Kebnekaise, 2,117 metres (6,950 ft) in the very
north of Sweden is the
highest mountain in Sweden.
In Skandinavia only Norway has higher peaks. It’s situated far north, above the
There are two distinct summits on
Kebnekaise, Sydtoppen (2117 m)
and Nordtoppen (2097m). Sydtoppen is the highest point of Sweden. On the summit
there’s snow and ice all year around. The height varies, depending on time of
year and weather. Sydtoppen is a small glacier, about 40 meters thick. Bring
crampons to prevent you sliding off to certain death, it’s a open fall on one
side, several 100 meters.
There have been fatal accidents.
The summit is a tiny little place,
not much place to do anything but enjoy the views. One can cross over to the
north summit, by an airy ridge. The area is really a group of mountains, with
three other peaks higher than 2000
m and numerous lesser. The area is heavily glaciated,
about 40 glaciers. This is a very popular area to trek in summertime or ski in
winter. The most popular walk is a marked path, Kungsleden, 450 km long, passing by
Kebnekaise. It goes from Hemavan to Abisko. You can drink the water straight
out of the brooks almost anywhere, except at crosspoints where many people
View from Sydtoppen towards
Tjäktavagge. March 2005.
The wildlife consist of some rarely
seen mammals, bear, wolverine, lynx and wolf, birds like eagles and mosquitos.
The mosquitos are mostly found in the lowlands, the valleys like Vistasvagge.
They come in all sizes, and the smaller, the worse. A mosquito repellent is
absolutely necessary part of the gear. One can also see raindeers, but that’s
not wildlife, it’s cattle. They belong to the Samis.
There are several routes to the top.
It has two easy routes, both requiring only average fitness, Durlings led and Västra leden (Western route). Durlings is the longest but easiest. Västra leden is easily a solo walk,
scrambling on some parts. Rocky routes with snow patches.
Västra leden goes by Vierramvare,
Kaffedalen (where one can put up a tent, if one doesn’t want to go both up and
down in one day) and finally to Sydtoppen.
Östra rutten (east route) goes over a glacier,
which best is done with a guide. The east route is airy on the final ascent.
The ascent takes about five hours, with the east
route being shorter. It is possible to shave off some time of the west route by
choosing to camp higher up and further from the Kebnekaise fjällstation.
Requires experience of easy alpine climbing and glaciers. If one lacks this it
is advised to make use of mountain guides at a cost of SEK 450 ca. (2003)
Sydtoppen and Nordtoppen from the peak of Tuolpagorni
– June 2005
Route to Northern
Summit (August 1991)
View from Kebnekaise Sydtoppen
versus Norwegian mountains (west) – June 2005
The south summit of Kebnekaise,
photo taken from the north summit, July 2002