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Expedition: Sarek National Park

A Photography Expedition into the Heart of one of the Wildest Areas in Europe

29 Aug 2021 - 7 Sep 2021

Price: 1750 EUR

Full Money-Back Return Policy During Covid-19 (Click for details)

General Information

Expedition Highlights

  • A trip for those who want to develop outdoor skills; we will travel far from the beaten path in Sweden's largest and wildest wilderness area, the journey will include river crossings, navigation and emergency skills

  • Beginner course in nature photography

  • A a lot of time for group and 1-to-1 teaching. All levels and all camera welcome

  • Experience and photograph arctic summer landscapes

  • Get a chance to scout for Sweden's four large predators - lynx, wolf, brown bear and wolverine (please note that we can not guarantee that we will encounter wildlife)

  • Benefit from a proven photography curriculum to quickly advance your photography

  • Safely explore the outdoors with a qualified International Mountain Leader

  • Learn how to safely navigate in landscapes far away from the marked trails, about safe and comfortable camp life and much more

  • Experience a unique and wild landscape

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Guides

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. He is a certified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) that has spent a lifetime exploring the world's wild areas. Jonas will be leading the expedition.


Jonas loves working with developing photographers to strengthen their technical foundation and support them to unleach their inner creativity. Jonas achieves this through engaging lectures, educative assignments and hands-on teaching in the field.


More info here.

Itinerary

This expedition merges nature photography and backpacking into a complete experience of timeless, beautiful and wild nature. Sarek National Park is one of the most iconic, remote and wild places in Europe and home to Sweden's four large predators - lynx, wolf, brown bear and wolverine.


This 10-day expedition will test your expeditionary skills, so be prepared to experience a truly unique adventure. It has been designed with passion and enthusiasm based on our personal experiences from Sarek to ensure this truly is a unique journey.


Sarek National Park is part of a Laponian UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with adjoining areas of Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet, Sjaunja and Stubba nature reserves, Muddus National Park, making a total of 9,400 km2 (3,600 sq mi).


Day 1 | 29 August 2021 | Änonjalme – Gisuris

We arrive by boat or helicopter to Änonjalme around mid-day. Our first day is an easy trek of 14 km up the beautiful valley leading into Sarek National Park. As it is our first real day and we will all have to find our trail legs, we will take it easy with many breaks for photography. We will make camp at the base of the mountain Gisuris surrounded by flowing rivers and alpine birch trees. The camp site is just across the border into Sarek National Park.

Trekking: Approx. 6hrs | Distance 14km | Hight gain/loss +200m/-100m


Day 2 | Gisuris - Áhkká

Our second day of trekking is a day to remember. We have got 10 easy km with a few river crossings to the next camp spot at the base of Áhkká mountain – one of Sweden's most beautiful massifs which has twelve individual peaks and ten glaciers!

Trekking: Approx. 5hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +200m/-0m


Day 3 | Áhkká - Ruohtesvágge

We start our trek into the Ruohtesvágge valley, which is a lush valley with a peaceful river of glacial meltwater flowing down the centre. We will cross several rivers this day.

Trekking: Approx. 6-7hrs | Distance 13km | Hight gain/loss +100m/-180m


Day 4 | Ruohtesvágge - Sarvatjåkkå

We continue trekking over the higher alpine areas of the Ruohtesvágge with views of the incredible and lush Rapa Valley in the distance. We will cross several rivers this day.

Trekking: Approx. 7hrs | Distance 13km | Hight gain/loss +300m/-100m


Day 5 | Sarvatjåkkå - Rapa Valley

We get our first views of the well-known Rapa Valley and trek towards the mountain Sarvatjåkkå. We will make camp high up with views of the Rapa Valley below us. This camp offers some of the best views of the tour.

Trekking: Approx. 6-7hrs | Distance 13km | Hight gain/loss +200m/-300m


Day 6 | Rapa Valley

We continue South East into the heart of Rapa Valley. If we are lucky, we will spend a night under a sky full of stars. If we are very lucky, we may see animals like bear, wolverine, moose, deer, lynx and more. However, the wildlife is shy and often only visible in the distance. Down on the valley floor we are likely to encounter some mud and dense forest. We will make camp just above the tree line to make the most of the views.

Trekking: Approx. 5-6hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +300m/-150m


Day 7 | Rapa Valley - Skierffe

Our goal for the day is sunset at the summit of Skierfe – which offers the most well-known and iconic view of Sarek. We will pitch our tents below the summit and await sunset! The Skierffe mountain will give us incredible views of Sarek and the Rapa Valley below.

