Mountain Cabins of Sweden summer 2020
June 2020, by Markus Nyman
A lot is changing in the mountains this summer. But a lot also stays the same. Right now, the Swedish Tourism Association (STF) is preparing to open the huts of the Swedish Mountain Range. Usually the huts are open to anyone passing by and you do not have to pre-book your bed. You are always guaranteed at least a mattress but if they are too crowded you may have to sleep on a mattress in the sauna or in the kitchen. Such is the way in the mountains – everyone helping eachother.
Adapting to the new normal
However, during the current situation with a pandemic across the world, we who live in the mountains must also adapt to these new conditions. As such the Swedish Tourism Association which runs most cabins has put in some changes to their normal operation procedures.
– We are humbled by the fact that we do not yet know exactly how the Corona pandemic will affect the summer. But based on the recommendations of the Public Health Authority, we are already taking a number of measures to offer guests, members, hosts and staff a safe summer in the mountains. This year it is therefore extremely important that all mountain visitors find out about the conditions that apply to their mountain stay for booking / advance payment, selection, serviceand assortment on site, says Niklas Winbom, mountain manager and vice CEO at STF
Changes on the STF Mountain Cabins
Most cabins will open mid june, but see each specific cabin on their website to make sure. On the path north of Kvikkjokk, some cabins will open 3rd July such as Aktse, Pårte and Sitojaure which are part of the gates to Sarek National Park.
In normal cases you only have to show up and pay in cash to the host but this summer, accommodation can only be purchased in advance. All bookings need to be made in advance and it has to be done with the right cabin and right date in mind. This can be done through their website. If you are booking a trip with Deep Wild, we will of course help you with this if it is not included in our price already. The booking and payment in advance will make sure each cabin will not be booked more than necessary and reduce the risk of overcrowding. Only in case of emergency will the huts accept persons without a booking in advance.
Some cabins also has a small shop to help hikers resupply. These shops will now have reduced opening hours in the morning and in the afternoon. The variety of food and supplies will also be reduced and the opening hours will be the same nation wide.
The kitchen will have a maximum number of allowed persons at any given time. The kitchen will only be allowed to be used as a kitchen and not as a room for social interaction. Guests that stay in tent will only have access to the kitchen between 9 in the morning and 17.30 in the afternoon. Outside those hours are only for the guests staying in the cabin. If you plan on staying in tents, you may want to bring an outdoor stove.
To reduce the risk of spreading disease, the availability of washing hands will be further improved by the toilets, the kitchen and entry of the cabin. New routines for dealing with potable water and cleaning will also be introduced.
The cabin host will try to spread all guests out and if possible place people of the same group inside the same room. For the hosts to be able to plan this it is vital that the pre payment ha been done.
Changes to the mountain stations
They all plan to open on the 18th of June except Ritsem which opens 26th of June and Saltoluokta that will open the 3rd of July and so will the boat traffic. New for this year is that the boat traffic operated out of Ritsem will be done by another operator and there will also be the possibility to fly helicopter across the lake.
The restaurants at the mountain stations will simplify the concept. On all stations you will be able to purchase a hearty breakfast and you can also purchase a lunch package that you prepare from the breakfast table. Only the old mountain Station of Blåhammaren will serve their classic 3-course dinner. Worth mentioning is also that the shops will still be open but will limit their assortment.
Situation update, June 2020
As of 5th June 2020 we would like to notify everyone of the large amount of snow still covering the mountains and they may stay for a long time during the hikin season. A warning for high water levels in rivers and lakes has also been issued and so is the risk of starting a forest fire. The best way to stay up to date with current information is to send us an email.
Current situation in Skäckerfjällen Nature Reserve 2nd of June 2020.
Photo: Christer Edsholm / Åre Fjällsäkerhetskommitté
Kings Trail Abisko to Kebnekaise
The trail through Abisko National Park from Abisko to Abiskojaure has a mostly snow free path. The few spots of snow can be passed through or to the side. Small or medium high water flow in the small and medium rivers and streams.
Abiskojaure to Kebnekaise, there is still alot of snow all the way to Alesjaure and most probably there is continuous snow all the way to Alesjaure, Sälka and Singi. Warning for ices that do not hold up well.
Nikkaluokta to Kebnekaise
No problem traveling this path although there may be some patches of snow left on the trail. There are high water levels in the streams but with good hiking boots these can be crossed without problem.
Summit of Kebnekaise South Peak by the western route
Relatively normal amount of snow. Patches of snow throughout most of the path. From 1800 meters and above there is a continuous layer of snow which sometimes does not carry the full weight of a person depending on what time of the day you are crossing.
Kings trail Kebnekaise to Saltoluokta
From Kebnekaise south to Kaitumjaure should be okay to travel by foot by now. From Kaitumjaure you travel south to Teusajaure and a boat from rowing across Teusajaure lake will be put out by the start of the season on the 18th of June. Motorboat traffic will also be preliminary opened on the 18th of June. From Teusajaure to Vakkotavare there is plenty of snow all the way. To catch the boat to Saltoluokta please see the time table provided by the Swedish Tourism Association: Click Here.
Sitasjaure-Hukejaure and the area north of Ritsem
As of the 4th of June there were no problems with driving a snowmobile from Ritsem to Alesjaure. Full winter. By mid June this may have changed.
Kings Trail from Saltoluokta to Kvikkjokk
No details except that the ice is still intact on Sitojaure lake.
According to Laponiatjuottjudus on the 3rd of June: Still alot of snow in the western parts of the trails between Ritsem and Tarradalen (the Tarra Valley). The melting of snow has begun in Tarradalen but later than normally.
Laponiatjuottjudus will go out in mid July to inspect the bridges in Padjelanta and Sarek.
Vaimok and Pieskehaure
Intact layer of snow across the ground.
No details as of 12th of June.
In the alpine there is a lot of snow covering the ground. From Hemavan the snow starts pretty much by the tree line and continues along the Kings trail to Syterstugan. The next large field of snow is from Serve to Aigert. A lot of water in the streams and high water levels in the lakes. A lot of the lakes still have a sheet of ice covering them.
No snow in Vålådalen and the nearby forest areas. A lot of water in the small and medium sized streams. A lot of snow up in the mountains.
Grövelsjön / Rogen
The melting of snow has gone quickly and it is now fully possible to hike without having to walk on snow in most areas as long as you are flexible in where you walk.
Ältsvattnet north of Hemavan
Photo: Jon-Krista Jonsson
In the coming weeks, the county boards will inspect the bridges as many of them may have been destroyed due to high water levels in many rivers.
Source: Swedish Tourism Association and the Mountain Safety Council of Sweden
Also see the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute for more information on water levels: Click here
Hey! I'm Markus 👋
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