couloirs (liljetoppsrännan, drakryggen) or glacier skiing. The wide variety of terrain means you're sure to be able to adapt to the conditions of the moment. All you have to do is choose!
Tarfala hut to Kebnekaise hut
You can then reach the Kebnekaise refuge from Tarfala. A magnificent day's gently downhill hiking awaits you. In the evening, you can enjoy the sauna at the Kebnekaise hut.
The next morning, you have two choices: either ski Kebnekaise (Sweden's highest peak), or Tuolpagorni and its impressive crater-shaped slope, reached by abseiling. Depending on your level and the snow conditions, your guide will decide which is best for you.
After this unique day, it's already time to head back to Kiruna. Either by snowmobile or, if you still have some strength left, by ski touring.
DiscoveRent offers you one of the most legendary expeditions north of the Arctic Circle, an exploration on skis of the immaculate white wastes of Lapland, bordered by large rounded peaks. Magnificent ascents in the midst of unspoilt nature. Nights watching the Northern Lights from the warmth of your refuge stove. And yes, you can experience the expedition you've just read about in a small group with a French-speaking mountain guide. Interested? Go here!
Crossing the Kebnekaise high route is all about surpassing yourself and experiencing a unique adventure in the wilderness. It's a huge project, and we want you to be part of it.