Day 7, started off from Sälka to Singi with rain and 15 C, a little too warm in my Gortex. As I approached Singi, the rain stopped along with the wind, and really bad swarms of mosquitos started to appear. Made it to Singi relatively early after only 13 km of easy walking. Debated continuing on to Kebnekaise fjällstation (mountain station). I could do it, but I would arrive rather late at 8 PM, and the amount of mosquitos might drive me to walk with too few breaks, overexerting myself.
Decided to stay at Singi to extend the adventure, as I knew continuing onto Kebenkaise fjällstation, it would be crowded and touristy. Chatting with another Swedish guest in the hut, he said he had never experienced so few mosquitos as this summer! Yikes! I wouldn’t want to imagine when it’s bad. So there is an upside to rain after all.
It would turn out to be a good decision to stay at Singi for many reasons… After settling into the hut, the wind suddenly picked up! With the mosquitos gone, I bathed in the near ice-cold stream. After my river fording experience from the previous day, cold water wasn’t a big deal anymore, especially after sweating in rain clothes all morning! You won’t get much privacy bathing at Singi, as there’s no sauna house and the designated bathing place downstream from the drinking water is within view of both tourist huts.
I would find out at Kebnekaise fjällstation the next day, how glad I was to stay an extra night at Singi instead…
Day 8, started hiking early leaving Singi at 8:15 AM for Kebnekaise in the hopes of arriving early to secure a bed. I had not made a reservation because I didn’t know if I would stay extra nights along the way.
Stormy weather the previous night, with insane wind of 15 – 20 m/s continuing during my walk to Kebnekaise fjällstation! Luckily the wind was at my back. I almost got blown off my feet several times! I felt sorry for the poor saps walking in the opposite direction.
Close to Kebnekaise fjällstation/mountain station
Finally, I arrived at Kebnekaise mountain station!
Placed Per’s hiking pole at the front door along with some makeshift wooden walking sticks… I briefly thought to myself, “Maybe I shouldn’t put it here? If someone wants to steal one, they might be tempted by this one.” But then I brushed the thought off, because I’m in Sweden, and I’m on a hiking trail… Really stupid of me. A few hours later, when I remembered to retrieve it, it was gone. =(
I checked the weather report, and the next day was to be sunny and 5 C! I had deciding during my week of walking in almost daily rain that if there was good weather at Kebnekaise, I would go to the summit. It was decided then!
Because I hadn’t reserved a 350 SEK dorm bed in advance at Kebnekaise (a very busy tourist spot only 20 km from the road at Nikkaluokta, where most people walk in or helicopter from), I got the privilege of paying 450 for a temporary bed in this sh*tty room, with 25 other people, sleeping like sardines on a creaky cot.
When I asked about reserving a dorm bed for the next day, the girl said they were completely full. I frowned, and asked again if there was anything else. “Yes, there is one bed left in a 4-bed room, but it’s 450 SEK.” Uh, gee, duh, wouldn’t I prefer to sleep in that for the same price as the room with 25 other people!? “Yes, can I take that one??” “Okay, I’ll reserve it for you.” “Uhh… so you will do it then?” “Yes.” Can you do it now?! I should have pushed her to do it for me on the spot, and to give me a confirmation number, but the lineup forming behind me made me feel pressured… (get back to this later)
I booked myself in for dinner for my first real meal (plus wine!) in over a week! In the afternoon, I hand washed all my clothes, except my fleece jacket and long johns, which I could wear while everything else was drying. I just had to remember not to unzip my jacket if I got warm. I looked around in the shop, picking up some food for sandwiches the next day, and a platypus bag (to bring 4 L instead of 2 L of water for the summit). I liked Per’s platypus bag, so I would need to buy one for myself anyway.
I was so tired after three courses of dinner that I skipped the sauna and went to bed early. It would be a long day tomorrow.
To be continued…