Trekking: Approx. 8-9hrs | Distance 15km | Hight gain/loss +800m/-500m


Day 8 | Skierffe - Sitejaure

As we leave Skierfe we also leave Sarek National Park. We have a long and beautiful trek following the popular and beautiful Kungsleden (Eng: The King's Trail). We follow the trail downhill towards the lake Sitejaure, if we have time, we will catch a boat across in the evening, otherwise, we will start with the boat the following day. Either way, we will make camp next to the lake and maybe take a swim!

Trekking: Approx. 7hrs | Distance 14km | Hight gain/loss +300m/-800m


Day 9 | Sitejaure - Saltoluokta

Our last day is also our longest, but it is an easy trail with amazing views through the beautiful Ávtsusjvágge. In the evening we will arrive at the mountain hut Saltoluokta and have well deserved showers and a nice meal in the restaurant.

Trekking: Approx. 7hrs | Distance 19km | Hight gain/loss +300m/-500m


Day 10 | 7 September 2021 | Departure Day

After breakfast, it is time to travel back to Gällivare. We cross the lake with boat in the morning and continue with bus. Arrival in Gällivare at approx. 13.00. The tour ends at the train station.

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the Expedition

  • Storytelling - Telling stories and evoking emotions within the context of landscape photography

  • Composition - A comprehensive introduction to the theory of composition, including the elements of art and principles of design

  • Process - Learning and implementing a process to achieve consistent quality in landscape photography

  • Focusing - A science-based method for focusing to make your images sharp

  • Long exposure and filters - Long exposure and the use of Neutral Density (ND) filters, especially related to moving water and clouds

  • Astro photography - Explore the nighttime skies and landscapes to show the world at a different time

  • Panorama photography - exposing and merging multiple images

  • Multiple exposures and graduate filters - Achieving correctly exposed images in challenging conditions using graduated filters and multiple exposures (exposure bracketing)

  • Finding locations - Using maps, weather services and other tools to identify potential photography locations and times.

Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition

We are first and foremost out to enjoy the mountains and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills.

  • Planning for a week or more out on the hills in summer conditions

  • Using safety equipment and emergency transponders

  • Map reading

  • Navigation with map and compass

  • Relocation with map and compass

  • Using sighting for fast movement

  • Camp routines

  • River crossing techniques

Additional Information

The Agenda, Weather and Daylight Hours

The weather in the Arctic Circle can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the weather forecast and the local maps over coffee to plan our day. Sunrise and sunset vary greatly throughout the year. Sunrise will be at approx. 5.20 AM and sunset at 8.15 PM. Blue and golden hour will last approx one hour at either side of the day, giving us great opportunity for photography.


Getting There and Back Out Again

The expedition starts at Ritsem. You reach it by train or flight to Gällivare (via Stockholm), and then bus 93 (or taxi) towards Ritsem. On the return journey, we will finish at Kebnats, where you can take the same bus to Gällivare, where you can catch a train to the airport in Kiruna or the train direct to Stockholm. If you have extra luggage, we recommend that you leave this in Gällivare.


Food

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we will not provide any food on this expedition. Participants are expected to bring dehydrated food for the entire journey. We will provide suggestions for the full 10-day menu in the packing list and also be available for any questions that you may have. The water is safe to drink directly from streams in Sweden.


Camping Equipment

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we will not provide any camping equipment. The larger items that you will need include a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and stove.  A full packing list will be provided.


Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.


Drones

Please note that drones are prohibited in Sarek National Park.


Full Return Policy During Covid-19

During the outbreak of Covid-19 we will offer a full refund (both deposit and balance payment) if Swedish governmental restrictions on travel make the expedition unfeasible. If you wish to cancel for whatever reason, a full refund is available up until 30 days before the start of the expedition - no questions asked. You are welcome to get in touch if you have any questions about this.

How Challenging?

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This expedition has a Medium Effort Rating. This is a trekking expedition where we can expect 3-7 hours of trekking per day, with up to 600m of hight gain. Previous trekking experience is highly recommended. More info about effort levels here.


Price & Details

Included:

  • Guided treks by qualified International Mountain Leader

  • One night in a dormitory room at Saltoluokta mountain hut (single room available at additional cost)

  • Guided photography sessions in the field

  • Theoretical sessions

  • All boat or helicopter transport

Excluded:

  • Photo equipment

  • Outdoor clothing and equipment

  • Transport (e.g. trains or flights to Gällivare), bus to/from Gällivare

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for hiking in the mountains, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Food

  • Alcoholic beverages

Price: 1750 EUR

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 60 days before the start of the expedition. Single occupancy not possible. Incl. VAT.


Participants: Minimum 4 - Maximum 10


Start: Ritsem, 29 Aug 2021 

End: Saltoloukta, 7 Sep 2021


We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.


This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions