|The Sulitjelma Mountains|
|The Sulitjelma mountains are a compact but impressive group of alpine-like peaks, lying about thirty miles north of the Arctic Circle. They straddle the border and adjoin Sweden's Padjelanta National Park, which itself adjoins the Sarek National Park. A trek right through this great wilderness would be a magnificent trip, but that's for the future. Our plan this time was first to spend a week trekking right around the Sulitjelma massif, then a second week climbing some of the peaks. Alas, the weather gods decreed otherwise.|
The first few days went according to plan, with hot sun and an almost dead calm - great for photography (and mosquitoes!). Waymarked paths lead from Sulitjelma town to the north and south of the group and join the Swedish system to the east, forming a sixty mile triangle. This circular walk can be completed easily in a week, while still allowing a couple of days spare for bad weather or climbing a peak or two.
After crossing into Sweden, a gentle descent took us into the Padjelanta National Park where we spent a day traversing the long ridge of Jeknaffo, which at 1836 metres is higher than all but two of the Sulitjelma peaks. But after that the weather deteriorated, the wind increased to a gale and the rains came in earnest, continuing for over a week. So I have no photographs of the mountains and glaciers on the southern side - we never got the slightest glimpse of them. In fact we didn't see the mountains again until the last day of our holiday when the weather suddenly cleared in the afternoon. We ran up a peak above the town, Koppertoppen, which revealed the Sulitjelma peaks plastered with fresh snow, but that was the nearest we got to them. Definitely a place I want to revisit though.